Great first car for beginners
Seat belt buckle failed.
Previous owner replaced a timing belt at 210K
Had radiator replaced at 200K.
Driver's seat is ripped, and foam is falling out on a corner.
Seats get a bit uncomfortable over 2 hours of driving.
Has a slow oil leak.
I bought this car as a beginner car to get my licence in.
I was smart to do it, as this car is more than enough for what I wanted to do with a car. 4 door base standard transmission, with no power anything. Big trunk and back seats fold down for more space. Gas tank has been reasonable at $1.40/L here in Victoria (midgrade); 20 bucks gives me half a tank, and it lasts around town roughly 100K per quarter tank.
I replaced the passenger side seat belt buckle as it wouldn't click in anymore. $40 bucks. Not too bad.
Replaced the air filter, spark plugs and cleaned the throttle body. Better performance. For a 22 year old car, I am amazed at what this car can do. Acceleration is good; I have surprised myself when I have chirped the tires.
The brakes are good, but I think I should give them a look, as there is a bit of vibration from time to time. It cruises fine around town, but on the highway at 75k to 85k, the car vibrates, but goes back smooth at 85K. Weird, but don't do much highway anyway; currently investigating.
I am happy I got this car. The simplicity of no power anything is less to go wrong. I can actually do most of the maintenance myself.
The car has good power, but still idles rough when warm, but step on the gas and it goes. I am going to replace the fuel filter, as I think it may still be original, and that should help things.
This car, being fuel injection, never has failed to start and run. I have to check if it might need a sensor.
The car isn't perfect as it has a lot of dings and scratches for previous owners. The paintwork is peppered from gravel roads, and the windshield could be a bit clearer. But I have to remind myself it was 800 bucks, and it had under 250K on the odometer. It's not fancy, but for a first car, it has been a smart investment. Parts are quite reasonable, and if you can do most of the work yourself, it's really cheap to maintain this car.
I thank all of the other Mazda owners for their reviews, as they helped me pick this car out. I am quite happy with this car, and it may last a few years before I have to replace it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th June, 2011