"Car rates 9.5 of ten, reviewer needs educating."4.5 starson by Greykiller2005
Pros: Performance, price, build quality, speed and handling.
Cons: Bose stereo in higher priced model.
Summary: This car is the best I have ever owned. It handles well, accelerates like nothing else in the class, and has the best manners when driven normally.
The reviewer makes several mistakes about the car. First, the acceleration figures are way offâ€”I have to wonder if the person is experienced with a stick. My 19 year old, with only 6 monthâ€™s training by me, achieves low six second times in my bone stock Speed. I can hit 5.8 seconds. Several national car publications list sub-6 second times to 60. If these people are good with a stick, and have post-seven second times, then that particular car has a problem. I wonder if cnet did not use premium fuel?
As far as the stereo goes, this car was built to go fast for very little money first, look and work great second, and the stereo makes a distant third. The reviewers should know, as Mazda does, that an audiophile is going to throw out ANY stock stereo systemâ€”why spend a lot of money (and raise the price of the car) on a stereo that will be hardly ever used?
I also question the opinion on the stereo controlsâ€”when you use the steering wheel controls for the stereo, you never touch the knobs againâ€¦making it an incredibly easy radio to use.
Another FYI: the stereo in this car is ridiculously easy to change out! Scoche and Metra make direct fit head unit replacement frames. Once you put a new Molex plug on the back of your aftermarket head unit (standard for ANY install) and then bolt it into the replacement face plate, it takes you less than 10 minutes to remove the old stereo and put in the new one!
I encourage anyone who reads this review to take any of the negative points with a grain of salt, and to check out any Mazda forums where people talk about this car.