Bought first 2008 hatch after renting one for a work weekend. Was on call every weekend and pretty much lived in my car from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening. I had test driven a Civic but did not keep one through a work weekend. When the Mazda was totaled at the end of 2010, I test drove a new Civic. Still didn't do it for me. Had also driven 2010 and 2011 3's and didn't like them. Got on line and located a lease return 2008 3GT hatch in good condition with 17,000 fewer miles than the original. Flew to dealership, inspected, test drove, bought, and drove it the 1000 miles back home. I still own it and, except for the fake spare tire, love it. Cost of ownership has been peanuts. 150,000 miles at present. In 2019 I looked at Honda CRV and desperately wanted to like it because, with minimal mods and loss of about 2 in of height in the rear of the cabin, I could put a real spare tire in it. But I hated it. For many reasons. I thought about trying another Civic but, after reading about the 1.5 turbo in the CRV dumping gas into the oil for people living in states with really cold weather, it just scared me off. I don't live in that area but it just shouldn't happen regardless. Bought a 2019 3 with all the stuff my old one had plus the new crap they put on the cars to make them "safer". The new one is a s, s, s, I'm sorry I just can't make myself say it. I didn't like the way the hatch looked or the tiny rear window but practically, I'd rather have one. Form really is supposed to follow function. I don't like the rear axle either but it has nothing to do with how this car performs. I don't go to the racetrack with it on weekends so I don't notice the shortcomings. The handling is really amazing. It will make a 90 deg turn way faster than is safe to do so. The fact that there are no adjustments on this axle is what really bothered me. However, while the car still had it's temp tag on it, I hit a curb and took out both left side tires. I know, I'm 68 and I should know better. But you had to be there and see the set up and all the marks from the many others who came before me. Anyway, I was sure I was going to be buying a rear axle. But no. And I had it checked on two different alignment machines in two reputable shops plus a Mazda dealer. So I'm going to keep it. It also has a fake spare tire and no auxilliary input for the stereo. The Bose stereos in both cars are losers but, when you connect an analog playback device (an old Sony Walkman with tapes I made myself), they really come alive. Have to figure out a way to add one to this car. I still love the old 3 as it allows the driver to participate as it should be. Truly a fun car to drive. But I like the new one too. It's good, just different. Let you know in 10 or so years if it was really any good. Honda owners please to the same for me so I'll have a good comparison.