I owned a 95 Mazda Protege for 13 years before getting my Mazda 3. I am really enjoying this new car. Looks nice and I receive many compliments on it. Rides wonderful and handles wonderful....sporty feel. My hubby remarked how comfortable the front passenger seat is, and he's a big guy. Love the stereo system. Only thing it needs improvement on is gas mileage. Could also use a little more room in back seat. Don't know what the reliability will turn out to be, but gave it a high score based on my 95 Protege. Test drove 5 cars in its class, and this one, by far, was the best. Some felt junky, cheap interiors, handled lousy, or too expensive. This one is best value for the money.
comfort, sporty handling, CD system, style, nice interior...not cheap like other cars in its class.
improve on gas mileage; little more room in back seat; add the seat height adjustment even on base model.