Personally I think the 3 would be a better option for you. The Mazda 3's handling was better when I test drove it and the gearbox "felt" better and was more precise.I actually like the Mazda styling, smile included. But I am more concerned on driving feel, handling, shock absorption, shifting smoothness and clutch feel. In other words, the driving experience. I'm not too concerned with features like heated seats/mirrors/bluetooth etc.