2005 Mazda MAZDA3 SP23 Special Edition 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
Plenty of creature comforts (heated leather, Bose, Xenons, ABS, steering wheel controls)...looks like a little BMW 325. I wanted something japanses to replace my service issues on my last three Audis and two Passats. This car is smaller and less expensive but even more fun to drive. Strong engine (w/5- spd) loses steam at 65 mph+ 9great around town baut looses punch on highway. SP23 was ltd edition and I have not seen another in 3 months of ownership. I would not have considered its "peer economy" competitors. Buy it for style & handling - not price. SP23 thinks its all grown up. A relative bargain for a "euro" sedan. Combination of Jetta/A4 and Miata. Practical fun with reliability.
Brown leather on carbon grey mica paint. Great 17" rims. Dash lights up like Audi/VW (orange/blue backlights). Mute button on the wheel is nice. Love the rain sensing wipers. Very quiet engine, smooth power and good shifter feel. Excellent clutch feel. Did I brag on the sedan's good looks?
a/c is a little weak. No key fob trunk release (!!!) Sunroof control designers should examine VW for better design. Only one power point, and it is not powered with car off. Carpeting and headliner look "economy" for a car that transcends its price category. Build fewer and keep it exclusive.