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).
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