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Hi! I'm new to the forum. I just gave my niece my 1994 Toyota Camry (which still runs like a dream) because she's going to Brigham Young University this January. So, I'm in the market for a new vehicle. I've been researching for two years. I talked to my niece's husband-to-be last week and he told me he drives a Mazda 3. He loves it but wouldn't recommend it for long road trips (which I plan to do this spring). Mazda had never even occurred to me; everyone in my family either drives Camrys or Dodge Rams. Then I started looking at the Mazda 6 and the Mazda 6 Grand Touring and suddenly, everything seemed right with the world! I knew this was "The One," (and I freely admit, I am not a "car person.") However, how would this vehicle do in desert heat or/and on poorly-maintained asphalt or finely-graded dirt roads? I live in Southwestern Utah and it is as hot as Hades in the summer. I would not spend hours in the sun, nor hours driving on dirt roads, but it is a question I have. What are the very best tires I could put on this vehicle for a bit more rugged terrain? And, this is the car I want; I don't want an SUV. Any suggestions?
 

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I live near Phoenix, and commute into PHX for work. I find my 6 (bought used specifically for the purpose) very enjoyable. It has no problem with the heat.

Lots of dirt, gravel, or broken roads is not something I’ve exposed it to. Hopefully someone else will be able to offer experience on that front.

IMO, if you really enjoy the 6, go ahead in your search for one (unless you get all negative input on the dirt & gravel topic?). I had a similar experience as what you describe many years ago with a SAAB. I hadn’t been looking for or at one, but when I test drove one there was no doubt. That was the car for me. It wasn’t as ‘good’ a car as some others in certain refinements at that time, but it just didn’t matter. I loved that car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I live near Phoenix, and commute into PHX for work. I found my 6 (bought used specifically for the purpose) very enjoyable. It has no problem with the heat.

Lots of dirt, gravel, or broken roads is not something I’ve exposed it to. Hopefully someone else will be able to offer experience on that front.

IMO, if you really enjoy the 6, go ahead in your search for one (unless you get all negative input on the dirt & gravel topic?). I had a similar experience as what you describe many years ago with a SAAB. I hadn’t been looking for or at one, but when I test drove one there was no doubt. That was the car for me. It wasn’t as ‘good’ a car as some others in certain refinements at that time, but it just didn’t matter. I loved that car.
Thank you for answering!
 
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The Mazda 6 is an excellent car. It's got all the fundamentals of a good Japanese cars - Everything you need and nothing you don't. Take care of these cars properly and they will last you a very long time. The drivetrain in this car is just about bulletproof.
 

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I can't say too much about dedicated dirt/gravel driving, but I've taken my 6 through 108 degree drives on the highway and -20 degree days. I've driven it over 168k miles in 7 years and it's been on the land-bridge (sand, saltwater, gravel) to Bar Island in Maine, and it's been up and down the clay/gravel path of Mt Washington several times. It's been up and down dirt paths plenty of times and on some roads that were meant for trucks/suvs and it's handled it all.

The 6 (and mazda in general) is a brand that doesn't get the recognition that it deserves because the majority of people aren't here to enjoy their drive, simply go A to B. Once you begin to enjoy driving, you'll know why we all stick with Mazda. ::D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you! I was born and raised in Maine and have driven many of those roads myself (plus through the horrific snow!) I completely understand the kind of snow that the individual who replied from Toronto experiences! Your info is good to know. I'll make note of it!
 

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Thank you! I was born and raised in Maine and have driven many of those roads myself (plus through the horrific snow!) I completely understand the kind of snow that the individual who replied from Toronto experiences! Your info is good to know. I'll make note of it!
With some dedicated snow tires, these heavy cars are like tanks - love it. I live in central MA and we see (on average) about 70 inches of snow a year - never had any issues.
 

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I'm in St George. The heat is a non issue for the 2018 6.

This car rarely if ever sees any off road driving. With a good set of All Seasons I don't think it would be any better or worse than any other car. The stock Falcons would actually be a good tire to start with. After wearing those out the tires I've linked to would be a great tire. As long as ground clearance isn't an issue on your dirt road driving you should be fine. Just be sure and put the stock mud flaps on...

 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in St George. The heat is a non issue for the 2018 6.

This car rarely if ever sees any off road driving. With a good set of All Seasons I don't think it would be any better or worse than any other car. The stock Falcons would actually be a good tire to start with. After wearing those out the tires I've linked to would be a great tire. As long as ground clearance isn't an issue on your dirt road driving you should be fine. Just be sure and put the stock mud flaps on...

Thanks for the advice! Will follow up on that. I've gathered quite a bit of great tips. Really appreciate it!
 

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The Mazda 6 should be fine in the desert. Follow an extreme driving service schedule and make sure your tires are on the better side of worn if you are on dirt a lot (worn tires are easy to cut with rocks). If you purchase an automatic it may be worth while to install an aftermarket transmission oil cooler.
Have fun.
 
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The Mazda 6 should be fine in the desert. Follow an extreme driving service schedule and make sure your tires are on the better side of worn if you are on dirt a lot (worn tires are easy to cut with rocks). If you purchase an automatic it may be worth while to install an aftermarket transmission oil cooler.
Have fun.
The ATX does not have oil lines available to hook up an oil cooler.
 

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Thank you! I was born and raised in Maine and have driven many of those roads myself (plus through the horrific snow!) I completely understand the kind of snow that the individual who replied from Toronto experiences! Your info is good to know. I'll make note of it!
Mainer here! There's no way any roads you drive on will be crappier than small-town roads here in spring. If you have a choice, you'll probably want to go with the smallest rims possible so you can put the most rubber between the car and the road for a more comfortable ride. You're not going to like the ride on 19" rims with low-profile tires on gravel roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mainer here! There's no way any roads you drive on will be crappier than small-town roads here in spring. If you have a choice, you'll probably want to go with the smallest rims possible so you can put the most rubber between the car and the road for a more comfortable ride. You're not going to like the ride on 19" rims with low-profile tires on gravel roads.

Yup! I'm from Windham and Gorham, outside of Portland. Winter driving and spring roads and literally, the pits! Thanks for the tip! Lana (now in the desert; can't think of which is worse: Maine in the Winter and Spring or St. George, Utah in the Summer.)
 

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Since you said you were not a car person, I'll offer some more basic information that I hope will be helpful.

As others have stated, the Mazda6 will work fine in the heat. Doubtful the air conditioning can keep up, but that's probably the case for most any car.

Tire and wheel size will have a big effect on comfort and dirt-road capability.

2016-2019 Mazda6s have a couple of different wheel size options depending on the trim level. The Sport has 17-inch wheels, while some Touring and all Grand Tourings have 19-inch wheels. Since the overall diameter of the tire is the same, this means the 19-inch wheels have much lower sidewalls on the tire. Lower sidewalls will have a firmer ride and (generally) be more likely to get a flat on a dirt or rough road. The higher sidewalls will also have a slightly more comfortable ride.

From a ride point of view, you'd probably want the 17-inch wheels. However, the higher-level trim options have more luxuries and comfort. You can always buy the high level of trim and then swap or sell for a set of the 17-inch wheels.

If this explanation doesn't make sense, ask a tire shop or check out TireRack.com. And yes, a set of very good all-season tires will do well for you in summer. If you need to get through snow and ice, get a second set of snow tires.

Happy driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since you said you were not a car person, I'll offer some more basic information that I hope will be helpful.

As others have stated, the Mazda6 will work fine in the heat. Doubtful the air conditioning can keep up, but that's probably the case for most any car.

Tire and wheel size will have a big effect on comfort and dirt-road capability.

2016-2019 Mazda6s have a couple of different wheel size options depending on the trim level. The Sport has 17-inch wheels, while some Touring and all Grand Tourings have 19-inch wheels. Since the overall diameter of the tire is the same, this means the 19-inch wheels have much lower sidewalls on the tire. Lower sidewalls will have a firmer ride and (generally) be more likely to get a flat on a dirt or rough road. The higher sidewalls will also have a slightly more comfortable ride.

From a ride point of view, you'd probably want the 17-inch wheels. However, the higher-level trim options have more luxuries and comfort. You can always buy the high level of trim and then swap or sell for a set of the 17-inch wheels.

If this explanation doesn't make sense, ask a tire shop or check out TireRack.com. And yes, a set of very good all-season tires will do well for you in summer. If you need to get through snow and ice, get a second set of snow tires.

Happy driving.
Thanks! That helps a great deal! I've been looking at all the tire options for about six months. Thanks again!
 

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Which gen Mazda 6 are we speaking about? I know for a fact the ATX in the third gen does not have oil cooler lines.
Does it fit the Turbo. Not that we know of but -

IF you could read you would see that the part he linked to specifically says it fits:


2019 Mazda 6Sport, Touring2.5L L4 - Gas
2018 Mazda 6Sport, Touring2.5L L4 - Gas
2017 Mazda 6Grand Touring, Sport, Touring2.5L L4 - Gas
2016 Mazda 6Grand Touring, Sport, Touring2.5L L4 - Gas


Please quit posting your constant MIS INFORMATION. There's hardly a thread that you don't have bad advice in.

PLEASE MODS stop this CRAP.
 

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Which gen Mazda 6 are we speaking about? I know for a fact the ATX in the third gen does not have oil cooler lines.
While the current ATX has an internal cooler, from looking at the parts and the descriptions; it appears that this mounts an oil-to-water heat exchanger on the transaxle assembly and the hoses are for coolant.
 
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