Super reliable, great service
The soft top (with glass window) needed to be replaced after about 7 years kept outside in southern heat. I was able to buy a replacement top and install it myself for about $450 in parts and tools. I recommend the glass window with rear defrost; the window lasted longer than the soft top itself!
I put after market wheels on, and after 100,000 miles the wheel studs sheer when the tires are rotated, so I have to have a few wheel studs replaced each time. I will have the wheels changed to Mazda parts, since this is such a hassle, and would not buy aftermarket wheels on my next car.
The car is very noisy at high speeds, due to the soft top. You cannot talk on the phone while driving due to noise, and you must have the stereo very loud in order to hear the speakers in the door.
The headlight covers become abraded and get a sort of cataract look, which dulls the light coming from them. I have to have them polished about once a year to keep them bright.
The car has been very reliable and has never left me stranded. This is mostly due to Mazda service. Mazda certified techs always pinpoint the problem I describe, and fix it right the first time, without any hassles or gouging. I have standard service done every 30k miles, and I do recommended replacements (such as changing the water pump along with the timing belt instead of waiting for the water pump to go out). This proactive approach saves the hassle of breaking down. Mazda has the best service and techs of any car model I have owned, and I will buy a Mazda again because of this.
The car handles exceptionally, however the driver should be educated in how to handle rear wheel drive cars in slippery conditions. I also recommend aqua tread tires to improve handling in very wet conditions.
The cloth/vinyl seats, carpet, and plastic parts have held up very well after 10 years and constant use. I did break the the center console lid hinge, but it is still hanging on and still closes.
Acceleration is fantastic in this car. It is fun to drive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th August, 2010