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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Mazda3 fans,

After owning the Mazda3 for 2,600 miles, I couldn't take it anymore and had to sell it. My first 1,000 miles were great. No complaints. I was very happy. But then the problems began. First, the front axle was loose and they had to tighten up the bolts. Then the dash/ glove box made an annoying rattle which had to be fixed. Next, the drivers seat panel falls out along with the seat buttons and that had to be fixed. Then the rear view mirror glass falls out of the plastic housing. Then, I folded down the rear drivers side seat and now it won't click back into place and after ten minutes of fiddling with the plastic button and lock mechanism I still couldn't get it to snap back.

Then last week everything that was fixed previously broke again. So frustrating. Even the loaner car had the air bag failure warning light and the key fob all had broken buttons that were ready to fall out.

Looking closer now I can see that the overall quality of the plastics used and the build quality is just not up to par for a car that cost $28,500. When my seat controls fell out, I looked closely at the seat frame and it looks like it's made out of cheap pot metal. Not good. Then I took a long hard look at the engine bay, the quality of the metal/steel tubes, bolts and plastics are also substandard and no amount of repairs can fix these issues.

My final conclusion is that this car is great in design but horrible in execution. Worst car I have ever owned. Period.
 

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Hello Mazda3 fans,

After owning the Mazda3 for 2,600 miles, I couldn't take it anymore and had to sell it. My first 1,000 miles were great. No complaints. I was very happy. But then the problems began. First, the front axle was loose and they had to tighten up the bolts. Then the dash/ glove box made an annoying rattle which had to be fixed. Next, the drivers seat panel falls out along with the seat buttons and that had to be fixed. Then the rear view mirror glass falls out of the plastic housing. Then, I folded down the rear drivers side seat and now it won't click back into place and after ten minutes of fiddling with the plastic button and lock mechanism I still couldn't get it to snap back.

Then last week everything that was fixed previously broke again. So frustrating. Even the loaner car had the air bag failure warning light and the key fob all had broken buttons that were ready to fall out.

Looking closer now I can see that the overall quality of the plastics used and the build quality is just not up to par for a car that cost $28,500. When my seat controls fell out, I looked closely at the seat frame and it looks like it's made out of cheap pot metal. Not good. Then I took a long hard look at the engine bay, the quality of the metal/steel tubes, bolts and plastics are also substandard and no amount of repairs can fix these issues.

My final conclusion is that this car is great in design but horrible in execution. Worst car I have ever owned. Period.
What year and model?
 

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Clearly you got a poorly assembled unit. Mine and many others don't have any of the faults you mentioned.

One thing I give it to you: the plastic quality, specially on the overhead lights, sunglasses holder. It feels cheap but also feels light and I guess that was the goal of Mazda. To add somethings, you got to loose weigt somewhere.
 

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Sorry to hear about this. Not typical for Mazda.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I don't consider it to be a lemon as it started and drove just fine. What I do consider it to be is a car built with substandard cheap materials. No dealer can fix that under warranty.
 

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This is interesting cuz my 2017 3 GT hatchback has been incredibly well built. With 8k miles on it over rough NYC roads, it's still tight and largely free of rattles. I recently drove a 2019 Nissan Altima rental, and was shocked at how poorly constructed it felt and how much it rattled and buzzed with just under 6k miles on it.

This confirms one should avoid first model year cars.
 

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Then I took a long hard look at the engine bay, the quality of the metal/steel tubes, bolts and plastics are also substandard and no amount of repairs can fix these issues.

How can you tell the quality of bolts just by looking at them?
 

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I don't consider it to be a lemon as it started and drove just fine. What I do consider it to be is a car built with substandard cheap materials. No dealer can fix that under warranty.

Thats fine your entitled to your own opinion.. but I would say the opposite.. the Materials Mazda has used are way above the competition... and 1000's of people have 2019 3's with 0 issues like myself... unfortunately you got a lemon does not mean its the same for everyone.. I love my 3.
 

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I want to love my 3, but I kinda forget what it looks like. Its been at the dealer for a month waiting for repair parts from Japan. Not a great experience so far.
 

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I'm reserving judgment for now on ours ('19 3 Sport GT/premium).

This is our fifth '3' (counting our initial '03 Protege 5) in a row -- every four years. This new car (now 4600kms) is the first one with which we've had any issues at all. Issues so far:

1. False airbag warning malfunction: repaired (recall).
2. Undertorqued wheel studs/lug nuts: repaired (recall).
3. Loose axle nuts ('clunk'): repaired. No recall.
4. Extremely irritating rattle front passenger side -- located somewhere in dash above/around glove box/passenger air bag assembly. Fixed once, and gone, this has now reappeared.

Not used to this with Mazda. Of these, #1 was resolved quickly. #2 and 3 just simply shouldn't have happened -- production line (Japan) issue. #4 is extremely irritating -- especially given the overall quietness of the car -- and again is indicative of production line/assembly issues.

I'm willing to give it time, until October when we return from our summer location and are back at 'home base'. If nothing else crops up, and the rattle issue is then permanently solved, fine. If not, time for a change.

I'm beginning to regret having not kept our '15 3 (again, Sport GT/premium). Car was perfect, and had only 67000 completely trouble-free kms. I'm now also of the opinion that the build/materials quality was actually higher overall on that car, when one looks past the looks and Audi-esque interior of the new one. My hope is that that interior doesn't turn out to be faux Audi-esque over the long term.

Summary: I love the design, concept, and quiet of the '19, and the safety features (main reason we changed). Jury out on build/materials quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Then I took a long hard look at the engine bay, the quality of the metal/steel tubes, bolts and plastics are also substandard and no amount of repairs can fix these issues.

How can you tell the quality of bolts just by looking at them?
Easy- just look at them. They have grade markings. I used to work in a mechanic shop and we did a lot of engine rebuilds and I learned a lot about bolts there.
 
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