2010 Mazda 3s, Which I got used with about 45k miles on it - but fully loaded with the leather seats, sunroof, 6 disc cd changer, et al. It was actually the first car I test drove and someone almost bought it out under me, but their financing fell thru or smtn.
I will also say I’m fortunate to travel frequently for work but only close enough distances that they’re driveable - I could train or I could drive and I accrued too many really frustrating train experiences (and much prefer the freedom/flexibility driving affords) to really continue the Amtrak route. What I’m getting st by this is I get to drive compact/intermediate rental cars 6x-10x a year and I use it as an opportunity to check out different make/models (basic features across the board but how a car handles matters most to me nonetheless). So I’ve gotten to drive the Ford Focus, basic Kia, basic Nissan, sometimes venturing into even CRV or midsize range depending on what the rental company has available...Basically I’ve been able to test drive a variety of vehicles in about the size & price range that I’ll be looking at down the road, and I’ve definitely tried to consciously note cars I like or cars I don’t. So I’ve gotten some freebie exploring that not everyone can take advantage of.
At the end of the day I prefer the Mazda, absolutely. For a compact 4-door the Nissan, Kia, Ford, just don’t compare. They all feel lighter (pushable by wind) which is a big factor for me (I drive over a couple of windy bridges on route). I tried the Yaris and that just sucked. Once I had a CRV and that was pretty good but that’s more vehicle and gas than I’d need or want IRL. Also it made me feel ridiculous. Generally speaking Nissans aren’t bad (first car was a Nissan) but the Mazda wins out overall. Used to drive a Prius but once I got used to the acceleration of standard cars the Prius became frustrating - Ricardo is v responsive. Just a 4-cylinder. The biggest trouble I have (had) with him is tires, and I’m pretty sure that’s mostly my fault - mine and the potholes’.
Hands down recommend any day.