Outstanding build quality and handling. Dumped the original equipment Dunlops in favor of less expensive/better wearing Kumhos, and this has eliminated the hydroplaning issue as well. A true overdrive 5th gear would help the gas mileage. This is the car which helped make Mazda: other than the Miata, before this retooled Mazda sedan debuted in 2002, there was nothing in the Mazda stable to make good on the Company's "Zoom-Zoom-Zoom" ad campaign. Actually prefer the P5 to the second-gen Mazda 3 - yes, the 3 more refined, and with more horses, but the 130 HP P-5 has a kind of teenage spunk, whereas the 3 more the mature adult.
Great ergonomics - the passengers in the rear might not always appreciate the ride, but the driver will always enjoy the finely tuned suspension in the twisties.
This thing has eaten low beam head lamps since it was under warranty. Also, eats spark plug wires-- the twin-pack of coils failing?