This has been an excellent choice of a vehicle. I test drove the Ford Escape version and, in comparison, the Mazda vehicle feels better appointed inside. I like the piano-black center console, it looks a lot better than the one in the Escape version of the vehicle. Do not buy the vehicle without the navigation package, the whole fun of driving a hybrid is checking your fuel economy!!! A must accessory is the HomeLink Mirror which is really inexpensive.
This is my first Mazda and my first Hybrid. I was leery of the 30 to 34 MPG claims because of my past experiences with new vehicles, but I have had this vehicle for several months now and I can say that I have been at or just below 32 MPG's since day 1! This model is almost identical to the Ford Escape which I was considering as well, I went with the Mazda because the interior was more comfortable and the interior (while far from elegant) looked better than Ford's version. It drives very well, with solid kick and has great legroom in the back seat. Most other SUVs of this size had my knees banging on the front seat, but not this one. Overall, I am very happy with this purchase.
I've only had it 2 months and so far there's been no major problems. The average mpg up to 27.8 which is around what I expected. Overall I would recommend it for someone who wants an environmentally kinder SUV.
My wife got her new driver's license and she initially wanted a MINI, but I thought why don't we go green, and I didn't even know there's a hybrid SUV made by Mazda at that time. The color options were limited, we picked the spark blue and there was only 1 available in socal when I searched the Mazda inventory. Fortunately it was a nice looking sky blue and the pricing sealed the deal. We've been getting 29 mpg on avg so far, handling is quite good (we just drove it up to the mountains this weekend) and the audio system is better than expected. Even my picky parents said the back seats are comfortable.
Owned a gas guzzling Jeep and paying $90 per fill up was just not cutting it. Looked at another SUV and was reading about the Ford Escape. Stumbled upon this gem. Sister car to Escape and Mercury Mariner, but a better design (in my opinion), and better pricing. Couple that with the $3000 tax incentive and I was sold. Solidly built, quiet, flawless transition from battery to gas and back. Decent sound system. Averaging 31 mpg since we got it. NICE!