After much research, I bought a Mazda3 hatch, LOVE it, decided to write a review since reviews helped me pick the 3. Comfortable ride, though can hear/feel road more than in some cars. 28mpg mixed driving, 36mpg highway on a recent 1,300 mile trip. Engine labored a bit going thru mountains, cruise control liked to rev 5mph at top of hils. Cruise control and audio controls on the steering wheel are great! Some reviews complain about the A/C--comfortable for the front seat, airflow to rear not as good but tolerable. (Change cabin air filter since this keeps the A/C at peak performance.) Nice hatch for extra cargo. Super 'compromise' for a racecar--sporty performance/handling, fun to drive!
Bold exterior styling/curves, gets noticed. Gas mileage--not as good as some in its class, but this car's performance, reliability, and all- around class trumps that for me. Compact, ease of parking in/backing from tight spaces and turning in tight areas, passes cars on the highway easily.
Ipod aux most definitely. Could hear air through driver's door around 75- 80mph on the highway, not noticeable most of the time, could just be my car. Blind spot (for me) on the front passenger side due to the molding, not a big deal. Better interior plastics, but good for an economy car.