I just bought the 2005 Special Edition Mazda3, with SP2 Security Package, Moonroof and Navigation. I have decidedly mixed feelings; am actually considering selling (and have had less than 2 weeks). Why? Despite researching and reading all I could, you don't really know until you buy. 1. There are many posts on the internet saying this car is awful in the snow... the worst they've driven in 40 years... an embarrassment. Some say it's the tires, some the wheels and tires. Who knows. 2. Fuel economy is poor -- especially with the automatic transmission. Lots of complaints here too. Like in the low 20's. 3. Consumer Reports just dropped it. 4. Nav system is featureless.
Looks. Handling. Seats.
Where do you begin? Being able to make it up a small snowy incline (from other's experience); reasonable mpg; dash gauges that don't glow red and you can see in the daylight -- irritating; Nav that shows what STREET you're on in normal mode! (with features available in a cheap Garmin GPS!).