An amazing drive, but not powerful enough
Nothing went wrong with the car so far, nor did I expect anything to go wrong, as it is a brand new car, and Mazda is known for it's excellent build quality. I found the gear shifter to be a little stiff sometimes when you move it out of park; feels like you need to force it, but the dealer assured me it's normal. It rarely happens anyway.
This is an excellent car to drive; it handles really well, with very nice suspension. The steering wheel feels excellent and allows you to maneuver at high speeds, and take corners without skidding or tilting, which is an amazing feeling.
The car also looks great; the guys at Mazda did an excellent job on design, as it definitely stands out in a crowd. It has a beautiful sporty look, and has an aggressive personality with very unique and eye-catching lines and curves. The lights, both front and rear look exceptionally good.
However, designers seem to have missed out on a couple of issues that tend to be irritating; there's no place in the trunk or anywhere else to affix the fire extinguisher to, which leads to the fire extinguisher sliding from one side to another when you make a hard turn or go uphill, making a lot of noise. I asked the dealer to fix it somehow, and they said I'm not the first to complain about this.
The car also lacks torque. It's good when you drive normally, but when you need some power to accelerate, you get NADA... especially if you're trying to pick up speed from second gear. The car is so slow in picking up speed it's irritating, and the gear ratios between 1st and 2nd gear seem to have a gap... 1st is too low, and 2nd is not low at all. This is seriously a point to criticize, as the car gives maximum torque at above 5000 rpm, which leads to a person shifting manually just to get the car to respond slightly better than it does in "Drive"... still you don't get enough power, and the car can really disappoint you if you're a tight situation where you need power.
I still have a problem parking the car in tight spots, as you cannot possibly see the rear end of the car when you're backing up; it's curvy on the sides, and high with a small rear window, which leaves you guessing how far you actually are from the car behind you... yet a minor issue that you get used to in time.
One disappointing factor was fuel consumption. I got this car thinking it would be super economical with its 1.6L engine; rated consumption was 260Km/20L of fuel. In reality, it only does 212Km/20L of fuel, which is pretty much the same consumption as my previous 2.0L 4x4 Opel Vectra.
The A/C in the car is amazing, quite powerful for such an engine size, and hardly affects engine power. The audio system is also quite good. There are lots of pockets to put stuff in too, very well integrated into the car. However the black plastic foot mats really don't go with superb interior of the car; the interior is quite fancy and well designed, while the foot mats look really cheap and get dirty easily.
In total, it's a good car; very well built, with minor glitches, and a car that serves you well. It is quite comfortable too, and spacious with an amazing look; but I think they could've gotten more power out of the engine, or at least, gotten higher torque out of it at lower RPM somehow... it really lacks the power to accelerate.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd September, 2007