I bought the car when it had 28000 miles. It was in a very good condition, which is why I bought it. I now have 45000 miles after driving the car for about an year and half.
Mazda claimed (it's their flagship luxury model) during its year, that the car competed with the likes of Lexus; that's a bunch of BS. I bought this car after researching for 6 months on various cars, but now I regret it..
I didn't have any major mechanical/electronic problems with the car, because of the low miles, but here are some things that I don't like about the car.
1. I hear some rattling noise from within the compartment while driving.
2. The transmission doesn't shift real smooth, which might mean some major transmission issues in the future.
3. It takes a while to shift from 2nd gear to the 3rd, if the engine is not sufficiently warm.
4. My driver's side weather strip has big gaping holes already. The quote to replace it was 200 + labour.
5. Trunk lid makes lot of squeaking noise.
6. The leather is not very supple... It's kinda on the rough side.
Here's my update again guys
I now have close to 66000 miles. The stock brakes are still good. Les Schwab said I might have to have a brake job done in another 5 to 10k miles.
I got the 60,000 mile service done few months ago. It was very expensive (about 1200$) for timing belt + fuel injection cleaning and other minor things). The parts were only about 320$, and the rest all is labour cost.
I still have the transmission problem where the engine hesitates to shift from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 if the system is not warm enough. The dealer couldn't find why that's happening. The paint overall is still holding up, though I have some minor chips may because of my excessive freeway driving.
In a nutshell, for the past 36000 miles, no major mechanical or any other problems. So pretty satisfied.
The car now has close to 80000 miles. So far no major engine or transmission problems. THE MILEAGE has gotten ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. I HARDLY GET 300 miles per tank with combined city and Highway,which is downright not acceptable. I had the dealer do a fuel injection cleaning done at 60k miles for (200$ + labor) and it didn't improve the mileage. Just because of the poor mileage, I'm thinking of trading it in for a more fuel efficient car.
The leather seats are showing signs of heavy wear, in spite of taking adequate care like waxing every couple of weeks etc. The passenger side's plastic under glove box casing is coming loose. It kinds rattles while driving on the highway.
The car had an epic failure yesterday when the battery/alternator problems arose all of a sudden yesterday. I got stranded on the middle lane of a highway on a cold snowy day. Had to tow the car to the mechanic. I replaced the battery (110$ at Les Schwab) and now going go for a charging system test at Autozone this weekend. An alternator job at only 80000 miles would cost me at least 500+ $.
DON'T EVER GO TO A MAZDA DEALER FOR ANYTHING. Their service sucked every time I went there, and their technicians try to rip you off, recommending all sorts of unneeded things for your car. This is going to be my only and last Mazda for life, just because the company and the dealership don't want to stand by their product. I might buy an older Lexus just for the reliability factor.
I have now close to 80000 miles on it. The front brakes finally needed new pads (215$ at Les Schwab). I'm surprised to see the stock brakes last for close to 80000 miles. Even the brake mechanic was surprised. I'm shopping for new set of tires, planning to go for Michelin Primacy MX4. When I go over speed bumps, I hear the rear struts giving away... not sure if they need to be replaced or what.
The car has about 87000 miles on it now, and as I predicted earlier on, I'm running into transmission issues. The car suffers from delayed transmission shift problem. Took it to the dealer, and the dealer suggested a transmission flush as a first step.. 220$. After the flush the issue still remains.
The dealer also found out engine oil leaks. Estimated cost to replace the valve gaskets and cam shaft gaskets (upwards of 2400$). Well the car itself is worth little more than that.
I think it's time to trade this in for another car. I'm eying at the new redesigned Subaru Outback 2011. With the skyrocketing gas prices, I wish Subaru would incorporate hybrid technology into their cars. I'm also considering a good electric or another hybrid car.
Bottom line - based on my experience, I would stay away from Mazdas in general, especially because of their bad dealership support. Most of the times, Mazda dealerships don't seem to stand by their products.