I bought the Mazda 3s to drive to work, then retired early. Yes, I'm that old. It's been a great car, fun to drive and fairly grippy at speed on winding roads. We drive between Montana and California living in two rural communities. Fun driving at both ends. Not bad on long trips and adds FUN to the drive. Good mileage (between 25 and 30) and no repairs to date (about 30000 miles). I've owned a 325 BMW, TR-6, and still own and drive a 91 Corvette and this little 3 fits in nicely with the fun to drive group.
Seems faster than reviewed. Handles very well and is a blast to drive fast. Good front seats. Like the manual auto and power steering. 70 MPH limits on Montana 2 lanes make this and economical and refreshing country road driver.
Already taken care of... more horsepower. Now, put it in the sedan.