I have owned this 2014 Mazda 3 for two months, have a little over 1,000 miles on it.
So far, I am very happy with it, although I wish it got closer to the 30 mpg rating.
I looked at Toyotas, Scion FR-S, and checked online on Fords, Chevys, and Nissans.
The Mazda 3 manual is so much more fun to drive than anything else I drove, and it met most of my other criteria.
I had driven a Camry stick for the last 12 years.
The Mazda 3 is a little smaller, but also quicker and way, way more fun.
It has a little more style than the same-old-same-old looks of most sedans.
I am getting 26mpg, wanted more, but I recommend this car!