2006 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
I stepped down from a luxury make to purchase this car. It is a great compromise, with enough luxury features to make me happy, but is still a practical car. The handling is excellent, and the pickup is very good for a small car. The engine is much quieter than other 4-cylinder cars of its type. The gas mileage isn't stellar, but I am still breaking it in. If you want a reliable hatchback that is fun to drive, this car fits the bill. No regrets.
Handling and suspension are superb. Strong brakes. Comfortable seats. Hatchback utility. Biggest glovebox I have ever seen.
AWD as an option would be nice. Snow handling is sub-par with stock tires.