I drive a Mazda Sting 1.3, and it has about 80 000 km on the clock. Mechanically this car is very sound, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for hassle free motoring. It is very economical if serviced regularly (every 10 000km) - I get about 550km on a full tank of fuel - not bad for a very basic motor - no variable valves, no fancy anything, just a practical everyday car.
One negative though, and this could be due to where I live (Cape Town, about 1km from the beach), but I have seen some rust coming through already. It is very prominent on the bonnet lip and on the doors. But it should be a fairly simple problem to sort out.
My car is a silver gold color, and still has a very sporty look for a car that has not had any major revisions in a long time.
Anyway, the time has come to let her go now, and I am looking to replace it with something a little sportier, with a lot more performance. My choices have come down to the Mazda MPS or the Ford Focus ST 4 door.
Both of these cars appeal to me, so keep watching this space. I will be test driving both these cars over the next few weeks, and giving you (the reader) my honest feedback on the total experience - from the dealer experience to the actual drive.