2005 Mazda 3 2.0 R Sedan 2.0 petrol from Philippines
A sharp handling small sedan for less money
Seat belt bolt cover on the passenger's side fell off.
Brakes are noisy when the car is cold (I get a creaking sound when I shift the car from Park to Reverse and release the brakes).
My family bought a Mazda 3 2.0R (2,000cc engine, Sport suspension, leather, sunroof and 17 inch wheels) 2 years ago.
So far the experience has been fun! The car has very sharp handling, and is a dream to drive out of town.
The radio and 6 speed CD changer have adequate performance, and the front seats are quite comfortable on long drives. The back is a bit tight, but is roomy enough to compete with a BMW 3 series or Audi A4, but not as comfortable as a Volvo S60 or a Toyota Corolla Altis.
The projector headlights have great range and visibility, and the brakes are very responsive.
So far I have had no mechanical or electrical problems, but I do have comments about the trim. The plastic cover of the seat belt bolt on the bottom of the B-pillar fell off easily, and looks like it is made of rather cheap material. While the car's suspension is generally good, the sound deadening insulation is inferior for a car of this price range, especially when compared to a Toyota Corolla Altis or even a Toyota Vios!
Other comments about the performance of the car:
The 4 speed automatic transmission robs power, and even with a Tiptronic transmission, it does not match the smoothness of a Honda automatic. It would have been better if Mazda Philippines offered a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission, or a 5 speed automatic.
When all has been said and done however, the car is worth the Php 930,000 we paid for it. Its design is sporty and eye catching, and so far maintenance has been a dream. My car has less problems than my friends Ford Focus 2.0 Hatchback, even if the two cars were built at the same factory! (Ford Santa Rosa, Philippines plant).
I am proud that a Philippine-made car can compete with the Thai, Korean and even Japanese built models in the Philippine market.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th February, 2007