2008 Mazda MAZDA3 New i Touring Value 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I spent forever researching cars to buy and I test drove a few (the VW Rabbit, the Civic and the Toyota Matrix) before I was definite on the 3. The test drives clinched it. My mechanic of 15 years was also enthusiastic about the Mazda and now I know why. I am in love with my car. It is so sporty (looks and performance) and I couldn't be happier. I have the 5 speed and the shifting is so smooth, I would swear it was a pricier model/brand. I love to drive but I was looking for fuel economy too and I definitely picked a winner. The acceleration is excellent, but so is the fuel economy. 25-27 in the city, in heavy traffic, and 32-35 on the highway. Nice! You won't be disappointed at all. I'm thinking of buying another for my husband.
The best aspect is the style. I see my car and I almost can't believe how inexpensive it was. It appears and handles like a much more expensive car. The handling is sharp and the stereo w/the iPod adapter is also awesome. I recently drove an Accord and it confirmed that my car was the best choice!
A little loud in urban setting (we're talking South Bronx here). Potholes are a bit rough, but other than that, no complaints here! You won't be disappointed at all. I'm thinking of buying another for my husband.