I have to agree with the last comment posted. normal schedule maintenance is a must. realistically think about it. to make the perfect car is bad business sense. you need to sell more cars to make more money. GM ran into some serious QA issues when they moved parts manufacturing to Mexico. they have paid the price by losing allot of customers myself included. They pushed the QA envelope to much and got greedy. QA dropped and so did sales plus consumer confidence. I'm not saying Mazda is perfect, but they seem to have found a balance between reliability and profit, very similar to Honda and Toyota.
I'm the person that made the original comment on our 2002 Mazda that ruffled some of your feathers out there.
I work at a quick lube shop and I get 50% discounts on my personal vehicles. You should ask before you assume that because the transmission was no good in my car wasn't because my failure to do proper maintenance. I have already flushed the trans twice (with proper fluid) and it still shifts rough.
The reason I said I would buy American next time is because I have owned several cars in my 31 years American and Japanese. My personal experience has been that I had fewer problems with American cars. I know that is hard for you to believe, but its true! We have Chevy's, Ford's, and Dodge's come in all the time for an oil change with over 250000 original miles, and the owners of these (American) vehicles tell us how good of a car its been with little to no problems.
On the other hand I know of several people in the last few years that have bought new Toyota's, Honda's, and Nissan's and have had lots of problems with them. Stop living in the 80's. Stop being brain washed by magazines. American cars are better now, it's a fact! Plus, if American is that bad, why do you see so darn many on the road?
Surprised nobody has pointed this out yet, given the tenor of this debate, but... Mazda is actually a Ford product that is manufactured in Japan. That's why many parts on a Mazda are high-end Ford parts. So... it's an American V in Japanese packaging. Who knew?