2006 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
Replaced a 2002 Infiniti Q45 with this little gem, which has almost as many "goodies" at about 1/3rd the price. Was looking for a disposable "commuter car" with decent mileage and some measure of driving fun. I considered Prius (boring), Civic Hybrid (cheesy), Audi A3 & A4 (great cars for people that like to drive), Acura TSX (just a fancy Accord), and BMW 3 (too, well, pretentious) before trying the Mazda, and had just about settled on the Audi A3. I had never driven a Mazda and was very pleasantly surprised. Good (not great, but considering the price, good) performance and handling, gorgeous interior, and enough electronic toys to make the morning commute almost entertaining. Two thumbs up.
Prettiest interior this side of a Maserati, great ergonomics (except for the flashing light show when changing the stereo volume), comprehensive option list (leather, nav, 6-disc CD, sat radio, seat heaters, "tiptronic" auto transmission, climate control, remote start, xenon lights), and competent handling.
Black headliner with black leather, voice-controlled nav, a bit more power (200-220hp would be about right), footwell lights, dead pedal, power seats, a few dollars more sound insulation, better quality carpet, leather armrest on console, redesign awkward looking windows aft of C-pillar.