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2004 - '07 Mazda3 (manual)
MPG: 30
Estimated cost: $10,085 - $20,025

The Mazda3 is a fun-to-drive successor to the Protege. Buyers should be careful to check the equipment list for optional side curtain airbags, Consumer Reports' Web site notes.

"Without them the Mazda3 received a Poor rating in the [Insurance Institute for Highway Safety] side-crash test," ConsumerReports.org says.

NEXT: 2006 Mini Cooper (manual)

Last updated June 03 2008: 4:14 PM ET
Source: Fuel economy and Estimated Cost according to Consumer Reports' testing. Estimated Cost may include versions not named.