Whether as a sedan or hatchback, the Mazda3 is fun to drive, thanks to its perky handling. At 33 mpg, the Mazda3 is the most fuel-efficient compact that isn't a hybrid or a diesel. It also offers a host of luxury features rarely matched by any other compact car, including a multimedia system with a large center screen and active safety features like a blind-spot monitoring system. On the downside, the car tends to be loud on the highway, and ride comfort isn't stellar. The infotainment system controls can be daunting at first and take a while to master, and the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta have roomier rear seats. Reliability has been above average.