What Would It Take To Get You Into A Modern Mid-Sized Sedan?

With photos of the 2009 Mazda6 for the US dropping today it got us thinking about the modern, under $30K mid-sized sedan market. Having driven a Ford Taurus SE for a while, we're not all too keen on driving another one of these vehicles anytime soon. As "nice" a car as it may be, not even a Tony Stewart Edition would make the new Camry something we'd be jumping at the chance to own. Some say the 2008 Honda Accord looks BMW-esque but a BMW it ain't. We're intrigued by the Altima coupe, but that's not a sedan is it?

Right now the only sedan likely in that price range we're really nuts about is the Skoda Superb which, of course, isn't available over here (and probably adds to its mystique). There are some European sedans we like, due mostly to the availability of diesels and manual transmissions. So that would help. In the short-term, we've always liked the usability and styling of the Mazda6 five-door system. The room of a sedan with the functionality of a hatch? Ding! Oh, what, they're not bringing that over here? Awesome!

But that's us, what is it you want? Horsepower? Different Powertrains? Handling? Style? Yellow paint jobs?