The initial reviewer indicated that, "This is really a Ford under the skin, so don't think you're buying a import."
I am going to have to call you out on this one. As far as the platform for the Mazda 3 is concerned you can look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_C1_Platform
The jist of it is that the C1 platform was jointly produced by Volvo, Mazda, and Ford. As far as Ford, the platform is used only on the European Focus (which, is a far better car than the American version). The American Focus will use the older C170 platform until 2009. Other vehicles that use the C1 platform: Mazda 3 (of course), Volvo S40, V50, C70, C30, Mazda 5, and the Ford Kuga (Europe-only crossover)
This C1 platform has proven to be very reliable and stout. The C1 platform includes: "the front- and rear-subframes, suspension, steering, braking, safety, and electrical components..."
The 2.0 and 2.3 liter engines are each a Mazda MZR engine (look it up in wikipedia). Again, Ford EUROPE borrows from this Mazda line-up in some of their vehicles and calls them the DHE-420 and DHE-423 respectively.
The production stickers on the Mazda 3 indicate that they are assembled in Japan.
So the next time you hear something like "it just a Ford in Mazda skin" or "Mazda shares a bunch of parts with Ford", please keep in mind what that means (because the person saying it probably trying to attempt to bash the Mazda).
Hmmmm, come to think of it, if Ford is going to start using the C1 platform (and rumors circulating that they are going to use the Mazda motors) here in America starting next year (2009), the Focus could end up being quite the buy. I'll have to do some more research when the time comes :)
Thank you for all the comments! I'm literally going to buy one tomorrow morning. Its the hatchback touring in the really great looking gray color! Thanks everyone!
The initial thread wasn't very informative and over-generalized a lot. The first and second comments are posted within 45 minutes of each other. This is very suspecting because carsurvey screens comments and that takes more than 45 minutes. Can nobody bothers to comment from January till March and two comments were entered within 45 minutes of each other?
In any regard, the US-spec Mazda3 is made in Japan. It is not another "Ford" even though Ford owns controlling interest in Mazda. This is a fantastic car. As to the paddles being too close, I hear that a lot from Toyota owners too.
Just so it's clear, I've checked the logs, and the first and second comments do appear to have come from the same person (IP addresses are identical). Please factor this in when reading those comments.
I am going to buy it next month. But I'm still confuse what colour is the best for the Mazda 3?
This is a poor review. Given the IP addresses match from original poster and first commenter, I would venture to say this entire review was done by the marketing department of the competition, or someone with a vendetta. No objective (or factual) information present.
It's a suspicious review for sure.
I've only ever heard glowing reviews from friends that have owned Mazda 3 cars.
The Mazda 3 is much better than competition in most areas but the drivers foot/leg space IS limited even in my 2007 auto.
I'm having vibration issues likely engine mount related (frustrating). I replaced the suspect one but still not fixed (search Mazda 3 engine mount).
Japanese quality otherwise is A1, very clean running engine. All round great car but has engine vibe issues. I don't regret buying, but be aware of vibes if going to be cruising on highway a lot...
"I've only ever heard glowing reviews from friends that have owned Mazda 3 cars"
While Ford was in control of Mazda, the quality went way up. We owned one built in Japan before Ford took over, and it was very poorly built and unreliable. Our best friends bought two Mazda's that were made under Ford's much better quality control. They were great cars. With Ford selling its interest in Mazda, I would be very concerned about buying a new one. I'd only consider a good used one built during the years they were controlled by Ford.