I recently decided to impose some voluntary belt tightening in car payments and gas consumption. Over the past 20 years I've driven a number of BMW's, Audi's and Acura's, but "downgrading" to the Mazda 3 really wasn't a big deal. The car is very comfortable and quiet, is relatively fun to drive, and is for sure more reliable than BMW or Audi.
No, it doesn't have all the "bells and whistles", performance capabilities, or panache and ego stroke of a BMW, but I also have a car payment that is less than half of what I used to have!
Maybe I can retire 5 years sooner now!!