Just to clarify a few thoughts.
I can't really speak to the performance. I noticed it on one turn, where I was late making the turn for the onramp to the freeway, it didn't respond like my CX5 did, and it felt heavy. Everything else felt fine. It's hard to really know without an extensive test drive in the hills which is hard to get absent renting one. The dealer test drive is almost useless.
As far as noise goes, there are 4 sources of noise that I can discern: engine, road, wind and radio. I include radio because I have to crank it to get it above the other 3 so it doesn't really count. What I noticed driving in is that road noise was the biggest culprit (it's windier in the afternoon), until I hit new pavement, then it's wind noise unless I rev the engine. A new set of tires would probably help but I didn't get the sense that it would make a giant difference. It's just a noisy car.
A couple of, probably final thoughts.
I drove my father's Chevy Colorado over the same stretch of road with DB software. it ran 79/80 where the Mazda was running 83/84. So, much better sound wise. On the other hand, I nearly hit the curb doing a U-Turn because it had such a wide turning radius. Admittedly, it's a completely different type of vehicle.
I'll probably bite the bullet and upgrade at some point, but not yet. I want to see if I can get 0% financing on Memorial day, plus, maybe wait for these things to cool down a bit. And, my car needs a bit of clean up. So, no rush.