Join Date: Nov 2013
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I bought my '15 Sport after a LOT of shopping. I drove a lot of the vehicles on the market at the time -- the CamAccords, the Jetta and Passat, two Acura offerings, a couple of Subies and a smattering of the US maker stuff.
My "really want" list included a stick, which narrowed the field FAST. My other "really want" item was a user-replaceable stereo system, since the stick meant a de-contented vehicle pretty-much everywhere and in addition I did NOT want a "connected" car (and still won't buy one.)
The list got short fast; the "3" and CX-5 were both contenders as well. I probably would have bought the CX-5 if it wasn't for the obnoxious level of de-contenting that was forced by wanting a stick. The "3" was actually MORE expensive than the "6" in equivalent trim (!) despite having the smaller, 2.0L engine.
The "6" Sport won for the total package for dollars spent. I now have 160,000 miles on it and it's been a nearly-flawless vehicle. Zero issues that have required attention other than routine maintenance. It drives fabulously and still brings a nice grin to my face, burns nearly zero oil between changes, is comfortable and returns in the mid 30mpg range in my particular blend of driving habits.
When I decide to replace it I hope the "HX" engine is available -- with a stick. I'd hate to leave Mazda over no MTX option, but I will if they try to force an ATX on me. I simply hate them.