2009 Mazda 3 i Touring Value 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
Being an engineer, did all the research, looking for the most value and fun without going the the price of the European performance compacts. I've had the car now for a year and a half and, surprisingly, age has made my M3 a better car. Starting off the car can have harsh ride qualities. With age, the ride has mellowed (w/o losing the fun) and the engine performance is still zippy.
fun to drive, most of the important features offered in the 2.0L iTV trim level, such as sun roof, 6CD player.
I run studded snow tires here in Alaska, and you have to have 'em to get around. The road noise is way too loud. Also, you'll want the 6-way seats to find a comfortable driving position. I had to adjust my 4W way up to avoid knocking my right knee against the tranny tunnel.