2006 Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA6 Grand Touring 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Replaced a 2001 BMW 325. Shopped BMW 325, Acura TSX, Jetta GLI, Volvo S40, Lexus IS250, and Saab 9-3. From a performance standpoint the MS6 blows the doors off the the other cars I shopped. The only one in the same performance league is the BMW. In terms of fit and finish the MS6 was barely better than only the Saab and Volvo. The engine is wonderful and pulls strong as long as the revs stay above 3k. Braking is phenomenal and the DSC does an excellent job of keeping the driver in control during wet weather. The car turns like it's on rails. Test drove a GT package but decided on sport model for one main reason -- leather seats in GT model do not have high enough side bolsters.
Strong engine, tight suspension, quiet (cabin at speed), understated looks.
Sportier seats with higher side bolsters to prevent driver and front passenger from sliding around in leather seats. Engine should have been tuned so that 60 mph could be reached in 2nd gear (2nd tops out at about 55 mph). Just 400 rpm more to the redline would have accomplished that feat.