- 2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
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.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.