I bought my Mazda 6 hatchback new in 2008. I did a lot of research on this car before deciding to buy it. It had everything I needed. Comfort is top notch. Performance is a 10. The touring trim level is very well put together. Between the hatch and the fold down seats it's amazing what you can fit in this car. I've owned many a Honda and Toyota... Reliability is as good as Honda or Toyota with better interiors. If you want "Vanilla" buy a Toyota. Personally, I'll take two scoops of "Zoom Zoom" over vanilla any day.
What's not to like? The hidden hatch. The heated seats. The sporty suspension. The 5 speed gear box that keeps you in the power band.
A sixth gear would've been nice. The gears are designed for torque and the car cruises at 70 at about 3k rpm.