2005 Mazda Mazda6 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
After looking at competitive and more upscale midsize sedans for my daily commuter car (Audi A4, Acura TL, BMW 3, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord), I decided on the Mazda6 Sport with the V6 as the best value of the bunch. Fully loaded, with rebates of $2,000, it was $3,000 less than it's nearest competitor (the YAWN Camry), and everything else was up to $15,000 more. The Mazda6 has a smooth drivetrain, deep content when optioned out, and is flat out fun to drive that leaves a smile on my face, and $400/month in my pocket compared to the similar BMW. (Yes, it feels exactly like a BMW3 to me, maybe not as fast, but we drive on city streets here 95% of the time, so look at the value equation).
Hatchback utility, red electro-luminescent dash, sharp edged styling, room to comfortably fit a larger driver (I am 6'2") without squeezing you at the shoulders, feet, or elbows. Smooth engine and tranny. This car has everything, great value!
Auto light in hatch rear compartment (the manual switch light is cheesy), the temp knob takes forever to turn to "hot" on cold mornings - have a default MAX button. The mouse fur material in the hatch is cheap. The rear spoiler on the sport model impedes rear vision. MORE HORSEPOWER!