Having run a 2.0 Sport Saloon for two years and 11,000 miles I have found it terrific value for money.
I think Sport is a misnomer, don't expect Sports car performance, I frequently get left at traffic lights by various 1.6s but I find the overall performance suits my needs, travelling to Scotland 3 to 4 times a year and driving around the minor roads there the handling is excellent and road grip great.
The 6 CD changer is a boon on long trips and the Bose system is very good.
Overall I average 30/32 MPG.
There have been absolutely no faults on the car and it has only been back to the dealer for the 12 month service.
I shall be buying another in 12 months time.
I bought a 2.0 Sport 4 door from new in May 04 and have had nothing but problems with it. Initially, the steering at parking speeds creaked and groaned. My Mazda dealership (Jordans - Hull) replaced the bushes and the problem temporarily disappeared. However it returned months later and once again the bushes were replaced. Next a recall was initiatated as the air bag warning light illuminated. This check was fixed under warranty. The next problem was a rattling and rolling noise from the brake servo when cornering above 40 mph. The problem was linked to the DSC switch but after having the car in to Jordans on 6 occasions the problem was never fully rectified. Other problems were that the drive belt snapped and left me stranded, a duff battery which was replaced and warped front discs. They were originally changed under warranty but warped a second time and then skimmed. I am a considerate driver and never thrashed the car but the amount of problems were excessive and not expected from a car manufacturer of such quality and reliebility. Lastly the alloy wheels were a shambles. They blistered badly around the centre hole on every wheel. All in all they were replaced under warranty on four occasions. I have just got rid of the vehicle as it was nearing its 3 year anniversary. I'm glad to see the back of it.
Im a Mum of 3 and its important to me that the Car is economical.safe,spacious,reliable, ect. I also like to drive a car that looks nice and sets itself apart from the others. I visited My local dealer who agreed a very good trade in for My 323. I fell in love with a red RX8. they let me have it for a week, (Heaven) hen I came back down to earth and realized although beautiful and wonderful to drive I have to think of getting 5 people into car as opposed to 4. so I took it back and there on the for court was My lovely star silver Mazda 3.Im in love with this car and with the Sat Nav ect I cant fault her. my 5 year old has named the Car Rosy (because she talks). This car fits all the criteria's I have been looking for, economical/lovely to look at yet practical, roomy nice big boot, Im mythed as to why someone has expressed a negative opinion over the boot,when its huge,there's more that enough room. I have to buy for 5 so I know. Its soooo comfortable, Im 5ft 2inch, so the seats adjustments are great for me. I ent out and I tried them all, every car on the market over a period of 6 weeks, but none compared to My mazda3,and the sales Staff were exceptionally helpful,cant fault them for anything, even let Me drive the wonderful RX8 for a week,thanks guy's. If you have a life style that allows and you want to have the real drive of your life then I suggest the RX8.
I absolutely love the look of the car and in my opinion is visually far more appealling than the hatchback version.
I have been very impressed with the consistent fuel economy and in the 8 months/11k miles it has averaged just under 40mpg, which given its a 2.0 litre petrol is very pleasing.
I really like the interior which is roomy, practical and well equipped. The Bose stereo is superb and the steering wheel controls are very handy. There is a general air of quality in the ambience of the cabin and the only criticism I have is that some of the plastics are low rate. It's ergonomically good and extremely comfortable on long journeys helped by good seat adjustment, steering wheel adjustment and good visability.
I agree with some reviews that have commented on the boot which does take getting used to, but the size and practicality of it more than makes up for it.
I would recommend the car to anyone, I am just about to have my first service so we'll see how the dealer handles this. There have been no teething or quality issues with the car as yet and I am looking forward to many more trouble free miles.
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