The original 17" all-season tires are high-speed oriented. this is great in summer, but they are realy really bad in winter. They were so bad that i had to buy winter tires orI would have slid off the road. (this car had MT andI grew up int enmountains, soI know how to drive in snow. Our offer car has stock all-season tires as well and performs well in winter) I'm not saying the tires are badand if you don't live in the snowbelt it likley doesn't matter. But if you live near snow, you need snow tires.
In general the workmanship was great. But the car corroded after a few years around the rear wheels. Dealer refused to repair under warranty since the wheel hit stones there (duh, thsi is what they do). I paathced it myself. But over the years both rear wheel and rear body panels started corroding. Even the rear door bottom corroded. I smeared Sikaflex on the interior of the wheel well, put POR-15 on the body. All it does is jsut slowing it down. I swearI didn't do anything bad to the car to make it corrode, it is jsut winter. The underbody, brake parts and all other parts corroded as well. One day the steel bar holding the spalshshield (under motor) fell off becasue it was thoroughly corroded. This car really isn't for the snowbelt. Google will reveal much worse cars of same vintage.
Mine was black (my own fault,I don't blame that on Mazda). But in combination iwht a weak AC this doesn't work in summer.
The AC is weak.This is a typical problem for that modelyear. I measured discharge air temeprature and the AC cycled off at 50°F. for comparison I did this to my Mazda 6 and that AC discharged air at 40°F before cycling off. Mine was black, so this weak AC is a problem.
This is a sports-oriented car. So the harsher ride isn't necessarily negatice, just something to consider. My front strut broke. I assume this is becasue the car is tuned harder. Roads in Wi are bad.