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You've Come a Long Way, Baby

When I graduated from college in 1989, the very first thing I did after securing a job was buy a car. It was a Nissan 240SX coupe and it was the first brand new car I'd ever bought. I loved that car and I remember it fondly. It was attractive, the fit and finish was excellent, and it was very reliable. It was spirited and snappy, but I would stop short of calling it "fast". The real magic of the 240SX was its terrific handling, a result of excellent steering feel, a great manual transmission, a good suspension, and ideal weight balance from being RWD. It was a fun and inspiring car to drive and I used to seek out twisty roads.

The 240SX was considered Nissan's "mid-tier" sports car. It wasn't top-of-line, but it wasn't the bottom either. That would have been the Sentra.

Fast-forward to 2017. I just got a new car –  a Mazda3 5-door. It's not mid-tier, it's entry-level. It's the car that competes with today's Sentra. I bought the Mazd…

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