I bought this car after serious consideration between it, a Corolla and a Civic.
The others do get slightly better gas mileage. So far I average 34mpg.
This car rides better and is quieter than the Civic. has more options than both the others for the price and has a 10 year warranty. I paid $12,200 for a car that feels like a slightly smaller Camry. I would have had to buy a used Corolla or Civic with little warranty left for the same price.
I love the power the car has. With a manual transmission I always have enough. I did test drive an automatic and didn't find it as peppy.
The RPM's do raise a little for one whole second when I put the clutch in. At first I thought this odd, but now I know that if I shift exactly at the times the owners manual tells me to i.e. 15,25,35,45 mph respectively, the RPM's fall just right and it shifts as if I have an automatic. None of that slight lurching or anything. Everything is really smooth.
The car is as quiet as my dad's Camry. I love it.