Here’s an image of the 2011 Mazda 3 I bought two weeks ago. Base model, 2.0L, 5sp, 132,000 miles, $4,200. My wife and I finally took it for an extended drive on Saturday and I found the ride to be quite harsh. And lots of road noise as well. Still, I think I’ve spent our money well on this one.

Do you think renewing the struts and shocks would improve the ride?

My options are a “quick strut” by Monroe, Gabriel or Sachs in the front, and replacement shock cartridges by the same companies for the rear. The rear top mounts sound worn out which, I am told, is a thing with the Mazda 3.

For the front, I can also go with a KYB GR-2/Excel G, which is typically my first choice, but I’d have to disassemble/reassemble the front strut assemblies and require mounts and boots and such. I’ve done this many times, but it’s a good deal more work than a quick strut, but I’d get to keep the Mazda factory springs.

Thoughts? I don’t need a performance ride. The car is plenty nimble for a fifty-something couple as is.