When I bought my 6 I never left home looking for one. I kinda just stumbled into it with a "hmm...what do we have here...not bad..." I went back home and started to research and found the following articles (click images for the jump):
2009 Mazda 6: Best Seats Ever? I Didn't Notice
2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring: Suspension Walkaround
I have a really finicky back and so seats are very important to me. So this comment struck a chord with me and I actually went back to test drive it again to confirm if the seats were in fact that comfortable. And they were. I routinely drive for 350 miles for 5.5 hours in one go without so much as wiggling in the chair. The first time my mom drove in the 6 she said "you know...these seats are really very comfortable" without any prompting from me, so there is consensus.
The article about the suspension was of particular interest to me. I have owned cars before that had double wishbone suspension and I must honestly say that this is the perfect suspension for me. It irritates me that the 3G 6 has struts up front, but having driven several (thanks to my local Mazda dealer who never hesitates to give me a brand new loaner car when I go in for routine servicing - most recently I had a 2018 2.5t Signature with 25 miles on the clock), it isn't too bad. The suspension on this car (a definite Mazda trait) is awesome. Second to none.
Other things such as the sound from the stereo were used to help me make my decision. The Bose audio is very good and came in a close second to the Infinity system in the Kia Optima I also drove. For reference, I had Ed Sheeran - I See Fire (Kygo Mix)
on my phone and used it to test how easily I could connect to Bluetooth as well as the quality and quantity of the system. I did that at all the dealers I went to and four of them...including the guy at the Mazda dealer...requested the name of that song from me!
I was always aware of Mazdas and had driven several over the years and I was impressed every time. But I was never a real fan until I bought this one. I took a chance on it even though I had heard bad things about the 1G 6 and the 626s before it. I don't think advertisement (or lack thereof) is the problem why they don't sell in high numbers. Tesla spends exactly ZERO on advertisement and they are outselling every damn body. I think Mazda is selling exactly the numbers they want to sell. I read an article that said even if Mazda could sell 300,000 6s per year, they couldn't build that many anyway. They simply do not have the capacity to do so. And that's fine. I don't want to see them everywhere either. I'm fine with coming across one occasionally and wondering "Why did she choose the 6?"