2007 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
Overall, a great balance between fun driving and economy. MPG seems closely tied to temperature - I got as low as 25 mpg last winter w/ mostly city driving, but had it up as high as 35 mpg in the summer, even w/ AC on. The steering is a little looser than I'd like, but handling is sharp, otherwise. Road/engine noise actually aren't bad - it's a *sporty* car, folks. Back seat is apparently comfy enough for my friends to fall asleep in it on a 3-hour trip. Interior was a little squeaky for the first several months, but that seems to have gone away. Better in the snow than I expected w/ this kind of HP. Engine is way forward of front axle - I suspect to deal w/ torque steering.
Good at squeezing out both HP and MPG. = fun *and* cheap to drive! Red/purple dash lights make me feel like I'm driving a space ship. Nice styling. Good comfort. Excellent stereo & cruise controls on steering wheel. Boyfriend giggles gleefully when zipping out of driveway.
Paint is *very* thin - lots of chips already. (Haven't seen many other complaints about this - maybe just a bad batch?) Unintelligible oil dipstick & difficult to check wiper fluid levels. No trunk release on key fob.
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