2007 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
Purchased this car as a commuter: 90 miles round trip up the canyons. Power is great and gas mileage is amazing. We average 35mpg climbing 2500 feet to get back home. We looked at the Corolla and the civic and there was no comparison. We went with the Mazda because of reliability, power, and gas mileage. It is also a much better looking car. This is our second Mazda, we still own the first: a 1990 Miata with 100K miles on it.
Power, gas mileage, design.
Did not like the leather interior so we had custom leather put in. Paint is horrible. Scratches easily, but then again my wife insisted on Black. And the horn is super soft. You will get a better reaction yelling than honking the horn.