Thoughts on the "Mazda" brand?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Falasco, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    Hey, all. I'm in the market for a new car, and the Mazda6 has caught my eye. However, I don't know much about the Mazda brand. How are their cars generally perceived as far as reliability goes? Safety? Value? I would appreciate any feedback from Mazda owners, good or bad.

    Just for reference, I'm looking for a car between $20-25 grand that is family-friendly (wife and I are expecting our first in three months), will last a good 8 years without replacing anything major, and is still reasonably fun to drive. I like the Accord, but the Mazda6 looks to be a little zippier.

    Anyway, your thoughts are appreciated!
     
  2. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Well, I have a 1995 626 and have zero complaints. The only gripe I've ever had has been with Mazda Credit. They are one small step below a check-advance store with the hidden fees. I had to resort to sending my payments certified mail so that they would stop trying to tell me my payment was late and try to charge me another 45 dollars.
    But the car itself, I love. It's a 4 cylinder manual, and I've only had to bring it into the shop for routine maintenance and recall-type updates. And i just hit 130,000 miles. As far as safety goes, I'm also happy with the 626. I was even able to get the model a lower insurance premium by being rear-ended by a 1975 Impala "tank". [​IMG] I was at a dead stop with my foot on the brake. It crashed into me at around 35-40 miles per hour, knocked my car 20 feet forward with my foot still on the brake, and all it did was crack the rear bumper cover and knock the antenna motor out of line. I even had the tire alingment checked, and it was still perfect. The Impala? The hood was folded like a "W" and the front left headlight was pointing straight up. Then we had to evacuate the area because the fuel lines cracked somewhere under the car. Even the police who responded were amazed and thought I was kidding when I told them they had hit my car. I did get some ugly whiplash, and back problems that won't go away, but it's a fair trade for a good car and my life.
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    How about the Nissan Altima? That's in your range. The 2003 Accord is nice, too. Both available with 240hp V6- That'll put the "zoom-zoom" to Mazda.[​IMG]
    My father-in-law (car parts distributor) tells me that Mazda parts are horrendously expensive. I have a '95 Accord (bought 11/94) with 116K miles on it (VTEC-4 cyl), and I can't say whether parts are expensive for it or not. In that time, outside of preventive maintenance, I've only replaced a $75 cooling fan motor, and $18 for front brake pads. Nothing else has broken. This reliability record, along with similar results among Honda-owning friends (including one in NH, with a '92 Civic at 645,000 miles! with NO major failures), has cemented the brand for me.
    Todd
     
  4. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    I would put Mazda in almost the same class and Honda and Toyota. I've owned two Mazda 626, a Dodge Interpid and currently drive a Protege.

    Realiability is very good. Never had any serious problems. The dealerships have always been helpful when it comes to service.

    The only problem I've seen is that the locks/doors on all the Mazdas seem to freeze up after getting ice/freezing rain worse than other cars. If you garage your car this should help out a lot.

    It looks like the Mazda6 is as good as a Camry or an Accord. Plus you won't see tons of cars on the road exactly like yours.
     
  5. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    The Mazda "brand image" for me, went into the toilet when they discontinued the RX-7. (With the exception of the Miata). They went into the more traditional 'family' car type of market. This failed for them (IMHO), and it failed for Nissan (for a fact).

    It's nice that Mazda is making good on it's 'zoom-zoom' campaign. Even their minivan has some decent power. The new RX-8 is sweet. The Mazda6 looks pretty impressive. If I was in the market for a 4-door family car, the 6 would be on my list. The only problem is that the Altima is around, and the new Maxima was just announced.....
     
  6. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    The Mazda6 replaced the 626. My wife's car is a '94 626, 9 years old now with relatively low miles, and it's been totally reliable. I don't think you'll have to worry about Mazda in terms of reliability. The only problems I have with my wife's is that the doors tend to freeze shut in the winter, and the key, oh man, that KEY is like a sword, it's huge! In fact, she has to have a new key made every couple years because it gets bent/breaks with extended usage. On the other hand, it could be used as a weapon to defend against carjackers.

    I don't know if the newer Mazdas use smaller keys, but if they still use the monsters, I'd have a few spares made up in case one breaks.

    KJP
     
  7. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    Wow, thanks for the quick (and helpful) responses!
     
  8. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    The new Mazda6 made Car and Driver's (or is it Motor Trend? Not sure) top ten best cars just recently. I don't think you can go wrong with this car...they said it was almost as good as a BMW 3 Series. Because it's a new model, you don't have reliability data, but that's your only drawback.
     
  9. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    After my Dodge got wrecked I was seriously thinking about an Accord or a Camry. Then one time I remember riding the shuttle back to airport long-term parking. The driver asked us what row we were in and what type of car we were driving. My friend said the row number and "tan Accord". The driver laughed and we wondered why. Driving up the row there were 8 tan Accords.

    I know it's completely unscientific but in the parking garage at my work 10% of the cars seem to be Accords and 10% are Camrys. Yes that means they are great cars, but also means you'll always be seeing your car driven by others. With a Mazda6 or an Altima you get something as good or almost as good as an Accord/Camry, but you can maintain some semblance of individuality.
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    My parents had a late 80's Mazda 4-cyl Automatic before they got a Mitsubishi Galant. I would say it's a nice car, bland styling but certainly different than the Accords and Camrys. It was reliable except started to have transmission problems later on in it's life. But the new 6 is a whole new vehicle.
    I like Mazda, personally, I love the 3rd gen RX-7s and if I love the looks of the Millenia S edition too. The new Miatas are very nice too although I still prefer my MR2 [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  11. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    That's interesting about the doors freezing shut. Connecticut isn't exactly the frozen tundra, but we sure get our share of snow/sleet/ice storms every year. That's certainly something to consider...thanks for the heads-up!
     
  12. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    I've owned both brands in the past. Both are very good. I don't know if this would make any difference but, I think some of the Hondas are actually assembled in the good ol' USA. That might help kick back some money into our economy. Anybody have some info about this?
     
  13. Paul O

    Paul O Stunt Coordinator

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    Mazda is now part of Ford - i think they were always an innovative engineering company (remember Kansei engineering?) but too small to survive in the Global Automobile Business. The New Mazda 6 looks impressive but i think there will be a lot of parts sharing with Ford and Mazda will simply be part of Ford's brand segmentation (marketed towards young, single types) rather than represent any truly different product line.

    Same Deal with Nissan whose majority owner is now Renault. Their products were as good as Honda's and Toyota but they werent ever able to establish any good reason why someone should by their products. They spent most of the 90's in bankruptcy with some really bland products due to lack of money for any significant redesigns or engineering investments until a succesful re-emergence under Carlos Ghosn - a Brazilian, who heads up a Japanese Car Company owned by the French!)
     
  14. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    I thought Ford only owned aprox. 30% of Mazda as opposed to being "part of" Ford?
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Mazda makes good cars. My Dad has owned two 626s and they have been good.

    If you're looking in that price range for a family friendly car, I recommend that you take a look at the VW Passat wagon.
     
  16. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Mazdas are always highly recommended in the Consumer Reports annual auto issue. In the 2002 list, all the Mazda cars (except Millenia) were recommended and all recorded higher than average reliability (Mazda trucks and SUV's didn't rate as well). I believe in 2001, the Protege was CR's #1 ranked small car over Honda and Toyota.

    Oddly, though, despite CR recommendations and good reliability scores, their satisfaction scores are quite low (i.e. a low percentage of current owners would buy the car again).
     
  17. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    The family Miata is the car with the least amount of problems. In fact I think the only thing that stopped it from running was a dead battery (new Die-Hard for $80 @ NTB). No big mechanical failures whatsoever and the most reliable car we've ever owned.

    Only thing is it seems a little bit on the cheaper side compared to Toyotas and Hondas. Little knobs and moldings don't seem to have the build quality of a typical Japanese car. This is the first year Miata after 130k miles though, I'm sure the family sedans are a different story. I'm more of a Maxima guy but the 6 is the only other car in its class I'd consider getting.
     
  18. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    When you go to the North American Auto Show, the Mazda symbol is on the Ford sign, and the displays are right next to eachother. I do know that the Mazda 6 is pretty sweet looking, but it is also going to be the sister car for the new redesigned Taurus next year. Something to consider there.

    I personally don't like the new Accord, but Car and Driver said it drives like the now discontinued Prelude which is a nice statement.

    Good Luck in your search.

    Brandon
     
  19. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    I love my '99 626 and travel alot and have 142,000 miles and ZERO probs. This car has been the meal ticket for Mazda for years, along with their new Tribute which is selling well. The new 6 looks sportier and more aggressive and I would imagine would have similar reliability.

    Mazda is the quieter company compared to Honda, Toyota, and Nissan but I think they are at least equal. I've also owned 2 Accords and like my 626 better.

    Good Luck!
     
  20. Patrick_M

    Patrick_M Stunt Coordinator

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    We have a 1995 626 with 135,000 miles on it, for about five years now, no major problems for us. I would recommend the Mazda brand, and I would probably buy another Mazda if we needed another car.
     

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