I have had this car for a year now (24k miles) and have not had a single problem. The car handles great, has very good power (for the class), is very comfortable, and looks great! I have made a lot of long (8+ hour) trips in this car and it stayed very comfy all the way through. The car feels so tight and well built, very few squeaks and rattles. There are a few things I would change, but they are minor. I can't wait for the Mazdaspeed!
Handling, steering, brakes, fun to drive, reliable, interior layout/color scheme, taillights.
Trunk release on remote, variable intermittent wipers, wheels get damaged easily (curb, whoops!), side airbags and ABS should be standard (to differentiate from other cars in the class).