Mazda, by FAR. Let me tell you a little bit about the i touring in case your sales person didn't cover everything. You can totally sell your parents on the safety features. It's a 5 star safety rated car, all the way around. Best possible."Triple H frame construction" 8 air bags, steel beams down the sides of the doors, one in the roof, in the front and back. It also has stabilizer bars behind the front and back bumpers. These serve 2 purposes. One, it reduces vibration to the car and makes for the smooth ride, and 2, they are impact beams to protect you in an accident. If you get into a fender bender in a Mazda, that's all it is, just a fender bender, the whole car won't crunch in. It does have front, side and rear crumple zones.
Anti lock 4 wheel disc brakes, HID lights (by the way, the plastic covers that shield those lights can cost more than $700 to replace on most cars, on the Mazda, it's made out of plastic that NASA developed, and you can punch it or anything, it will never chip or shatter!), which are cooler and better than regular lights. The side mirrors fold in, so that they won't get whacked off if you hit them. Bluetooth is in there, MP3 plug in, 2 AUX jacks,cruise control, the key unlock remote and power windows, as I'm sure you know. 4 real cup holders, and 1 in every door that hold a bottle of water. So really 8 cup holders. You have your controls mounted on the steering wheel. The interior is set up for you to keep your vision up and focus on the road. HUGE glovebox. Did your salesman show you that you can stick your Whole arm in there, all the way back? The rear seats fold down 60/40 and you have lots and lots of room to carry anything. Like 3 bodies would fit in there! You can add the sunroof/bose package to any car to make it a little extra cool. They use Mica metal fleck paint, so it's really glittery and pretty. There's tons of cool aftermarket accessories you can add. Plus, you have a really great warranty, AND 3 years, or 36,000 miles of free roadside assistance anywhere in the US. Unlimited. This covers towing to the nearest dealership, lock out's, dead batteries, if you run out of gas....pretty cool!!! Mazda's are just plain cool. Smoothest ride ever. Independent front and rear suspension packages. That's a 2.0L DOHC 4 cyl 16 valve, rack and pinion, variable valve timing engine. The triptronic engine is fun, and darn near impossible to kill.They have really high re-sale vale. No major problems, even after warranty is over. Plus the engines are very self explanatory. No need to run to the dealership if you run out of wiper fluid. You can easily see where the things you need are. It's so simple. And they have timing chains instead of timing belts like most cars. Timing belts have to be replaced eventually,and it's a little expensive, but timing chains are good forever. Get this, you won't even believe it, but I swear it's true. Tell your parents this too. If you were to get into a front end collision at high speed in a Mazda 3, you are safer than in any other car, because you can't be crushed in this kind of car. The brake pedal collapses, so that your feet can't get stuck, and then, the engine falls out and forward instead of smashing into the cabin. No, the engines never just fall out while driving. But if you get into a high speed impact, the bolts that hold the frame in where the engine is will break, if hit at a certain angle (which only happens in high speed front impacts) and the engine drops out and forward. I'm not making this stuff up, a lot of Mazda salespeople don't even know that. Mazda's are super great. I just went over all the major things, there are a few more. There is no car out there better, safer, and cooler with more standard features like the 2010 Mazda3. I Love them, I highly recommend them. You will be happy with it for years. And your friends will think you are cool.
I sell Mazda's. And I sell the heck out of them, because I LOVE them! Really great cars.