About the car itself; I have no complaints. A good balance of performance and fuel efficiency. The 2.3L engine puts out 175HP, and in this small car with stiff and low suspension, you notice the boost in power a lot.
It handles like a 2 door sports coupe, so Mazda hit the "zoom zoom" feel out of the park with this car. 2 years later I still love having the confidence to throw it into corners with little to no deceleration or body roll.
It's also built like a tank. People who say these cars aren't reliable, I don't get it, maybe I got lucky with mine. Two instances where a lesser car would have been out of commission... the first I was on the 401 highway in Toronto going about 130kms in the fast lane, as was the pickup truck in front of me. An office chair flew out of the back of the truck (moron didn't secure his stuff properly), and with a cement wall to my left and traffic to my right, I could only slow down and pray it didn't hit my windshield. It hit my front grille/bumper VERY hard, and all that happened was a golfball sized dent, barely noticeable. NO mechanical damage at all. NOT EVEN A PAINT CHIP!
Another one, was during this winter, I got caught in a snowstorm. On a turn slowing down, the back end of my car slid and I hit the front-right wheel on the curb. The same happened to my father's Toyota, it was a $600 repair. My 3? NO damage. I drove away. Everything in perfect working condition.
My only complaint is Mazda uses really lousy tires. I've had 3 flats in 2 years and I never peel out my tires. If Mazda stop using the Goodyear RS-A tires I'd buy another one. If they still use them, I'd pass.