2007 Mazda 3 Hatchback 2.3 from North America
Sporty and inexpensive
Stock tires wore out at 26k miles, but see below for details.
To elaborate on the stock tires above: this car lends itself to very spirited driving and I am far from a lead foot. The car's sporty suspension handles so well that you will find yourself taking turns harder :) So I happily take responsibility for the tires wearing out so quickly (and I'm getting ready to replace them again, haha).
There was a voluntary safety notice on the power steering fluid (?) and my dealer was able to get me in and fixed relatively quickly.
Definitely opt for the 2.3L if you can. It's hard to believe this car is in the same category as the anemic Civic and Corollas.
The auto transmission comes with a "manu-matic" mode, which is fun but I don't use it very much.
It has a very deep glove box. More like a boot box.
The interior is high quality, doesn't feel like you're in an econobox. Except for some slight tearing on my steering wheel, the interior has worn and aged really well. While I opted for the base model, it still comes standard with an aux jack and ambient temperature on the radio display (which can be hacked to show fuel stats like average/current MPG and remaining distance).
Rear seating is a bit cramped. I would not recommend putting anybody over 5'2" back there.
Hatchback is very spacious and convenient for toting things.
Not a lot of safety features on the base model, but you can get side airbags on the next trim up.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th January, 2014