The Mazda3 is in an especially crowded field of vehicles, and the rivals continue to improve with each redesign; but the Mazda3 remains one of the sportiest choices on the market.
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is about as far from the Mazda3 in look, feel, and purpose as you could get; it's only offered as a sedan so far and rides more like a smaller version of a large sedan than a nimble small car; the Corolla and Elantra are also at the soft end of the scale.
Ford’s Focus remains a solid choice but doesn’t offer the chassis refinement of the Mazda3 or the availability of high-end options.
The Focus will be completely redesigned for 2012, with a sportier look and feel and sedan and five-door variants like the Mazda3, so if you're shopping around late in the model year, take a look.
|2011 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2011 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2011 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2011 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2011 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan Manual i SV||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Manual DX||4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant) *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan Manual L (Natl)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|