2009 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
More comments here of Mazda3 for buyers/owners to note. Again this is a great car, simply the best in class. Few improvements here but all are minor. Exterior styling is great. Head lights should be pointed slightly higher. On downhills, the lights fall a bit short. The red tail lights are a bit dim and small. Should be brighter for safety reason. Though the bumper reflective tapes help a bit. For s model, you get black plastic in real bumper. But it's more scratch resistant, good when loading cargo. Real bumper does flex a bit.
Interior is beautiful. It is the most comfortable seating and natural feel in cars I've driven. Visibility is great. A pillar obstruction is minor. C pillar window helps blind spot. Orange instrument illumination is OK. The blue rings beautify more. Found minor offs in fit/finish for control stalks.
Manual mode in the 5 speeds auto is fun. Careful, it automatically drops to 1st when car stops. 1st gear is very short, must shift quickly. 5th is quite slow, not for quick acceleration. Steering response is excellent. 0-60 in 8.5 sec is about right. I calculated avg. 27mpg, 320 miles/tank. Not bad!