We bought this car new, but at a discount probably because it's a stick and had been sitting on the dealer's lot for 6 months. In over 40 years of driving I would rate it as one of my favorite cars, combining fun to drive, decent economy (City avg 22+ mpg, Hwy 26-27 mpg), looks and reliability. The V6 has a distinct midrange, but will pull smoothly from 1500 in top gear. Ergonomically it's superb with controls laid out well and the pedals arranged for easy heel & toeing.
Fun to drive, comfortable, fuel economy good for a car potentially as quick as this is, styling, reliability.
Better headlights, slightly longer legs in 5th, tighter turning circle.
I've purchased 4 Mazda's, but never again. I bought my latest, a 6, in Nov 2006. I have a long commute and have put on 63K miles in 3 years. When the car was just about at 30K miles my tranny went out. The dealership replaced it under warranty. About a month ago the tranny started acting up again and to my surprise the dealership told me that it needed to be replaced - Again. This tranny only had about 30K miles on it also. The service manager told me that I wasn't maintaining it correctly or driving it too hard. I informed him that I never had to get the tranny maintained since it never got 30K miles on it and in my 35 years of driving I never had to replace one. Stay away from this car.
I know this car is supposed to be sporty. It drives and handles okay. I wanted a good daily driver for the snow belt. But in the first light snow all of a sudden the TCS kicked and IMMEDIATELY swings the rear of the car out. I lost power to straighten the car as it held back the front wheels, I barely recovered, entered a turn an again the TCS kicked in throwing the car sideways, again losing all power to the wheels. I pulled over and found the stupid button, turned the TCS and had an uneventful rest of ride. Tanks Mazda for almost killing me, I barely missed an oncoming pickup. I am going back to the dealer to permanently disable this dangerous "feature".
$300 to replace lost key? TSC that endangers driver and works the opposite of training for lose of traction on snow/ice? A touchy gas peddle designed to wow kids rather than make for smooth launch. zoom zoom to Toyota next vehicle.
This car has greatly exceeded my expectations! After 50k miles, not one "issue" and getting 31mpg on freeway! Love the handling, fuel mileage, and excellent room with rear seat folded. A friend has the 2006 Camry and she has less room in trunk and cannot fit her road bike in back unless both sides are folded, resulting in her able to only take 2 people...with my Mazda, I can get one road bike inside with only one side folded down and still able to carry three people (2 front/1 back seat). Happy Mazda driver here!
Seating/driving position is excellent and love the handling. Makes the Accord and Camry feel really vanilla...as in boring. And the 4cyl Mazda kills both the Accord and Camrys 4 cyl on performance (think passing quickly).
Grip, a fist full. Punch this car in the mouth and it takes it. I drive hard. It takes it as well as any honda or toyota. Yes I did have a cracked pre-cat to fix at 4000 miles but nothing is perfect. these things happen. The warranty took care of it. When you get a new car, drive her hard. Get the kinks out. I'm extremely pleased. 9000 miles so far.
The handling, oh my, the grip. Get some wider perfomance tired and you can run with the WRXes in the canyons.
Simplify the climate controls. Better quality seats. Firmer, more supportive.