Best handling sedan I've ever had, plenty of power, and comfortable! I just finished a long trip, no back aches, lots of power, fun to drive, and lots of utility and style. I'm serious. This is the car that Mazda has been working toward for years. (But get the Red, white, or blue color.)
I love the Kodo style philosophy! These are the best looking cars on the road for under $40,000! The Mazda6 especially, but the Mazda3 is pretty similar.
I got grey mica, and I wish wish WISH I had seen that amazing RED color. I would have paid the premium for it. My wife loves it and wants it.
The engine with auto transmission is the best powertrain I've driven, ever. I've driven mostly manual trannys because of the directness and feedback. But I've tired of shifting. This transmission is flawless. It holds onto a gear if you're turning, it downshifts if you're in cruise and it goes faster than the setting, and it almost always chooses the best gear. I didn't get the grand touring finish level because of price, and I know that one has settings for normal and sporty driving, along with shift paddles on the steering wheel. While I wish I had paddles, I don't mind using the manual feature on the shifter. Works great. This is a big part of why SkyActive works so well. It's a lot lighter, and all gears but first are direct, with no fluid slip. Amazing.
As I said, I got gray mica. Get the RED or the Blue or the white. I like the gray, but it's a bit bland.
The handling is what really sets this sedan apart from VW, Honda, and especially Toyota, Hynudai, or Kia. It handles like my friend's BMW 5 series, but with a level of sensitivity and lightness that the 5 lacks.
And I know this is about handling, but Oh My GOD, the mileage! I just got back from a trip to Maine, and averaged 37-40 MPG. This is without the upgraded stop/start with the huge capacitor thing that adds a couple of MPG. To have this kind of power and performance with this kind of fuel economy is truly another reason SkyActive works.