The 3 is a fun car to drive; call it a BMW 3 on the cheap. Mine has the 4 speed auto, which while detracting a bit in the fun-to-drive area, still is a blast to drive. Steering is tight, handling is crisp. It's just right. The main gripe is the pathetic air conditioner. That is one known issue with this car, and so far Mazda hasn't really addressed it properly. Outside of that, the fuel mileage could be better for its size.