2006 Mazda 6 s Grand Sport 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
I did extensive comparisons. I don't like driving a car that everybody else in the parking lot has. My Mazda in ash metallic can be found easily in the sea of cars. It would have been easy to spend another $8K or more on Audi A4 wagon, but I can use the difference for some nice trips. I haven't had a chance to try it on any of the big hills here yet in San Francisco though.
All the standard convenience and safety features. Many other manufacturers charge extra for many of these.
My prior car had power antenna, and I'm too short to reach it on my Mazda to remove for car wash. I'll have to put a step stool in the trunk on those days. Wish 2006 had the automatic tire pressure sensors like Audi.