Long story short- Hurricane sandy totaled my pt cruiser, that car was going to be given to my sister since i had a second car, search for new car ensued... A purchase of an 04 mazda 3 hatch was made. Every day that mazda keeps impressing me. From its honda like reliability, to its surprisingly well balanced and zippy characteristics. Its a fwd 5dr that was worth every penny.
...Below is my ramble as to why...
Of course i dont drive it every day since its my sisters. But its stick, and we made her learn haha. And i do get to drive it occasionally when i want to, but to be honest ill stick to my prelude for now.
However! It has seriously given me an 'itch to pursue a future speed3 like the year model pictured below as a possible second car when it comes time. Mazda really put a great platform together on this series. Hatchback is the only way to go imo, because its looks better in every way possible than the sedan. The fact that the speed3's are even faster make this car even more appealing, especially considering its so practical!
Before we even bought the car, i had heard a lot about the 3 model. And to my surprise, i found a lot of good. Not to say that there are certain issues, however, when compared to the competition, its clear who pulls ahead.
What impressed me most though was this engine. It does not burn a drop of oil. not a drop. Its done nearly 8K miles since purchasing and not once has even the slightest of top offs was required. Makes me jealous as i tend to do a daily oil top off in my car every thousand miles...
I love the first gear. Its rather useful and has that needed torque. Its possible the 2.3L delivers just the right amount. Its gearbox is nice and tight with short throws and seamless operation.
Its rather quiet inside. I suppose thats good. But i dont hear the engine as much as i do in my prelude. and i think i would miss that to be honest. BUT! the quiet is nice especially in the winter, with the salt/rocks and the noise they make when driving.
With just under 100K miles on the clock, and having 2 previous owners, besides few cosmetic blemishes, i cannot pick apart anything mechanical going/sounding wrong. The car is tight, solid, and certainly doesnt feel like a 100K miles car.
You get a rather useful amount of 'toys' in the car as well. Currently my only toy in my car is the radio/cd player. Thats its. Well, the 3 has that, plus a 6cd changer as well as ipod integration (depending on model), the satellite radio if you want, and a steering wheel that controls everything for you. (probably nav and more in the 2nd and 3rd gens) Maybe its me, but i feel thats the perfect amount and a rather large step up from 20th century cars.
Mazda, if you continue to do good work like this, you will have a future customer on your hands. The 3 hatch, in my eyes, is a home run. For a fwd 5dr platform, its about as good as you can get it out of the box (without being nit picky). From its styling to performance, i would be happy to drive one of these every day.
Here is the actual car below if any of you made it this far. The first mod was the sharkfin. Makes it look sooooo much better too!