I have owned this car now for about 1 yr. I bought this when i decided to go back to school. It has an overall great design to it and gives a professional look when needed as well as a sporty look when needed. It is reasonable on gas however lacks desired power. The stick is fun to drive and shifts quite well, however an automatic would have been a better choice as an everyday driver in town. The car is said to be the poor mans BMW and holds true to that in many facets.
I searched for the right car and was looking at the 6 and a Civic, my sister has a Civic, and my Mazda6 beats the Civic hands down in style, look and interior, as well as the drive. The color, bright island blue, is an eye catcher and all the features are more than enough.
Handles like a sports car, especially on twisty country roads, FUN to drive and as comfortable as a big highway cruiser on long trips. My opinion: you don't need the V6; the 4 is sufficient and when you need to punch it it really takes off. Mileage from 23 to 29 mixed highway/city and with and without a/c. 4,700 miles and so far not a squeak, rattle or problem. Perfect size vehicle, plenty of room yet agile; can't beat the versatility of the hatch. Excellent driving position; very comfortable seats. Very quiet. Transmission nice and smooth. On the downside: bad rear over the shoulder blind spot; side mirrors don't retract (very bad for living in NYC); turning radius is annoying but not horrible.
Significant upgrades from last year make this car at this trim level a real sleeper in the midsize class. High revving V-6 with 5 speed MTX makes the car come alive. The 18" Pirellis combined w/ Mazda's sophisticated suspension result in a very tight handling package that gives surprising comfort, even on PA's third world roads. Tough choice between this car & Acura's TSX, but it costs $$$$ less, feels faster & runs on regular gas.
My wife bought this car almost four years and 54,000 miles ago. Just went out of warranty (50,000) and needs a new transmission. We took the car in a year ago, under warranty, and the mechanics couldn't find the problem we were having with the car slipping out of gear while accelerating. It started to get worse right after we went over 50,000 miles, so we took it back in. They isolated the issue, but said it wasn't covered by warranty anymore. No way a car with 54,000 highway miles should need a new transmission. And the fact that Mazda wouldn't stand behind the car tells me a lot about their confidence in their product. This was our first and last Mazda. Done!