2008 Mazda 3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
I am writing this review as a mostly happy owner of my new Mazda3. After driving my first 1000 miles of mixed highway/city miles, I am a bit disappointed that all 4 tanks of gas have yielded between 23 and 25 miles per gallon. I realize that the car is rated 22/29. Nonetheless, given the highway split, I am a bit surprised it's coming in at the low end of middle. This is not a large car, and it surprises me somewhat that my 13 year old Corolla with 155,000 miles on it was getting significantly better mileage. For now, I am very happy with the car - it's great fun to drive. But maybe I will end up going for a hybrid in a couple of years.
The interior and exterior design look and feel great. Lots of good features for the price, and especially compared to competing models.
Make the car more efficient - if this means offering the 2.0 liter engine on the 5-dr hatchback (currently not available) that would at least be a start. Don't force people to buy the 2.3L to get the hatch. That's not a great plan.