2007 Mazda MAZDA3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
I explored many others before choosing the 3 so I knew I'd like it, and it was a perfect choice. You can't beat all the standard features in this car that you wouldn't get in others. Steering cntrls/telescp, ABS/DSTC, full airbags, and very fun to drive. Tight handling! Took it on a small road trip right away and got 43 mpg hwy! One time only, I doublechecked, but city/mixed is only OK. It's my first manual and has the easiest clutch to learn on. I drove it home only having had 2 short lessons years ago driving an old manual Civic. The hatch adds much versatility, and everything about this car is designed to look sweet inside and out. Cntr stack intrudes on right leg, but not bad.
Lighting affects on the gauges and cntr console; standard features you'd definitely pay for otherwise; moonroof/6CD package is great; easy clutch! Looks are top quality. I like pretty much everything about it.
Only small details. The hooks by the O'Cheesus handles are too small for carrying a suit(>1hanger); Small compt. left of the steering column is too shallow-things inside fall out from accel.; don't need the ashtray- you can take it out for handy storage; mediocre city mpg compared to rating.