I had a Scion tc SC and traded it for a Cobalt SS/TC. So here is a pro and con of them.
- Pros: looks nice inside and out, hatchback provides a huge opening to get things into the car, lots of TRD aftermarket choices
- Cons: TRD parts are very expensive, supercharger is unreliable at best (I broke 2 of them in about 40k miles), seats stain white when they get wet, rattles everywhere, floor mats wore through, carpet wore through.
- Pros: much faster than the Scion, handles much better than the Scion, gets much better mileage than the Scion, reliable, bigger trunk.
- Cons: interior is cheaper looking, smaller trunk opening making it hard to get large things into the car.
I thought about the Mazdaspeed 3 but they don't make a coupe or even a sedan version and I didn't want a wagon. I had a Mazda way back in college and it was a great car.
If I was choosing a car today I'd look at the Cobalt SS and the Mazdaspeed 3. They are far above the rest as far as performance which is the whole point in these cars.