I bought my Mazda3 in 2006 since than I put over 42000 miles on the vehicle. I have had very few problems with the vehicle and the ones I did have were quickly resolved by the dealership. I like the performance and so far the durability of the vehicle. I hope to see Mazda continue the Mazda3 line and improve upon it. So far I think the 3 is just as good as the Honda civic, however I will know for sure if the car makes it to 150000 plus miles with minimal repairs.
Lots of standard options and a competitive price.
The 2.0 liter needs about 20 more horsepower. Also shifting for the standard is difficult when the weather is cold.