2005 Mazda MAZDA6 i Grand Touring 4dr Sports Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
When I bought this Mazda6 last November I did not intend to buy a Mazda. After driving it I liked it, but still reluctant. I read the reviews in the New York Times and went back to Carmax for another test drive...and brought it home. Fit and finish are above average; not too big and not too small, just right for me, 5'- 10" at 160lbs. Lots of get-up and go from a powerful 4 banger, 160 horses in the higher revs. It will get you on the freeway and back off. In the stop and go traffic of Houston heat I worry about overheating, but have put Mobil 1 oil to help with heat dissipation. We have had 90 degree days and no problem yet - wait till August.
Interior comfort, and A/C. I did not buy a Passat because it will not cool the car in 90+ degree temps. Ditto for Volvo S40.
Turning radius is too large, not real bad, but noticeable. Air filter needs longer life than 12.000 mile change.