Cons: "Ride - great if the roads weren't like a war zone"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great style and fuel economy for what you get. We rarely have everyone in the car at this point but when everyone is home we can still go in one car or haul a bunch of stuff in the back - not both at the same time but we knew that. Where else can you carry 6 people and get over 30mpg on the highway?
I would buy this car again and, in fact have bought a Mazda 3 now, but there are a couple little quirks:
1) The ride is very confident but getting to be quite stiff for the torn up Michigan roads. Luckily we've had tire "insurance" because we blistered 3 tires last winter in pot holes. The 17" wheels are great looking but are not resilient to winters. Maybe 16" and snow tires this year??
2) Rear shocks and struts have been "blown out". Another victim of the stiff but "zoom-zoom" confident ride is the amount of jarring the struts / shocks have taken. Good thing I can replace this stuff myself so it doesn't break the bank but replacing is a little premature in my opinion.
3) Rust - very common issue with the Mazda 3's but the 5 is starting to show a bit of rust in the rear wheel well lip already. This is annoying and I'm not sure what to do about it. Seems to be a common platform issue with 5s and 3s.
4) Missing options? - Europe got power sliding doors and stability control. Not sure I need the former but having traction control/stability control would have been nice. I like the Bose option in this vintage Grand Touring Mazda 3's. Would have been an easy add to this vehicle, I'm guessing.
5) Of course the Mazdaspeed engine would have been a blast and one of the magazines did that conversion but...."
"Only 8 years old and totally rusted through in the rear wheel wells and the rest of the paint is pitted with numerous chips & rust spots. On my 3rd suspension (struts & shocks) and 5th set of brakes. And to top it off, the sliding doors freeze shut in the winter which in upstate NY is a real issue.
I'm very disappointed in the build quality. I'll never buy a Mazda again."
"For driving around town or even for short weekend trips, this car is great! More space than a regular sedan without being huge like an SUV or minivan. Would NOT suggest for a weeklong road trip with 4 adults, however. Sometimes driving can be jerky, especially turns and stops, so not suggested for people that can get carsick. Handles fine in rain, slush, ice, and a little snow, but tends to drift and slide in deep snow."