I can't speak highly enough of my bright blue Mazda3 S. It has been a joy to drive and absolutely trouble free. One recall for the crash sensor behind the front bumper. 10,000 miles a year, of which 70% is in town. Getting about 24 to the gallon in town and about 30 on the interstate at fairly high speeds. I have the shiftmatic version which I'm quite pleased with (first one I've owned) although I wish it was 5 speed like the later models. I find it hard to get off the line really quickly, but once the VTec cam gets going it positively flies. Handling is wonderful, accelerate hard through a corner at high speed and feel the G's. Current models have much better equipment options.
Handling, Zoom Zoom Zoom, comfort, looks.
They already did what I wanted for 2007, add better equipment options and bring out a Speed version.