Glad you found our site. To be honest, the only car that fits your bill is the Mazda6, V6. If you read around other resources like Consumer Reports, Edmunds, or Car and Driver, you'll find the Mazda6's reliability runs right up there with Honda and Toyota. You should be able to get this under $25k though since I haven't been pricing them out myself, I'd rather somebody else answer that part for you.
Also a consideration, is the Honda Accord. I personally think it's a great car and gives good gas mileage and is very reliable. However, if you do want that 'sporty' feel the Mazda6 is a better fit, but if gas mileage is more a concern then the Honda Accord is a great car as well.
Obviously on a Mazda site you're going to get the opinion the Mazda6 is the only way to go, but keep in mind what you're buying the car for. The Mazda6 (having driven both it and the Accord) is a fun car to drive for its size and price, and also has the added bonus that it's not a dime a dozen on the road like the Accord.
So if you want to have a little more fun, look and feel a bit more sporty, the Mazda6 V6 is the car to get.
I'm sure you'll get more replies on this, so keep tuned to the site to get the info you need.
Cheers and good luck!