I was suspect not having owned such a small car, as a daily driver, for over twenty years. I was also suspect about the Ford connection with Mazda. So far, I haven't had any concerns and I can be pretty picky. The car delivers 23MPG with mixed driving and about 27-28 MPG strictly highway. The automatic tranny is fine and I have the slapstick manual option which is nice. I am wondering how it will handle New England winters, especially with 17" speed-rated tires. The vehicle does have one quirk; in idle, the heat vents blow cold air, even with a warm engine. When moving, the heat is strong. Makes it difficult to warm up the car in the morning since it only will blow cold until driving.