I bought a 2010 mazda3 hatchback a few years back and its a great first car for me. Unfortunately, being a college student at the time I wasn't able to buy a speed3 nor could I get a manual (needed an auto in the event I take my dads jeep(auto) to haul stuff, he would still have a vehicle he could drive). Every time I drive this car, I have a smile on my face, that is bigger than the one on my car!
I'm looking forward to seeing and reading about the modifications others have done to their ride. I hope to make improvements to my car with the input of everyone here.