2008 Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
So far I'm impressed. My 3 may be described as a Japanese VW based on certain similarities. Handling is great, interior quality is great, and engine is smooth with better than expected torque and a great sound. A driver's car at a low price. Beats Civic and Corolla for personality. Thus far got 34 MPG. 5-spd is fun to shift. Body metal feels thinner and structure is less strong than my superb Golf TDI (which I kept); cheaper build, cheaper paint, but the price is lower.
Drivers car at bargain price. Good balance of performance, economy, fun and practicality. Engine feel. Overall very good value.
Dislike that air conditioner turns on when heat or defrost is selected and cannot be defeated. So-so audio.