Considered the Accord/Civic and Acura TSX/TL but Acuras need premium unleaded and are pricey, the Hondas get one interior color choice (depending on the exterior color) and the dash is too funky. The 6i Sport had everything I was looking for at a price that Honda could not beat. Matching speedo/tach in red illumination, good interior color selection, handles like a go cart with decent mileage using regular unleaded.
Dash layout (6 o'clock RX8 style would be even better!), awesome handling, sporty styling.
Mazda logo on grille ostentatious. Doors do not autolock (but the seat belt reminder will drive you mad) Power side view mirrors do not close/fold and they do not defrost. Rear defog is slow. Wish I had a choice between rear wing or spoiler. Fog light beam too short.(2' from bumper).