If you liked either Mazda, you actually can get either model with 'real' leather for less than $28k. The 2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring 4-door is selling for less than $25k and the 2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring can be had for $28k. Both models have real leather instead of the pleather/leatherette found in lower trim levels. I'm a Mazda fan (currently own two) but I hate that they're putting "leatherette" into so many models now! I'd much rather have high quality fabric if real leather was out my price range.
With current incentives and discounts, you can buy a NEW 2014 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV w/ Premium Pkg for about $29k. That's more than $9k off sticker price! For that price, you get HID Xenon headlights, Dual-Panel Moonroof, Power rear-window sunshade, Premium Leather interior, Heated front seats AND cooled driver's seat, Heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, power tilt/telescope steering column, 9-spkr Bose audio, Keyless Ignition/Entry and Memory driver's seat. It's also a lot of fun to drive, IMO.
Among used cars, I don't think you could go wrong with a 2013-2014 (or even 2012) Acura TSX. A CPO 2013 TSX with under 10k miles can be had for $25k or less. Every TSX has leather, Xenon headlights, moonroof, decent audio system, power everything, great handling and rock solid build quality! It's rated at 22/31mpg and still has more than enough power (more than a Legacy, for sure).
Even though the Volvo S60 isn't likely to be as reliable as an Acura or Mazda, I still think it would be your best bet for longevity from a European brand....definitely moreso than BMW. The Volvo CPO program extends the warranty to 7yrs/100k miles from original in-service date and you can find the 2013 S60 T5 (CPO) for as little as $26k.