2008 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
Traded my 2002 Miata SE for this car. Wanted an all season car without giving up much handling and fun to drive. Shopped Civic Si, WRX, Altima Coupe, Mazdaspeed 3 and GTI; chose a Mica Copper Red Mazda3s Touring 5M for price, fuel mileage (premium fuel not required) and versatility. Figured I was making a compromise for enconomics sake. My 1st drive was over a winding mountain pass here in Montana and I haven't smiled like that since I got the Miata. Of course it doesn't have the kick in the pants acceleration of a WRX or V-6 Nissan, but the handling and transmission is more then up to the task. I'm 6'4" (yes I fit in the Miata) and found the front seats as comfortable as any I tested.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.