I have only owned My Mazda3 for a few days now, and I've never owned one before.
My previous car was a 2009 Honda Fit.
I thought I was very happy with the Fit, but there is little comparison to the Mazda3.
I have the 2.5 liter, S trim package with all the bells and whistles.
This car feels like one costing much more.
I have heard people complain about road noise, but compared to my Fit, it is very quiet.
I got 0% financing too which let me upgrade the tech for the car. Road handling, accelaration, and over-all feel are just excellent in the 3.
Gas milage is a bit lower than some expect, but my Fit barely got 30mi on the highway.
So pretty comparable, and the Mazda is way more fun!
I chose to pony up extra dollars for the technology package which includes a Bose sound system with 10 speakers and Blue Tooth.
After three years of tinny sound from my Fit, I realized that music quality in my car is very important, so this was well worth it.
The Bose is actually very nice and the sub woofer in the back (very funky/cool design inside the spare tire) actually works great.
I've never had Blue Tooth, and it is fantastic!
The car talks to you and I can listen to my iPhone playlists wirelessly which is very neat.
I also am smitten with the keyless entry and push button start.
All make for a car that is wowing my friends.
Comfortable front seats and the materials are solid.
I do think that the back seats need 1-2 inches more space for leg-room.
I will definently need to move my seat up for adult passengers which is ok for the few times a year I need that capacity.
I have heard fit and finish concerns in other reviews and I'll repost in a few months to add my experiance if it is poor.
As I look now however, everything seems very tight and well made.
The materials seem very high quality for the price point.
It feels so nice to ride in a car that doesn't feel like a tin can.
I am also very large (sadly as in fat not tall) and I fit just fine in the car.