2007 Mazda MAZDA3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
The ultimate factor that made me choose the Mazda3 over the Civic was the hatchback utility and cuteness factor. I love the small and zippy feel of the car. Good size for me and not many people in my area have a Mazda3 so it's nice to be different on the road. The telescoping and tilting steering wheel is nice. As is the lumbar support. I didn't upgrade my audio nor have a sunroof, so it's basic but definitely fun to drive.
Exterior looks, roomy cargo space.
Better tires. My standard 17 inches all season tires were really bad when it snowed. A quick research online showed that many people felt the same way. Better ergonomics for buttons on steering wheel. Maybe my fingers are short? But it feels uncomfortable to manipulate compared to my Honda Accord.