2005 Mazda MAZDA6 s Grand Touring 4dr Sport Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 6A)
I've always had a soft spot for Euro-style sport wagons, but Audis and Volvos were out of my price range, and forget about BMW and Mercedes. But I discovered the Mazda6 had sleek looks, strong performance, and truly sporty handling. The engine is buttery smooth and I recently got 28 MPG on the highway, not bad for 70+ MPH with the air on. The steering response is truly sports-car like and the brakes are strong, so much so that I'm considering taking this car to the track instead of my Porsche. With premium audio, multiple airbags, and auto climate control, the feel is like driving a luxury car, and I get compliments on the sporty looks.
Smooth, powerful V6; smooth automatic transmission with manual mode; Bose audio system; automatic climate control; overall interior design; exterior styling; overall level of equipment, handling, steering, and brakes.
Armrest padding could be better. Sporty styling means the hatch opening is a little tight, so some large items that fit in other wagons might not squeeze into this one. The cloth upholstery is a lint magnet and shows water spots; the leather would have been better.