2010 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
I compared the Mazda3 hatch to the Subaru Impreza Outback Sport, Toyota Matrix and Honda Fit. My wife has a Fit and loves it. But for me, I needed something sportier with better pickup and a little more style. The Matrix was too pricey and bland and the Subaru's style didn't impress me. For only a grand more than the Fit, I got a Mazda3 with everything I could ever ask for. Granted, I did sacrifice fuel economy (my wife's Fit averages 38 mpg, but I'll be lucky if I can get 28 out of my 3). However, the 3's engine is monstrously powerful, making it an absolute joy to drive. It has a tight turning radius, is a pleasure to drive and I don't notice any excessive road noise. Highly recommended!
Hatchback offers cavernous storage for gear, Bluetooth is standard, steering wheel mounted controls for Bluetooth & audio, plenty of storage cubbies in the cabin, iPod interface integrates perfectly with my iPhone, absolutely amazing acceleration & handling for a 4 cylinder compact car
Gas mileage is poor by 2009 standards, wish I could get heated seats without the $3000 GT upgrade, head unit should come standard with HD radio and RDS, audio from 6-speaker stereo is a little muddy, sport seats are a little tight on my rear end (but I love the quality of the cloth seats)