I used to say that Mazda had the most European lineup of any Japanese manufacturer, and it’s still true.

Look at the new Mazda 6 mid-sized sedan. Frankly, this could be a small Jaguar, and compared to a lot of the timid designs in this class of car, looks like Pam Anderson at the Pillsbury bake-off.

And the beauty continues inside, as the interior has been completely redone. Not too gimmicky, not too boring. One failing of Mazdas in the past was the quality of ther materials inside. No issue here as new soft-touch plastics and cushy leather make it a lovely place to spend a little quality time.

This shade of red, by the way, was universally loved. I don’t know what it is, but I got more comments on this paint job than if I’d been rolling up in a Ferrari.

Under the hood, you only get one choice for now. The 2.5-lier twin-cam engine is willing enough, but it’s a little shy on the horsepower side compared to its rivals, cranking out only 184 eager ponies.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t slow hitting 60 in 7.4-seconds, but that Jaguar comparison will end the moment your foot taps the go-pedal.

A turbo-diesel comes soon, but for now, this is it. Most of the competitors for the 6 have just that, a V6 as an option. But with the car getting 28 city, 38 highway with it’s 6-speed automatic, you do get a consolation prize.

On the road, OK, the Jag thing starts again the first time you take a corner and the car sticks like it’s 19-inch wheels are dipped in Crazy Glue.

For just under $30,000, every conceivable option is standard, including the two most useless pieces of technology in existence…rain sensing wipers and paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

A nice 6-speed is available if you want to shift, and you’ll know it’s raining when you see water on the windshield.

All in all, the Mazda 6 is my absolute, hand-down favorite of the Japanese entries in this class. It has more soul and personality than most any of the others.

Yeah…I liked it.