I got my Mazda 3 in March of 04, brand new, with only 4 miles on it. I shopped around for several months, and knowing I couldn't afford an Audi, I went with something as comparative and fun to drive. The first couple of years were great. It turned heads and drove like a cat. It had a few small annoying features, like no finger pace to open the trunk, poor cabin sound and a mediocre stereo. But then the transmission and clutch started having problems. It gave a little trouble at first, and then the third gear just went along with the warranty.
Great body shape and FUN to drive.
Transmission problem. I paid hard earned money for it, be honest and recall the car (Ford). Also, the body is made of paper; anything can ding it.