2004 Mazda 3 S Grand Touring Package 2.3 from North America


Bone jarring ride -- But loads of fun!!!


Burns massive amounts of oil (faulty EGR valve, so I think).

Body vibration (one engine mount weak, by design, so I've heard).

General Comments:

OK, this car has some flaws by design (it being the first model year) and is not meant for everyone; the car's oil has to be topped off every 2 weeks (mostly my fault, because I haven't change the EGR valve), weak engine mount that causes vibration above 2250 RPMs, and mediocre gas mileage.


This is the most fun I've had with any car!

The engine is not only torquey, but surprisingly responsive... and the manual transmission is something that surprises me everyday; the stick shift moves like butter, and the clutch seems very well built. I accelerate in turns from a stop and reach 80 mph very fast (I need to stop doing that, though) and the car seems to want you to push it more (the 2.3 engine and 17 inch, lower profile tires help -- the car is still a little high, and could have been dropped half an inch by Mazda).

The GT package is nice, leather seats still look new and are easy to clean; GPS still works, moon roof, power windows, locks, mirrors are all nice.

The suspension set-up might have other driver's turned off by the car, you feel every bump and it can get harsh.

The exterior has held up incredibly well, it looks brand new.

The interior is a little cramped, even though it seems wider than its predecessor, the Protege, which I owned about 3 years ago, but it's good for 3 person families or single people.

Besides checking the oil very two weeks and "whack" gas mileage (if I drive like grandma, at best I get 27mpg), this car is very sporty and reliable ---- just don't abuse it too much, and have it maintained every 30,000 miles (like most Mazda's).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2012

2004 Mazda 3 GT 2.3 from North America


Fun to drive. Reliability??? Not a car to hold onto


Rear wheel well; bottom of doors & door frames; began to show sign of rusting at around 120,000km. Brought the car back to the dealership back then for rust issues, and fixed under warranty. All the rust came back within a year of the fix. Once was at a car accident, and found lots of the welding points of the car chassis were already showing sign of rusting as well.

Front right wheel bearing worn out and needed to be replaced at around 150,000km, and then the left front at 200,000km.

Front struts needed to be replaced the same time as the front bearings, then the rear struts at about 170,000km. The upper supports of the rear struts are actually broken.

At 210,000km, engine light came out and the OBD reader indicated a cylinder #4 misfire error. Replaced the spark plugs and hope for the best now.

General Comments:

In term of performance, this is definitely a fun car to drive. You can't really get anything better than this car at the same price range.

But in term of reliability and being well-built, definitely Mazda has a lot of improvement to be made, particularly the body panel rusting issues.

A/C unit also is a weak component of the system. Although I have yet to replace any of the parts, the A/C is very weak in both normal summer (just barely "cool", not even cold) and extreme cold Canadian weather (in winter, the only time you are getting enough heat is when you are driving on a highway when the engine is constantly at a higher RPM range).

Although with all the setbacks I described above, the car provided me and my family a good hassle free 6 years 200,000km service, so I know I shouldn't be complaining.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th September, 2011