I commute daily 75 miles, one way, from Phoenix, up a wonderful, winding highway where the speed limit is generally governed only by one's own prudence. The recent purchase of my 2010 '3' Hatchback has made me a Mazda believer. Plenty of power, plenty of comfort, great interior design and ergonomics, and it corners as if on velcro. The shifter feels stiff, and MPG avg. is only 28 or 29, but zoom on. Love it.
Love the exterior design and overall feel/ergonomics of the interior. Absolutely very impressed with drivability and handling. It owns the canyons! The 6-speed stick is sweet, but still feels stiff and gritty at times. Have been a manual trans. guy forever; it's not operator error!
It seems that a 2.5L with a six-speed manual might get better MPG in this day and age. (My '98 Jetta GL gave me 32 MPG week after week.)The heads-up display on the dash is cool, but basically useless. Do I really need to know that the car thinks my cruising range is 243 miles, when I know otherwise?