1996 Mazda MX3 V6 1.8i V6 from UK and Ireland


Fast, Reliable and Potent


Rear silencer was starting to rot when I got the car.

General Comments:

I bought the car at auction intending to buy a Hyundai coupe, but when it came into the hall I was smitten. I'd never really considered one before and wasn't too sure on the looks. I'd heard about the peach of the 1.8i V6 and once I heard it I had to buy.

First impressions; corners like its on the proverbial rails, far better than my previous 3series BMW. Fast, more than enough for me with a really good dollop of torque in the mid range. Get it up to 4500rpm and it really starts to fly. Ride is a bit firm (you know which side a coin is lying on if you drive over one) but nothing too hard. Fairly refined for what it is, nice pleasant exhaust note and not too much wind or tyre noise.

2nd Impressions; Amazingly practical, rear seats you can actually use and a boot (trunk for our cousins) that can take a full load, although the lip is a bit high and just not wide enough for my golf clubs. The seats, although fabric, are still comfortable after a long run. The dash although plastic isn't something you'd find particularly offensive and once I'd put in a CD changer it was a car I looked forward to driving more and more.

So what's the downside? Well just about 30mpg on a long run (admittedly not hanging back on motorways), and just over 24mpg around town. That's not so bad if you've a decent tank, but it just isn't big enough. The reserve light was a bit untrustworthy too.

In the end I put up for sale after a month and someone came halfway down the country to pay me just over twice what I'd paid for it. Apparently it's a bit of a cult car to those in the know. If I was looking for a car to keep for those days when you want a grin on your face, I'd have another tomorrow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2006

4th Feb 2007, 11:55

I've just purchased the v6 model myself for the bargain price of £300. The car has seen many years, but has successfully come through them with only a few minor scratches. I would agree with the all comments made in the review I have just read, only to add that the smile on my face is still visible and I am actually making excuses for myself to go out and drive it.

1996 Mazda MX3 GS 1.8L V6 from North America


A seriously fun sport compact!!


I had to replace the timing belt, which cost $500 with labour!

General Comments:

The car is a head turner and decently fast for stock.

I enjoy every minute I drive this car, but maintenance is costly.

For tuners, this car is a good start to be a good contender on your scene.

Many visual upgrades are available for this true pocket rocket, with plenty performance mods to be found as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2005

1996 Mazda MX3 V6 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Sleek, individual sports coupe than can still mix it with today's boring, boxy hot hatches


Absolutely nothing has gone wrong. Mazda reliability comes standard on this car.

General Comments:

The car is super smooth to drive, the V6 engine hums effortlessly as you're whisked along.

It looks good even today, very original shape still turns heads, better still, no one knows what it is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd December, 2004

3rd Aug 2005, 22:54

Hey I see that you love this car. Then why does it show a smiley that looks dejected. Might have been a mistake in the site's part... but thought should let you know.

26th Sep 2006, 15:02

I believe it's just your imagination ;)

1996 Mazda MX3 RS 1.6 4 cylinder from North America


Best coupe for under $4000


The stitching in the back seat ripped all the way along the length of the seam when my friend sat back there. I need skinnier friends.

General Comments:

I bought the car from a salvage auction for $1400. I purchased a new bumper cover, rebar, radiator support, radiator, two fenders, two headlights, one signal light, and hatch junk tray for $400 at a scrap yard. Took it to my roommates dad who runs a shop and ta da I have a perfect running low mileage sport coupe for $1800 :)

Good Stuff:

The car isn't exactly wicked fast, but it revs quickly and is fun to drive, but don't expect to win many drags. Anything below 4000rpm is fairly weak. A 250hp Turbo JDM will soon remedy this.

The handling is awesome and with stock rims and cheap rubber it handles better than some of my friends modded cars. I sometimes find myself taking freeway on and off ramps at double the posted speed with barely a squawk from the tires. The squawk will soon be remedied by 16inch alloys and Proxies.

The style is timeless. My only complaints is that the rear looks a little high off the ground and it looks silly without the spoiler. I don't know why, but that subtle spoiler flush with the hatch makes the back end a LOT nicer.

Cheap parts. Never buy collision insurance, the amount you pay for that in two months could buy you the entire front half of the car in body parts.

Bad stuff:

Engine revs a little too high I think. Cruising at 140 on the highway it's almost 4000 rpm in 5th gear, and there isn't much difference between 4th and 5th. They should have lowered the ratio to 5th for highway cruising and let 4th be the acceleration work horse.

It's not deafening loud, but it's no luxury car. Just turn up the music, who needs hearing anyway.

I think the seats are a little low and the dash a little high.. and I'm 6ft.


Best car you can get for this kind of money, unless you want 4 doors. Fairly reliable, parts are cheap and plentiful, performs like much newer coupes for a fraction of the price, what more do you want?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2004