I have had this car for 2 months and a little over 4k miles and I am like a little kid every time I get to drive somewhere, even work. I wanted a GTI, but it was a little too pricey; tried the Rabbit, and was disappointed after the GTI. Found a wonderful compromise in the 3 that gave me a solid, beautiful car with zoom zoom, and a better reliability record. I have since driven a Civic EX and am I ever glad I got the Mazda. Available power is not over the top, but is more than adequate for spirited driving. The gas mileage suffers when you zoom, and it’s worth it. I love to drive and this car feeds that desire.
Handling. Solid, ‘NOT’ economy car feel, styling, interior ergonomics/quality. The huge glove box. iPod/mp3 jack. The feeling I got a lot of car for the money.