A true American competitor to the import mid-sizers. And Ford only needed to borrow a Mazda platform to make it happen. The car is roomy, comfortable, has decent material and build quality (though there are a few warts), and is somewhat fun to drive with a manual transmission. It doesn't beg to be driven hard like an Altima, and isn't as refined as the Accord, but still drives good and looks great. SYNC is a brilliant system, but I am having issues using a thumb drive to store music that Ford can't seem to solve. The engine is smooth and revs well, but it feels a little underpowered and is a little bit too noisy at highway speeds. My mileage is 27mpg mixed.
The SYNC system is brilliant; the manual tranny is fun, but a little vague; great style, inside and out; smooth engine; well equipped; good ride/handling balance; climate control is very clear and intuitive, but mounted too low in the console.
More power; quieter at 75mph; needs a little bit more headroom and/or more seat adjustment; needs rear cupholders; stereo is not easy to use and stereo display isn't very helpful; needs DRLs; climate controls should be higher; this is mostly nit-picking, though.