Originally Posted by AudioQuest
I still have visions of Mazda Rust Syndrome every time I leave the house. Rotting Mazda3's are everywhere. Is that enough of a deterrent to not consider a new Mazda? Probably not, but it's not inspiring either.
I've wondered about that also. In a general sense the vehicles I see on here from Canadian roads appear to be working hard underneath as I go through DIYs and things (frozen bolts, rust, build up). I'm not sure if it has to do with salted roads, the length of cold months or the extremes that the colds reach. I live in the NW and I'm not accustomed to thinking about vehicles through that lens because it's typically just average temperatures with a lot of wet months here and I'm sure those kinds of environments are very tough on vehicles which makes durability a prime concern over details. So in that sense Mazda3s can hold up well.
Back a few years ago I was really into Mazda3s and wanted a used one for daily driving while having some utility. Things like having larger more torque'y engine as well as details such as HID lighting and "sport" modes on the transmission are important to me. I really dislike cars that aren't "right there with me", a balance between snappiness and comfort. When I was comparison shopping the Corolla had none of those things, it was just straight forward and more or less A to B. I eventually went with a used Corolla because of a local auto shop owner here who only works on Japanese and Korean vehicles who told me that the Mazda3s had some really quirky problems that were overly intensive to fix that you simply wouldn't generally see with Honda or Toyota. It reminded me a lot of German automakers who create great solutions to enhance all aspects of a driving experience yet those solutions aren't vetted and break down easily or require long hours and special tools just to fix. His example on the Mazda3 was a resistor that was part of the radiator fan circuitry that helped control the speed of the fan. It was located behind the firewall under the dash and typically burnt out over time and heat, thus the critical radiator speed adjustment wouldn't do its job and the dash had to be taken down to access it for a ~$15 part. Still, it was a great car to drive I thought when I test drove one and to this day the Mazda Miata has been one of the best vehicles I have ever owned.
As per the article I think the Rav4 is a much better looking vehicle with its crisp lines and less luxury interior but the CX-5 isn't bad, it's just kind of overly rounded like a Buick or something to my eye. But I understand why this interior would appeal to people who feel like they're getting a premium feel on the cheap. My personal feeling is that if I wanted luxury I would purchase a luxury vehicle. I prefer more of the Toyota utilitarian experience with some nice touches over white leather and a Jaguar'ish interior copy.
Despite the transmission woes they noted in the video, given the choice I suppose I would however consider a Mazda again because it's a "driver's car" and would satisfy my need for a car that gives me an output when I give it an input. And in either Mazda and Toyota's case I'm just sad that they have removed the V6 and assume people only want gas mileage. I have read that the new generation CR-V almost included Honda's 3.5L as an option to go against the then current Rav4 with the V6 but decided to encourage people to spend more money for it in the Acura version or upgrade to a Pilot. Their main citation like the other brands has been fuel economy. To me if people really want gas mileage as a primary focus they could have purchased an HRV or a CX-3 or equivalent smaller vehicle. I can't count the number of times that I've been really thankful for the 3.5L in my 2012 Rav4. Trudging through mountain snow, going up and down the hills around town, safely passing slow moving vehicles quickly on highways, having a quiet and powerful driving experience without the buzziness or delays. To have this now you are asked to purchase a much heavier land yacht like a Highlander/4Runner/CX-9/Pilot to get a V6, and in those cases the vehicle is much heavier to match. All this for 20-22mpg city with a 2.5L I4 versus 17-19mpg city in a 3.5L V6 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Most people also want upright Camry's that don't translate the road so I suppose I am in the minority all around