I have previously owned 4 SUVs (2 Fords and 2 Jeeps), so I was more than a little hesitant to exchange my 4x4s for a compact sedan. That is until I drove the Mazda3. I drive 50+ miles to school and back 5 days a week, and this car makes the commute fun. I love on-ramps and passing. The car has so much zip. I love, love, love the fuel economy! I record my average for every tank, and it's always been around 35mpg (33-36). The driver's seat offers great visability-something that I was afraid of missing after driving SUVs. Regular oil changes, and you are good to go! I get complements on my car all of the time. I couldn't be happier with my Mazda! Civic beware!
Radio and cruise controls on steering wheel, exterior styling, fuel ecconomy, powertrain, cup holders (6), glove compartment (huge!), highly adjustable driver's seat, front and rear side airbags
Improve road noise on highway, higher quality factory break pads to prevent rotor noise and break dust excess, auto daytime running head lights, 5 speed auto transmission