Has sent me broke
After owning the car for two years I would have to say that every single mechanical component has had to be repaired or replaced.
Just off the top of my head:
Radiator tank (very common)
Head gaskets at 91000km, 138000km, 144000km
Burnt exhaust valve
Gearbox collapsed internally at 135000km needing rebuild
Warped engine block at 145000km
Air conditioning died at roughly 110000km.
And that's all I can think of for now...
I previously added a review of this car to Carsurvey 2 weeks after purchasing it. At that time I was quite annoyed at how I was being forced to fork out a large sum of money for a head gasket replacement! Little did I know that it was only a sign of things to come!
It really is a great car when it is going (hence why I haven't gotten rid of it yet). The performance and handling are pretty impressive for standard and tuning potential is awesome, but has cost me over three times the value of the car just to keep it on the road. At the moment the car needs a full engine replacement, as the current engine warped due to head gasket-related overheating. These engines are notorious for problems after overheating, so a second hand engine is probably a better rather than rebuilding an old engine.
If you buy an AWD example that has not had a rebuild, expect a large repair bill when bearings start collapsing internally. The gearbox will get you either by abusive driving styles (dropping 2nd gear) or just everyday wear and tear (as mine did)!
I find the Ford/Mazda dealer is hellishly overpriced and offers poor customer service. Luckily parts are widely available for the turbo models in New Zealand, unlike Australia.
I have given up on this car as a daily driver. I've been forced to buy a 1980 Lancer to get me to work everyday! Next: the project begins to turn the Mazda into a customised show car!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th April, 2003