I'm enjoying driving my 2014 Mazda 3.
It's taken awhile to adjust to the sight lines, which are not nearly as good (due to low ground clearance) as my prior SUV.
The tradeoff is much better gas mileage, though as others have noted, I haven't achieved nearly the mileage I expected (roughly 30 mpg combined).
Ride is much quieter and softer than I expected.
Handles like a nimble sports car.
Stick with the basics, and add on your own aftermarket bells and whistles for a great car under $20K.
Soft, responsive ride.
Great looking car (the black mica 4 door turns heads).
Standard sound system is more than adequate with an MP3 player plugged in.
Isn't cruise control standard on every vehicle produced today?
That's the only thing I'd add to the basic Mazda3 SV model.