I've had my 1994 Mazda 929 for about a year now. It had 63000 miles on it when I got it, and now it has 78000.
The car is a great road trip and cruising car, but has some drawbacks for driving around town. First the good stuff.
It is a gorgeous car, with great lines and a timeless design. It is heavy and long: I was surprised when I parked it next to my Grand Caravan the first time and realized it was just as long. The length and width give it great stability on the highway. Semis don't blow it around like they do smaller cars. The suspension is stiff, so it will handle better, but even so the ride is smooth, even on rough roads.
The car handles well through turns, and around curves. It hugs the road. The acceleration is decent. I have no trouble getting up to freeway speed on short ramps, but I won't win any races in it. It cruises at 90 without you noticing the speed, though. It is designed for comfort, despite it's sporty look.
The inside is well designed, but a little simple. The cruise control engages more smoothly than any I've ever seen. The controls are on the steering wheel, along with the volume controls. The cup holder is below average-- it allows cups to fall out on sharp turns. And some features or lack of them seem odd-- no tilt steering, for instance. The windows are curved, which gives it great visibility, but lets rain flow in at drive-throughs.
My leather seats are comfortable and have survived the Texas sun for eight years in beautiful condition. Everything has held up well. I've seen mention of constant problems, but I've not had that many. The power antenna broke, but that was a twenty dollar part and a two minute repair (not even that long). The sunroof has gotten out of alignment, and I haven't had that fixed yet. I have to hold a piece down with my finger to open it, risking a pinch. The CD changer jammed once, but I unjammed it myself. And a radiator hose broke. And when I got it, the valve cover bolts were loose, and so it lost a little oil, but once I tightened them, it no longer looses even a drop.
The engine is durable, doesn't smoke or hesitate, and has no problems.
The drawbacks: Gas mileage is the worst. Driving around town it gets the same mileage as my minivan: 18.8. This is terrible considering the performance. On the hiway it is no more than 24. I'm about to by a K&N air filter-- this increased my van's mileage almost a whole mile per gallon, so I'll see what it does here. The trunk is small, since it has rear wheel drive. The cabin is small, too, though it is wonderfully comfortable. And because it is rear wheel drive, it will spin out if you try to accelerate in the rain around slick curves. This has been a minor problem in Austin, since it doesn't rain much, but could be bad if you are not used to rear wheel drive.
All in all I love the car. I keep wanting to trade it in on a Prius to get better mileage, but I keep cringing when I think of selling it. With the low mileage of this car, and its classic design, it is just a joy to see in your driveway, and a pride to meet friends in.
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