After a full year of driving, I am still very happy with my 3. I researched several cars before purchasing, including the Ford Focus and Civic, but I got the most car for the money with the 3. Build quality and creature features are superb. Performance and handling are excellent, fun to throw into turns, and though it does not have the umph at acceleration of the Speed3, it is still fun to drive after a year. I live in snowy New Hampshire and went last winter without snow tires, and was sorry that I did. That being said, I still got through several storms with no problem. As a testament to safety, I was rear- ended at a stop light the first month I owned the car(!!!), and was uninjured.
Well thought out interior, supportive seats, room for 5, decent trunk for a small car. Love the steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Gas mileage could be higher for a car this size (avg. 30-31 mpg after break in, mostly highway). Blindspots over shoulders, which I no longer notice.