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Figured I'd post some impressions I had after owning my 6 for a while.

What I love:

- Having my cake and eating it too: the new 6 is really a very well-rounded sports sedan that balances a very refined and comfortable everyday ride with a heay dose of Mazda zoom-zoom chassis tuning for those times where the road get's curvy. I no longer feel guilty about driving a fun car that isn't practical enough for my family.

- More European than Japanese mid-sized sedan: The 6 is one of those cars that just feels right everytime you drive it. My 6'2" frame is extremely comfortable while my two tall boys are very comfortable in the back seat. I feel very connected with the car and the road, without having to compromise on a overly soft (Camry) or overly stiff (Altima) ride. Having driven the first gen 6 on several occasions as business rentals I can honestly say that the new 6 imrpoves on the old in every area while preserving it's chassis dynamics. While there is slightly more body roll in corners, the car still handles corners with absolute confidence. I like taking off-ramps ~70mph (if traffic allows) and the 6 is more than willing to comply. On the highway it will drive at 80 to 90 mph all days long with great high-speed stability in rain and dry. Handles snowy NE winters perfectly with Firestone Winterforce tires (same as I used on my MS3).

- Fantastic looks remiscent of the best from Europe (Aston, Jag and Maserati): This car looks like a million bucks. Classy with an overall design that makes it look more expensive than it is. I get compliments from Men and women at least twice a week. Many people mistaken it for a Jag. Those RX8 fenders are gorgeous. And I always can't help but look back on it when I'm walking away.

- Paint quality is huge improvement over my 2008 MS3. After 9 months of highway and NE winters the ebony paint has a few pin-sized nicks and no chips. The MS3 had many more chips after a year. The other day a golf-ball sized cluster of concrete and gravel that fell off a cement truck hit my front bumper - it sounded like I got hit by a boulder- but it only left a small pin-head-sized chip, which was easily fixed with some touch-up paint.

- Great 3.7 liter V6: This is a very nice engine that pulls like a train to it's redline. Drop the manumatic into 2nd gear and punch the gas and it takes off with a infectious growl coming in at 4 and 5K gear changes. The beauty of this car is that it's NVH is perfectly tuned for gobbling up highways with minimal road and wind noise, but will excite you with that wonderful growl when you want to have fun.

Interior is beautifully designed and assembled: Although there are some hard plastics, Mazda did a great job designing a very open-feeling interior with a beautifully designed center stack. It never feels claustrophobic and every control falls readily to hand. Even the Zebra trim that run along the lower edge of the dash is a pleasing design touch that photos tend to exaggerate. In person the zebra design is subtle and looks classy when light hits the glossy finish just right.

- Gigantic trunk: I've carrier very large items (e.g. portable room airconditioners) in the trunk to the point where I don't miss my MS3's hatchback as much as I expected. Well shaped with scissor hinges that don't intrude on trunk space and DON'T threaten to crush the contents of the trunk like the goosenecks in most competitors.

Miscellaneous: Bose system is excellent. Although it won't rattle your teeth loose, the sound via BT and iPod is clear and dynamic (with centerpoint and audiopilot defeated). CD playback is less impressive. Handsfree system is good but a littel kludgy when it comes to phone book importing and voice recognition. Still once it's set up it works reliably and consistently. BT audio works well also, except with iPhone 4 OS4.1 Apple broke AVRCP!

-Seats could use a little more side support.
-Passenger seat rattles occasionally when unoccupied.
-Passenger seatbelt rattles against b-pillar when not in use (could use one of the retaining clips that are used in my wife's Mz5).
-Would like to have a nicer finish to the door armrests. Supposedly 2011 will include padded armrests.
- Would also like different designed steering wheel (although the size, diameter and feel of the wheel is perfect)
-No DSG or manual option. Honestly the rest of the car is so good that I don't mind the Aisin 6 speed auto. I used manual mode about 70% of the time and find that it satisfies my need for control. Not as nice as a manual but not bad either.

Bottom line: I love this car and feel proud to own it everytime I drive it.

Here are some picts:


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