Fun to look at and quite stylish. Large side mirrors remove any blind spot and have little wind noise. Excellent lines and wheel arches give a slightly aggressive stance to this super-mini.
Combined city and highway always returns over 34mpg. However on strictly highway driving the mpg shoots up to above 38mpg. With a 11 gallon fuel tank this translates to well over 320 miles per tank of gas.
Driving position & visibility
Excellent driving position with height adjustable driver's seat to accommodate all drivers. The shifter is higher in the dash then most cars, but is positioned perfectly for spirited shifting when driving. A & C pillars are large but not too obstru
Extremely fun to drive and will hold on in cornering far beyond what you first expect given the dimensions of the car. Steering gives excellent feedback and has minimal torque steer for a FWD. Seats hold you in place well with large side bolsters.
Warranty, maintenance cost
Goes 5000 between scheduled oil changes but uses hard to find 0w-20 synthetic oil only. Warranty is average, tires last 30-36,000 miles and wear well as do the brakes.
Hard plastics throughout and no center arm rest leave a bit to be desired. Fake metal panel on the door does not hold up to scratches well but is not noticeable unless really looking.
6300 redline is kind of low especially when the power really comes in above 3500 RPM. This requires frequent shifting. Clutch is really light and has a cushioning feel in the bottom 1/3 so it takes a bit to get used to. Could use an extra 20 hp/lb-ft.
Two trim levels only Sport and Touring. Mazda needs to add the cruise control to the Sport level in order to really round out the car. Fog lights are only on Touring and already wired on both trims. They can be purchased later and installed on the sport.
Reliability & durability
Have a squeaking sound that turned up in the back of the cargo area after 20,000 and have not been able to diagnose what the issue is, nor could the dealer. Drivers seat creaks as well. Paint is thin and doesn't hold up to rock chips very well.
Safety & braking
While this does have a braking assist feature in emergencies it does come on like a hammer and can catch the driver by surprise the first couple of times. Back end is a bit light and will get out easily without TC enabled.