"This was a great purchase. I bought it new and I did a ton of research to get the best value for a car costing around $18-$20k. I compared the Honda civic and Toyota corolla, and this was the best all around. It is stylish, has decent gas mileage, is fun to drive, great handling, excellent features (ones that you wouldn't find on a similarly priced car). The funny thing is that when I bought the car, I knew more about the features than the dealership did! Being prepared really paid off.
I have had my Mazda for about 5-6 years, its a 2006, and I have paid hardly anything out of pocket for maintenance. My yearly average for maintenance, including oil changes and major service has been only $250! I love it. It has been good to me for all these years. And even though its 6 years old, I still love the feeling I get when I drive it. I will own this car until it dies, which hopefully will be a long time.
I have the Mazda 3s Touring 5-door hatchback version with 6-disc changer, moon/sunroof, 8 airbags. Paying a little bit extra for the sunroof was worth it, I use it all the time. The sound system is also excellent and clear. I can fit 5 adults in the car easily and everyone tells me how comfortable it is and how there is lots of leg and head room. My parents love being driven around in it--who wouldn't?
My only complaints are that I'm 5'10", so there is only about a 2-3inch head clearing for me. But I don't have any problems with legroom (the lumbar support and seat height adjustments are wonderful, especially on long trips). I wish the car had better mileage, I get about 24-25mpg city and 29-31 highway. Its not bad, though. Also, I have a hard time seeing out of the front side between the driver window and windshield, the molding seems to be a little thick and I find myself turning my head to look around it. Sometimes it hides pedestrians, so I just have to be aware of that when I'm in the city.
Having the split rear seats is great in the hatchback, and you can remove the shelf in the trunk. I have moved lots of furniture (large bookcases) with no problems at all.
I would say the things that I love most about my car are the affordability, styling, amount and quality of features, gas mileage is decent, versatile, comfortable, fun to drive ("zoom-zoom"), turn radius. I think there are more things, but I don't remember them right now. I would definitely consider buying this model again, although I'm not too fond of the 2009+ models exterior styling. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this car to anyone."
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