Mazda 3 life expectancy

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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
I was referring exclusively to the Mazda3, as every product was built differently, with different leadership, goals, budgets, etc... I knew a guy with a Ford Probe (essentially an MX6) who also did not have rusting issues in the Mid-Atlantic. So what may have been a non-issue in the MX6 may be an issue in the Mazda3, etc.

Two completely different products, different era, different people leading the product design.. it's hard to compare the two. The MX6 was a nice car by the way, pretty sweet that you had it for 25 years. I would also agree though, in general if a car has lived it's life in an area with low humidity and no road salting, then that is definitely a factor when it comes to rusting as well.
Yes, I see quite a few gen 1 Mazda 3s on the road with no visible rust. My daughter's Protege (2002 ES) did live in New York for a few years before I bought it. There was a bit of rust underneath and around the shock towers but nothing serious. I bought the MX6 GT in 1997, here in Southern Cali, so I was its owner for only 18 years. It was a well-built car.
 
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2005 Mazda3
Yes, I see quite a few gen 1 Mazda 3s on the road with no visible rust. My daughter's Protege (2002 ES) did live in New York for a few years before I bought it. There was a bit of rust underneath and around the shock towers but nothing serious. I bought the MX6 GT in 1997, here in Southern Cali, so I was its owner for only 18 years. It was a well-built car.

That's nice to hear about your daughter's car, she's fortunate to have found one in decent shape from New York. Mazda's can certainly be well built, nice machines in general (it's why I'm here, I'm definitely a fan, they've built some amazing automobiles). And the MX-6 was an exceptional car, you can tell Mazda put a lot of effort into building that gem, I wish they still continued the line up. I haven't seen an MX-6 around here in quite some time.

I live in the Mid-Atlantic, few hours from New York and I see a lot of horribly rusted out 1st gen Mazda 3's, if you do a search for it you can probably find a bunch of them. As for my 1st gen, I feel I took really good care of it, used to wax it 4 times a year, and when I still see other 1st gen Mazda 3's out there, it seems mine is in better shape than others out here. However, having said that I do have some rusting eating away at my rear fender, and I think it's from a rock chip that went unnoticed, and all the salting we had, and then as of recent years I've been too busy with life to give my car as much tlc as I used to 16 years ago, hah... so I've somewhat let it go (though I still restore the headlights and still try to wax it once and a while). Also my sub frame underneath is pretty rusted, surface rust is normal out here, but what has me cautious are the welds, road salt is brutal out here... I should have done more rust proofing but it was hard to keep up with in apartment living, also just avoiding the roads when it's an ugly day (but that can be hard too, often we're still expected to drive out to work, etc, thus our cars get exposed to it).
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
I can imagine that. Many years ago when living in Conn, a coworker was selling his perfectly-running Toyota Corona. My mother needed a car so she bought it for a very low price. When she took it in to DMV inspection, they told her the frame was so rusted that the car was not safe. My coworker gave her money back but that was the first time I experienced how bad rust could be when the car was driven on salted roads. I had a 68 Corvette that I drove on only dry roads. My "beater" cars were a 68 Mercury Cougar and then a 75 Monte Carlo. But my first three cars were Mazdas - RX4 coupe, an RX3 wagon, and an RX3 coupe. I think the RX3 coupe weighed all of 2000 lbs. It was a blast to drive.
 
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2005 Mazda3
I can imagine that. Many years ago when living in Conn, a coworker was selling his perfectly-running Toyota Corona. My mother needed a car so she bought it for a very low price. When she took it in to DMV inspection, they told her the frame was so rusted that the car was not safe. My coworker gave her money back but that was the first time I experienced how bad rust could be when the car was driven on salted roads. I had a 68 Corvette that I drove on only dry roads. My "beater" cars were a 68 Mercury Cougar and then a 75 Monte Carlo. But my first three cars were Mazdas - RX4 coupe, an RX3 wagon, and an RX3 coupe. I think the RX3 coupe weighed all of 2000 lbs. It was a blast to drive.

That's awesome stuff to hear, I recall growing up with father's friends talking about vehicles spanning from the late 1960's to the 1970's. I appreciate how the cars had thicker sheet metal, and the simplicity of the cars from that era in general. Here I am as a younger guy complaining about how newer cars have gone direct injection with more complex electronics, haha.

I also meant to mention my trips out to Southern California, I've visited out there a few times in the past decade or so, I was amazed by how many classic cars I saw by the beaches out there, or just seeing a higher percentage of older vehicles (this took me by surprise for a few reasons, one because of the reputation that California has for strict emissions but I was told that older cars can be exempt) still on the road, like I saw a bunch of 1980's Toyota's and Honda's still running around in certain areas.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Yes, there are quite a few out here, Arizona, and Texas. I drove my 68 Corvette cross country to move out here. Since a couple of years ago I've been periodically renting some really fun cars for one day at a time. The fastest so far was a 2019 McLaren 570S Spyder (black). That thing is like a rocket ship on the ground but the seats are not meant for hour+ driving.
 

pegasis

Member
How many miles does a Mazda 3 lst before having serious problems? 225,000? What is the most mileage out there of current users? Just bought a Mazda 3 sedan and drive 1,000 miles per week. Got the 3 year no interest deal, so I am sure to have 150K on it by the time I paid it off. Hoping to have it for awhile. Thoughts welcomed!
I have 220K on a 2006 mazda 3, no major issues. depends on maintenance, oil used, and driving styles
 
Canada here. 160 000 kms on my Mazda 3 2010 2.0 litera. Sister in law has 244 000 kms on her 2010s Mazda 3 2.0 liters. Nothing too major. Brakes pad and rotor. Rear struts had to be replaced on both car. Blower motor and/or resistor and they all start to show a little bit of rust on the bottom of the trunk lid. Which isn’t too bad after 10 years of driving in salt.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Remember that as cars age (typically beyond the 20 year mark) gaskets and other types of seals start leaking. At this point, mileage isn't the determining factor as to how reliable the car will be.
Case in point: I sold my 1989 MX6 GT Turbo when it was 25 years old because the cost to replace its leaking seals would've been more than the car was worth.