I'm looking for a used late model (2015-on) car. I love the Mazda CX-3, but am still unsure whether to go the small SUV or a hatch like I've had most of my life. I'm looking at the CX-3, the Mazda 3, or perhaps a 2, Toyota Corolla or Hyundai i30. I know the CX-3 is more expensive than the others, but the prices of all are ok. There are only 3 of us – one adult and 2 early teens – to transport, so I don't need nor want a big car. Looking for something economical on fuel, good to drive and safe.
You need to decide on whether you want an SUV or a hatch before you do anything else. The SUV gives you a better view of the road, is practical, and the CX-3 is a good choice, but hatches can also be attractive. I would rule out the Mazda2 in your case, as it would seem to be too small for your needs, but the 3, Corolla and i30 are all good cars that would deliver on the things you want.