Before buying this vehicle, researched cars for 4 months. There weren't any true sports sedans I could afford. This is one. In two years, the car has been on numerous long trips with some around town driving. Performance is extraordinary and comfort way above average for this price class. My only complaint is some road noise; however this was cured with Ziebart sound deadener and some more carpet in the trunk. After two years of "test drive", it wins on all accounts. It looks like Mazda has fixed some of my suggestions for '06.
Performance, quiet drive drain, front seat comfort, ergonomics, safety, price.
Needs variable speed windshield wiper, more insulation on floors and trunk, decent speakers (the head is excellent), 5 speed for the automatic version