hi all, well i got to drive that lovely little machine called the Mazda 3 this weekend. when I first saw one in person I wanted one, after driving it I still want one but not right away. To me driving the 3 is like driving the 6, very quiet and smooth, it feels too fancy to be a base car. The engine is so quiet that I couldn't really tell what gear I was in, and there wasn't much road noise either. I guess the only real negative thing is the feel of driving it, there isn't that rough edge that the protege has, if you know what i mean. the protege feels more like a sporty car and the 3 more like a luxury car. People who drive the 3 without owning a protege probably won't know what I'm talking about. All in all the car is awesome, it's looks great, turns alot of heads, and feels like a car that costs way more.