We purchased the car 4 years ago with 40K miles and currently have 82K miles. This has been an excellent car. While it is a station wagon it drives and handles very well, more like a sports sedan. The V-6 and six speed auto is a very good combination of performance and mileage. It also has a very good Bose aduio system. The heater, heated seats and AC all preform well. We have not had any maintenace issues other than the standard upkeep of tires, brakes, etc.
Running strong 11 years later original motor & transimission. Regular oil changes, transmission fluid very 30K to 40K, brakes tires, a couple of coil packs, plugs at 170K. It need shocks & springs, & a new head liner but I plan to keep. Hoods chips are rusting. Just had a plastic tee fitting on the coolant line under the air inlet hose crack and leak all the coolant out on highway. Daughter continued to drive until the engine stopped. Replaced tee, refilled coolant, changed oil and runs fine. One tough engine or I got lucky.
I've owned some amazing cars, mostly BMWs, but I was starting my own business and a family. The 6 sport wagon provided sport sedan handling in an affordable, reliable package. It had some minor problems while still under warranty, such as needing two new stereo head units, but has since been reliable. It drives wonderfully and I love the 5 speed manual. The turning radius is awful. Low RPM acceleration is pretty bad; there wasn't a need to gear it like a 4- cylinder. It's a fun highway cruiser and obviously does very well on corners. The quality of your tires will make a huge difference with this car. Sadly, there are no more sport wagons being produced by Mazda in the US.
I've found this to be a terrific car. It's not your typical stodgy wagon. It is fun to drive, the interior fittings are excellent as is the build quality. I still love the aggressive exterior styling. They're not being offered in Canada anymore but, I'm told, they are being offered in Europe. I hope that situation changes because I would be another for sure.
Switching from a Outback I was looking forward to a smaller, sleeker wagon but I'm not won over by this one. Some minor but noticeable cons: It comes with an ashtray ... who uses an ashtray anymore? Making room for the ashtray storage seems wasteful. It has a built in storage for sunglasses above the rear view mirror which doesn't allow mom's to clip on their 2nd rear view mirror for the kids. Lastly, a big CON, the rear windows go down ALL THE WAY. I'm used to rear windows stopping about 8" from the bottom; anyone with infants be aware, the rear windows come all the way down. Also for some reason the air conditioner runs automatically. I don't get why that is?