My wife bought a 2013 Mazda3 i Touring manual sedan used with about 6k miles. We liked it so much I bought a 2012 Mazdaspeed3 (manual hatchback) with about 40k miles. We've put about 50k miles on each of them since, and love these cars. High-level pros: fun to drive, cheap to run/maintain. High-level cons: cabin noise a little high.
For its class, the i Touring's 155 hp … keeps the small car zippy. You're not blown away, but stepping on the gas puts a smile on your face and lets you merge with ease. The clutch and shifter are light and excellent. My gripe about the manual is that 5th and 6th gear ratios are too close together, making 5th almost worthless.
If you enjoy the act of driving, at least test drive this car. It'll make you wonder why anyone buys a Civic/Corolla/Elantra. The responsiveness is great and the brakes induce confidence. The agile handling comes at the cost of a stiffer ride, but if you enjoy driving, you prefer feeling the road instead of floating over it anyway. The seats are comfortable enough for none of that to be jarring, and they have enough bolstering for you to really enjoy taking curves at speed.
This is mostly personal preference, but I find the interior a nice place to be. Controls are easy to access and intuitive, and the bluetooth works reliably. The seats were comfortable even when driving 15 hrs a day on a cross-country trip, but I'm a skinny 5'8", so I can't speak to fitting larger people. The road noise is more pronounced than I'd like, so rough roads are tiring on the ears. Note that a new set of quieter tires has significantly improved road noise compared to the OEM tires, but it's still no Lexus. The engine is fairly quiet during normal driving, but has a nice sound when you rev it up. A few minor rattles have sprung up already, but they're only noticeable on certain roads and when paying attention for them. Trunk space has been adequate, but I don't often need to haul much.
Cost to run/maintain
The manual Mazda3 i Touring got about 38-39 mpg highway on a cross-country trip, with LA city rush hour mileage (averaging about 20 mph) closer to 26 mpg. With only 64k miles, a couple things have broken: a transmission mount failed, and there's a known issue where the dashboard buckles and creates a gap around the screen. Mazda extended the warranty for that item to 8 years but ours buckled after 9, so they only offered a discount on the expensive repair, which wasn't so great.
2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) with no options
The average list price of a used 2013 Mazda 3 in Edison, New Jersey is $10,649. The average mileage on a used Mazda 3 2013 for sale in Edison, New Jersey is 93,962. Based on the average mileage of 93,962 for used 2013 Mazda 3 for sale in Edison, NJ and using an average vehicle condition rating, which means the vehicle may have a few mechanical and/or cosmetic problems and may require a considerable amount of reconditioning, we appraise the average trade-in value of a used Mazda 3 2013 in Edison, New Jersey to be $4,381.