2007 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
This car is downright fun to drive whether it's long distance or a trip to the grocery store. The 2.3L engine packs enough punch to warrant the zoom- zoom label. Handles great. The exterior is superior to any vehicle in this class. Exchange the Mazda labels for BMW, and people would believe you. Interior styling is beautiful, especially for the price. Aux input jacks prevents burning a million CDs. Nothing against Civic, it's a great car, but everyone has one. They are a dime a dozen. Go for the Mazda3 if you want an athletic and affordable car that stands out on a road crowded with "blah" economy sedans.
Exterior styling, interior comfort and design, aux stereo input jack, front seat spaciousness (and I'm 6'1"), fuel economy given the available power, attention to detail, especially those that make it a "guy car."
5 speed manual is geared too low. I would like to see 5th geared a bit higher for better highway fuel economy. 3500 RPM at 80 mph isn't necessary. 4th and 5th can be further apart without sacrificing necessary power. Back seat is tight, but that is to be expected. Not for family of four.
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