I absolutely love this car!! 263hp, 0-60 in about 5.6 sec, handles like it's on rails, and I'm getting almost 28 mpg and all for about $18k. It was a no brainer. This car will have you looking for a longer, twisty way home. And to top it all off, it looks like a little hatchback grocery getter. Can you say sleeper anyone? I even debadged it for that little extra stealth. Most people think it's just a Mazda 3 until you drop the hammer. Now I just smile and wave at the pulled over guys and their hopped up Hondas, WRXs, STIs, EVOs, GTIs etc., knowing I have a better performance to dollar ratio.
Duh? The turbo! They don't call it a Mazda"speed" for nothing.
I actually like the torque steer and the stiff ride but more cushy drivers won't. Third gear is touchy but Mazda changed the ratio for the 2010. With an intake and a down pipe you may get another 30hp. I think the 2010 hood scoop and psycho Elmo smile were a move in the wrong direction.