2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
Best overall package in the segment. Driven the Golf, Civic, Corolla, Camry and used TSX and it trumps them big time. They all have prices around $20,000. Handling, ride and comfort are great. The route I drive has some bad section. It absorb and bumps and cracks well with confidence. Running on smooth road has no road noise at all. Noise on bad road are not bad also. No squeak and rattle. Price is reasonable and the hatch is very useful. Engine is very powerful, but sacrifice fuel economy. This is not your car if you expect 30+ mpg. It is not as smooth as the Toyota 2.5L. But better than the others. Rear seat room is plenty unless you have 2 6-footers front and back.
1) A car for people enjoying driving. 2) Standard bluetooth and good voice control 3) Nice gauge design with clear instrument. 4) Great sport seat with a lot of adjustment. Cloth material is comfortable. 5) sliding center arm rest. 6) Stock sound system is decent unless you like to crank it up.
1) Better radio FM reception with RDS. But I noticed all the cars I tested above have medicore FM reception even with upgraded system. 3) A la carte options. I want leather seats but don't care about Xenon and other stuff in GT. 4) Less wind noise. But all car I tested have bad wind noise.