This car is the second one, the first was a 2003 Mazda 6i with a 5 speed. I like the new automatic much better on this 2006, smooth as silk, and you can shift it manually if you want to. Build quality is great with exception of a buzzing noise from under the right front of the car at 65 mph. I suspect improper under panel or shield is not right. Seems wind related, as it only does it at speed. Gas mileage is great, about 32 mpg on 87 octane. It performs like a sports sedan should, taut, very responsive for a 4 cyl. Drives better than my wife's Camry! Doesn't even compare, this car HANDLES! Front rotors are shot at 18,000 miles, being replaced under warranty. Nice car anyway!
The handling is superb, brakes are great (but rotors warped at 18,000 mi!). Transmission is a real good feature, you can shift the automatic, manually. Very nice feature for spirited driving on hilly roads.
The release clasp on the left side to release the seatback is sluggish, as it was on my '03. I suspect it needs some adjustment. The front bumper facia is very flimsy attached. It wobbles and shakes, need better quality control on this body panel. Front cornering lamps would be a nice added feature.