If you haven't heard, the Mazdaspeed 3 is one of the best bangs for the buck. The turbocharged 2.3L engine is smooth and responsive, but power falls off above 5500rpm. Handling is nice and tight, with the ride being borderline over dampened. Interior quality is good, but I have encountered a noisy seat belt buckle which was easily fixed. The car is just too much fun to drive. Its the ultimate compromise between a sporty car with utility, at a great price.
The 2.3L DISI turbo engine. Performance per dollar.
Improved gas mileage. Interior could be made with nicer materials. Shocks could be softened in the rear. AWD option would be nice.