A Few Creaks and a Tight Suspension - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited November 2014 in Mazda
imageA Few Creaks and a Tight Suspension - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

With a little over 16,000 miles on the odometer, our 2014 Mazda 3 is starting to show its age with a few noticeable cabin creaks.

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  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNMember Posts: 122
    My 2012 Ford Focus SEL has 24k miles on it and is squeak and rattle free and still feels showroom fresh.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365

    You are extremely lucky. Every Focus I have ever been in has been an absolute rattle-trap. I love the cars, don't get me wrong, but Ford definitely needs to improve their assembly tolerances. They are always the same rattle points too: the steering column, the gauge cluster, the head unit, and somewhere in the hatch area.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    How does a car that's not 1 year old and only 16,000 miles show it's age? What will it be like at 5 years old and 80,000 miles? My Acura is 6 years old and has 130,000 miles and no rattles or squeaks.
  • darexdarex Member Posts: 187
    Don't you know? Nobody's allowed to criticize the Mazda3! ;-)
  • juddholl10juddholl10 Member Posts: 84

    How does a car that's not 1 year old and only 16,000 miles show it's age? What will it be like at 5 years old and 80,000 miles? My Acura is 6 years old and has 130,000 miles and no rattles or squeaks.

    I think everyone has a different idea of discordant noises in the car. For me, I don't want to hear any plastic noises from any buttons or trim pieces. That's when I know a car is either built poorly or old. There's no way in hell your Acura doesn't make even the slightest noises over bumps. Maybe these noises don't bother you so you don't even notice them.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878

    Sorry if you don't have the same ownership experience with your car but no there are no rattles or squeaks or buzzing noises from the interior. At 130,000 miles the suspension's bushing and shocks and other components are wearing out and getting noticeably noisy. There is also the trademark Honda/Acura road noise. But the interior is as tight as the day I bought it. Before this I had a 1998 Honda Accord that developed a rattle around the sunroof after it was quite old and well over 100,000 miles. You could hit massive potholes and the Accord's entire dash would shake a little but it would make a sound. Say what you want but Honda has great build quality.
  • chol92594chol92594 Member Posts: 208
    I have to disagree with the statement on Honda's build quality, at least in relation to their newer cars. Overall, I love my 2009 Civic, but it's had a fair share of annoying rattles and noises. For the longest time, the driver's seat would squeak when going over bumps. It got better and worse over time, and after messing with the height adjustment while spraying various spots under the seat with WD-40, it pretty much went away. It'll occasionally come back, especially in colder weather, but slightly moving the height adjustment will silence it for awhile. I brought the car into the dealer (Meyer Honda in O'Fallon, IL) while it was still under the CPO warranty (around 48k or so) and even though they could hear it, they said that they required a $100 "diagnostic fee" to find out what was making the noise, despite the car still being under warranty. Since the nearest dealer was at least 45 minutes away, I just decided to deal with it and try to fix it myself, since Meyer had been notoriously unhelpful in the past.

    There have been some other annoying noises too. Odd squeaking/creaking noise from the passenger A-piller when stopping and starting, which I was able to fix by shoving a piece of a small rubber stopper between the dash and pillar trim. Occasional rattle from the sunroof cable which normally only happens when the sunroof is fully open. There are a few other ones, but those are the most prevalent ones that I can think of.

    Currently, I'm at a little over 71k miles, but some noises and rattles started at less than half my current mileage. My friend recently bought a CPO 2014 Accord with less than 10k on the odometer. There's a noise around the passenger door that sounds like wind noise (it doesn't happen on the driver side), but all of the door seals appear to be fine. I know Honda has a reputation for reliability and build quality, but I think that their focus on the latter has waned during the past decade or so. It's understandable that economy-class cars like the Civic or Mazda3 aren't going to be as exceptionally well-built as an Audi, BMW, Lexus, etc. since more are being produced at a lower price point, but Honda needs to keep increasing sales numbers from affecting their quality control.
  • linard76linard76 Member Posts: 10
    I had my share of age and wear related squeaks and rattles from both my Integra and my Prelude. The Prelude, which was completely stock, had some flexing noises from the sunroof area after about 30,000 miles and the rear suspension started making some noise around 60,000 when temperatures dropped below 65 which is a known issue. The Integra had its share of interior noises when I traded it in with 120,000 miles. My IS250 had a family of birds in the dashboard from day 5.

    On the other hand, my 2007 SL550 is still amazingly tight even though it's a drop top.
  • mlin32mlin32 Member Posts: 35
    My 2004 BMW X3 had no creaks and rattles when I sold it after 10 years, and I spent enough time on forest gravel roads (at speed, sometimes) and still it didn't rattle. We also have a 2006 325i (SA build) and the only rattle in that car is the rear electric sunshade when going over cobblestones. That's it. That's build quality.

    On the other hand, my 2 month old 2014 Mazda 3 now has a squeaky steering wheel- it rubs against the turn stalk somehow so it squeaks everytime I indicate and then turn back to centre. Boo.
  • DebunkerDebunker Member Posts: 49
    Squeaks and rattles at 16,000 miles is a bad sign. I've had GTIs and regular Golfs for quite a stretch of time, and hardly ever had said squeaks and rattles. I've also had Japanese cars, and while they've mostly been reliable, they never feel as tight and solid as do the German cars. Now that I think about it, hasn't this Mazda had an abundance of little annoyances in a quite sort period of time?
  • pickandeggrollpickandeggroll Member Posts: 1
    My Honda Fit rattles and squeaks on the hatch area after 40,000 miles. Not as bad as my friend's Nissan Juke though. I also disagree German cars always have great build quality. My previous E46 had minor rattles near the passenger door after 30,000 miles, though my relative's E60 is totally squeak and rattle free.
  • phil160phil160 Member Posts: 7
    Even my pos '11 Cruze with 85K miles on it (85K miles on crappy New England roads) doesn't have a creak or rattle in it.
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