Mazdas are good cars on par with about everything else. They do bring a slight strangeness factor to the table but not to the degree Subaru does.
They are weird, wonderful and different like Mitsubishis are but not in a bad way, these three just march to a different beat. I used to have a jet black Conquest TSi, I should have never sold it.
If resale value is important go with Toyota. Nissan is also very good but it seems they are always just one notch below Toyo in overall styling and design.
Honda is renowned for reliability but their styling is too conservative for me, especially the interiors.
Say no to low end entry level US made cars, they are little more than cheap farm implements, last about four years and then they are worth about $300 on a good day.
Go price used cars an compare the prices between makes of similar years, mileage, foreign and domestic and draw your own conclusions.
There are some very desirable European cars but those of any quality are too expensive to own for most. Have you seen the new BMW 645?! Wow!
What sold me on Toyota was their styling, overbuilt engines, reliability and resale value. My current daily driver is an '84 Supra that just rolled over 100,000 miles and is in fantastic condition despite her age. The older Supras can be picked up for a song and there's still a lot of cherry examples left out there.
If you want the ultimate in cheap to buy (over time they are cheaper), cheap to maintain, cheap to insure and reliability second to none, get a Camry or Accord. Those 2 door Accords are sweet.
If your considering a brand new Mazda, baby it and it will last a long time.