Been waiting for this car since it came out in '04. Reliability issues always made me stay away and it seems Mazda has fixed most of those, so I decided to take the dive when I found one for a great deal in the color and model I wanted. Black R3. Best car I have ever driven, and I have driven a BMW M3. Don't get me wrong, it is nowhere as fast but the handling is superb. When you are on a curve that is posted for 35 and you are going 70 with no hint of body roll, that is awesome handling. I do not encourage breaking the law, btw. Low end torque bad, but once you get into the high rpm in 3rd gear, it feels like a turbo kicks in. Awesome car, not sure on reliability yet, though.
Handling, the look of the body and wheels of the R3, the sound of the engine, short-throw shifter, Bose sound system
Fuel economy of course, low end torque, big blind spot on driver's side due to Ricaro seats being so high and window column being in the way, radio dashboard (what's up with the red digital display above the dials and what looks like a digital display below the volume dial but in reality is nothing)