2009 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring Value 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
If you like sporty cars, you can't beat this one for the money. Blows away all the competition. This is my third Mazda of this type (323, Protege, and now Mazda3). All the performance features (brakes, acceleration, handling) are top-notch. The I-Value package gives you all you need. BMW for a cheaspskate.
Front bumper too low, you have to be extremely careful when parking (but it looks cool). Black interior, and especially the dash, get too hot. More susceptible to wind sway than my old Protege. Left foot needs more room up under the dash, and right in front of the seat.