I just picked up an '06 Value Edition Jetta yesterday and the Mazda3 was the other car I was looking at getting. I was pretty much all set on getting the Mazda until I drove it. The handling was tight but it didn't feel nearly as high quality as the Jetta does. Night and day difference as far as I'm concerned. There was also a ton of road noise on the Mazda, which probably had something to do with the tires, but...maybe not.