I dont think that mazda3 (any trim available as of now) is an absolute competition of the Civic Si as the later is a coupe only while all 3s are four door or five door cars.
The mazdaspeed3 coming out next year has some crazy numbers i agree...260 hp and 275-280 torque is insane to have on such a lightweight overall car...it looks very very interesting and im sure if the price is right...it will be a winner. Mazda is really pushing the envelope on the sport compact market with this new model....
Most Honda buyers and in particular Civic buyers are very brand loyal but its also a fact that Mazda3 has taken alot of market share away from the Civic recently (specially the not so popular 01-05 EP Civic series)
PavementPounder.....before you accuse someone...get your facts first. The new mazda3 is not 1.6 anymorel...the base is 2.0 with the GT being 2.3. Be careful before you say something and check PW rule # 2 about personal attacks.