Very happy with this car - but it is sporty
Major - Rear suspension control arm bushings (clunk from rear over bumps).
Minor - timing cover oil leak (warranty covered) - leak on the back of the engine facing firewall.
Minor - intake manifold cold tick (warranty covered) - still ticking after replacement, so I am living with it.
Major - Clunk on the left side over small bumps - turned out to be transmission mount centre bolt loose - appears to be the same issue that plagued the Mazdaspeed 3 (turbo 2.3) - tightened myself to 80 ft-lbs (look at the articles describing how to do the Mazdaspeed/turbo 2007 cars, and then the service manual for the correct torque).
Minor - Belt noise (hissing especially when cold) - just replace the belts to fix - 'gurgling' noise at 1500 RPM warm - replaced drive belt tensioner (there is a 1500 RPM noise when cold - haven't found what is causing that yet - I think it is the EGR).
Minor - rear brakes dragging due to corrosion in the rear caliper guides (pushing rubber guide boots against slide pins, binding rear brakes) - just ream corrosion out.
Major - driver side front strut had a 1 inch "dead zone", where there was no damping - seemed to ride OK - noticed it after upgrading the front struts.
Minor - Aluminum shavings in drain oil - turned out to be from galling threads on the drain plug - a Fumoto valve fixed that.
Minor - metallic click noise when shifting from park to Drive, or Drive to reverse - apply grease between driveshaft and hub bearing mating surface - as per TSB (dealer told me about this)
Minor - 17 inch alloy rims seem to dent easily (inner face - from potholes) - have had to get all 4 corrected at a rim repair place to correct vibration.
Minor - front brake replacement - changed back to OEM when the fronts were pulsing from aftermarket discs/brakes. Note that the front discs will rust onto the outer ridge of the wheel hub - search online for tricks to remove (removed mine in 30 minutes by using the rotor removal trick used by Ford F150 people - putting bolts in the caliper mounting holes to apply force to the rotor and pop the rotor off).
As others have said - great low end torque from a 4 cylinder - really adds to driving experience. Handles very well (a little harsh/sporty - you hear/feel the road).
Good comfort - does 4 hour road trips comfortably. Seats support well. Even the rear seats are comfortable. Quiet interior, apart from road/engine noise. Heating/cooling is sufficient (note that many after market cabin air filters do not have the correction to them to allow the AC to work better - a baffle attached to the filter itself - so aftermarket cabin air filters may reduce AC effectiveness).
Fit/finish on mine seems very good/solid.
Mileage seems OK - a mixed rating of 10L/100km (but I have a heavy accelerator foot).
Unlike some, I find it is OK in the snow with good snow tires. ABS helps, but it is a low vehicle with wide tires - it won't be amazing in the snow. Summer is when this car performs well.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th April, 2012