I've owned 4 Mazdas, a 626 turbo, Protege, Mazda6, and Mazda3. I love the way they drive, but I won't buy another unless I leave Minnesota.
They are awesome cars except for RUST. Here in MN, all Protege5s are rusting in the rear quarter panels. Not just minor rust, serious paint bubbling, full blown rust. Thought they would've fixed it for the Mazda3, but nope, starting to see those with rust in the same spot. Early Mazda6s too.
I realize all steel vehicles will eventually rust, but the late model Mazdas are doing it earlier than what I see on other makes, including Subaru. A 2006 should NOT have perforation rust. What I observe every day here is confirmed with an internet search for Mazda rust issues.
I most definitely would've waited for the new Mazda3 hatch if it weren't for the rust issue that has affected multiple generations of Mazdas.