I never thought I could fall in love with a car - that was untill I purchased my Mazda 2 sedan 8 months ago.
For people considering of buying a small car it should be at the top of your list for these reasons.
The car has plenty of pickup for a round town and the little 1.5L is acceptable for highway cruising but you have to think and plan before over taking.
The build quality for the $16990 starting price is good, you won't get soft touch plastics like your bigger cars but it is nice quality and very tactile.
The whole lineup is safety focussed and also great on fuel with my car averaging around 6L/100km town driving and 5.0L/100km on the highway.
The manual transmission is very smooth to use and it's a real pleasure to drive. The car even has a shift indicator to tell you to move up or down a gear for economy.
Being a little bit smaller than the Mazda 3 makes it super duper easy to park and it has a surprisingly good turning circle. Servicing is every 12 months/10,000km and is capped price for life at the Mazda dealer.
There are a few downsides though. The base model Neo doesn't come with a touchscreen like other brands offer and the squab of the front seat is small for taller or bigger people.
Overall the Mazda 2 is a great car for the price. It is small and fun to drive and with a boot so big in size you can move a house like I did!