I have a 2010 mazda3 hatchback I bought a few years back. Unfortunately its not a speed3, nor is it manual but at the time the price I would say was a great deal that I could afford on a student budget.
I don't have many upgrades to the car, basically all stock but for myself it was great to get through college and the start of my new career. I have no complaints about my first car. I still enjoy driving it and every time I get into the passenger seat, I know the smile on my face is bigger than the one on my car!
I look forward to getting to know what modifications you have done to your ride and maybe even going for a cruise. Attempted to post a picture, hopefully it goes well.