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Detroit News article about the Mazda6 production start:

http://www.detnews.com/2002/autosinsider/0.../b01-615423.htm

Now, once again, we get a nebulous "within the next year or so" on the hatchback. (C'mon, Mazda, learn to make a commitment!)

But even more interesting was this:
QUOTE
Mazda will add a five-door hatchback version and station wagon with available all-wheel drive over the next year or so.[/b]
Would be SO cool if they have an AWD wagon available before next Winter. We'd probably go that route as a replacement for my wife's car.
 

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Replying to Topic 'AWD within the year?'

I think AWD is over-rated. Besides allowing you to start off faster in slippery conditions, it doesn't allow you to turn or stop any better. In fact, with the higher weight of the AWD system, it is probably worse.

In Idaho, we have an extreme number of 4X4 SUV's. When the weather in the winter gets really nasty, I often times become angry at the number of people I see flying by me on the freeway in their Suburbans or Explorers while I'm doing 30-35mph. There is a blatent idea that because they have AWD, that they somehow are immune to the effects of ice and snow on the roads. Their misconception may well someday result in their killing another innocent driver who was NOT driving faster than conditions permit.

AWD is nice when starting, or in deep snow. My old girlfriend had a 92 Subaru Legacy. We took it into a large parking lot with about 6-8 inches of fresh snow. I floored the gas and we were outta there in no time. I think I would have had some serious rocking to do in my 626 to even get moving.

All in all, I don't feel the AWD warrants the extra cost and weight. I'd prefer RWD over anything, which I feel gives the best combination of balance, and ability to control the car than do either FWD or AWD. IMHO, AWD is overrated.
 

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Replying to Topic 'AWD within the year?'

I think AWD is over rated too. If safety is your primary concern, then a FWD vehicle with traction control is probably better. And like the above post, driving skills and common sense will go alot father than your drive train. In the case of BMW, since the are all RWD cars, they have to go AWD for max safety, b/c RDW cars are a bitch to control and steer in wet/icy conditions. AWD does have some advantages, but given the cost, weight etc. as a safety feature you can do more with less. Now as for performance driving, thats a different story. But you can still do some pretty amazing things with a FWD sports sedan. Ask Honda.
 
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