2005 Mazda MAZDA6 s Sport 4dr Sports Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
Owned my 2005 Mazda6s Sport with 6 speed automatic for about a year. My reason for not giving higher marks in performance and "fun to drive" is due to the poor throttle response - delay when the accelerator is aggressively pushed. This is one of Mazda's early attempts at an electronic throttle (i.e. driver doesn't have a mechanic connection with the throttle; the computer senses the throttle input of the driver's foot and then opens the throttle accordingly). I did take it to the dealership and received the computer software fix which improved the response somewhat; however, the existence of this fix is Mazda's acknowledgment of the problem.
Exterior styling cool and sporty looking (still); not as big outside as competitors which is good for parking and maneuvering in traffic. Handling great balance between comfort and handling. Brakes are firm and easy to modulate; doesn't grab but can provide short stops. Build quality improved.
Improve the response of the electronic throttle under aggressive driving. A/C doesn't blow cold enough in sunny, hot Southern California; automatic A/C control could be improved. More power but that's coming with the new 2008 Mazda6's larger 3.5L engine. Better fuel economy but it is a V6.