2008 Mazda 3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
Having driven it for over a month now, I must say there is absolutely no buyers remorse. Handles very well even if you do feel the body roll a bit more than say a mini but a lot less than the civic. Acceleration isn't great off the line but acceleration in the 40-70 MPH driving band is very adequate for passing. In short the gearing to HP gives you the acceleration where your likely to need it more often than not. Mileage varies based on how sporty I'm driving it. I've done 27 (70 MPH long freeway drive with a small bit of in town stop and go) but the car does give you the urge to well drive so more often I'm getting in the 22-24 range mixed driving.
Handling, moonroof and the automatic transmission with manual shifting is a really nice system.
Six speed transmission. Taller first gear on the existing automatic transmission might be nice.