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Got a call late night from the sales manager at the dealer in town where I have put down my deposit for my 6. Apparently they were having dealer intros across Canada this week, and they were in town yesterday, I could go down and check them out. So after work I headed down there and sure enough there were 5 brand spanking new Mazda 6's there, all with Ontario plates. 4 of them already loaded on the truck, apparently they are on their way to Montreal, anyway, there was one still on the ground and, though no one was around, the car was sitting open, so my girl and I had a peek around inside. First impressions are positive, a few things I have noted however.... (the car was a Titanium Grey GT V6 model without our GFX option package (ie no optitron, no ground effects, no all black interior)

1. As suspected, the seats are NOT all leather. The seating surfaces indeed are, but the backs and the sides are the leatherette/vinyl that is present in my parents Mazda Tribute. It was just getting dark so I was relying on the in car lights, but it was hard to tell if there was a noticeable colour difference. Texture of it is the same as in my parents Tribute, more rubbery than leather, even the actual seating surface leather has a rubbery feel. I do, however, like the look of the seats overall, and they are immensely comfortable.

2. Some of the interior plastics come off as cheap feeling. It would appear as though the same bean counters that got to the Tribute got to the 6 as well. Some of the door trim plastic, as well as the plastic on the cup holders and center console strikes me as cheap, and I am wondering if the silver finish stuff will end up easily scratchable?? Anyone with their car wanna confirm if it looks like it would scratch easy?

3. The back seat is extremely roomy. Comfortable, and nice. Though again, less than impressed with the leather on those seats. The cup holders on the centre armrest strike me as useless however.

4. The sunroof opening is small. Disapointenly so. I don't much find this an issue, but my girl felt it was stingy.

5. The seating position is really comfortable, and the steering wheel and shifter fall right to hand as was expected. Not quite like my Miata, but still a comfortable feeling car.

6. The size of the car is perfect, and the outside proportions are brilliant. The styling is even more striking in person than in pictures. Espescially lovely was the silver one on the trailer with the GFX option package. I MUCH prefer the look of the car with this option than without. Some will disagree, but I believe it adds the right amount of agressiveness without being overly in your face. Mazda is good at the whole side sills thing, my 10AE Miata looks much better than stock, as do most Miata's with a Aero Sport package. However, I do find the newest Miata's deep Aero Sport package a tad bit overdone, so I was thankful the 6's is tasteful.

7. The trunk is huge! Then again, I drive a Miata, so ANY trunk appears huge!

8. I can't WAIT to get my car!!!

My girlfriend and I both agreed this was an unfair tease and we probably should not have gone. Would have loved to drive it, but hey, this was a nice treat! Good to know a dealer is actually good for something sometimes!

Sorry for going on, but I thought you guys might be interested.

Cheers!

Bryan
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

Awesome insight from an unbiased buyer.

So you telling me Mazda did the unthinkable by using fake leather other than the sitting surface? Hmmmm, perhaps a letter to Mazda is in order here. If they advertise and list the option as leather, I would expect it to be all leather. What they should say is leather/leatherette combo?

I guess most people would not notice but this kind of bad advertising business should not be tolerate. It is bad enough that fast food chain like McDonalds use pictures of plastic hamburger to entice buyer to buy their Big Mac, I dont' want to see this happening with more important industry.

Have you seen the new Honda Accord interior?? How is the plastic compared to it??

Hiep
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

I'm not a leather expert, but the leather seats I was shown by my dealer appeared to be all leather, and the dealer confirmed this when I asked him. Another difference between the NA and the Euro models?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

Well, if that's all leather then it is pretty poor quality leather. First thing I did when I opened the door was squeeze the sides and back of the seats. You can tell an immediate difference in feel, the seat surfaces are smooth and soft, the backs and sides feel thicker, heavier, the only word to use is rubbery. ? Exactly the way it is in my parents ES Tribute. ? I have seen nothing in any magazine reviews that mention this, again, every other Mazda car I have ever been in has leather seating surfaces and leatherette on the back. I have not seen any official advertising from Mazda on the N/A model, usually they put a disclaimer that the seatbacks/sides are leatherette. ??

Also forgot to mention, not a fan of the bulge in the taillights. I think I will have to order myself a pair of the clear lenses, as much as I HATE clear lens taillights. I was glad when they went to the red, but why did they add the bulge?? Bizarre decision, that one.

Again, I could be wrong on the seats, but if that is leather it is even less impressive than if it were vinyl.

As for comparison's to the Accord's interior, well, for one it is hard for me to get to the Accord's interior because walking up to the car is torture, that thing is just hideous. Also drove one, smooth riding, feels extremely solid, but NO emmotion in any of it, the controls are just isolated from everything. I am NOT going from a Miata to that. But the plastic in the Accord interior struck me as being a bit better quality. But I will take the plastic trade off, even some build quality feel, for a better looking better driving car ANY day.

Cheers!

Bryan
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

If this is true, they are using different seats in NA than in Europe. I had read here about the rumour of the seatbacks not being real leather and so I checked this out when I visited with the dealer. There was definitely no difference in material between the seats and the backs or sides.
 

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Mazda NA is pulling one over us North Americans.

Isn't there some sort of law against this? They have to at least put a small fine print disclaimer on the bottom of their brochure to protect their asses. If not I have a chance to sue them and get my 6 for free.

This is not right. I know they are penny pinching but they have to let us know what is real and what is not. They should not hide certain fact that is obviously noticeable.

I am extremely disappointed to hear about this leather issue. I pay good money for the leather option, I expect leather and none less.

BTW, did the Tribute brochure have the disclaimer about the leather option???

Hiep
 

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I would think they'd have to mention it in their brochures. We're talking about a country where microwave oven manufacturers have to point out that their products are not to be used for drying pets, or get their asses sued. (Oh, and we're also talking about Canada as well ;))

For the leather thing, I think they'd be in serious trouble if they were using fake leather and not mentioning it, even here in Germany.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

I wouldn't get to upset about it, and I do not think Mazda is stupid as a result of this.

Remember, as a layman I could be wrong, but going on comparisons that is not leather. I did not expect full leather seats in the car, not for the price point. Bean counters have to do their job, otherwise the car would be out of the price range of it's competitors. I do not want to pay Audi A4 prices for a Mazda 6.

Yes, the Tribute brochure had a disclaimer, as does my 10AE Miata brochure. So, I am quite certain if the sides and back are indeed leatherette as they feel to be, there will be a disclaimer in the brochure and all advertising materials.

Bryan
 

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I have to agree with you Bryan. I think the car will in some points be adapted to the NA market, the prime example probably being the red taillights. The European model is adapted to the European market where they have to seriously compete with Audi and BMW.

What's the cost of the leather option over there anyway?
 
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Using leatherettte on non seating surfaces i think is fairly common practice. I own 96 acura TL and have owned 88 rx-7 with "leather" seats and both of those do not have genuine leather on all the surfaces. As long as the areas you come in contact with (seat backs, steering wheel and shifter) are real leather and the rest matches nicely what is the big deal? And as far as is the false advertising accusations, most cars don't advertise "leather/leatherette" seats as an options. it just doesn't make any sense to do so.
 

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But you have to realize, how can Honda get their leather cheaper that they can equip all their seat with real leather without having to use leatherette to keep cost down?

I know Mazda is not going to be direct competitor to Audi or BMW or other high end import. They have to compete the likes of Honda, Toyota, Nissan, GM, Ford and Chrysler. To be specific, the the 6 has to compete against the Accord, Camry, Altima, Lumina/Malibu/Regal, Taurus and the Siebring/Intredid, respectively.

But the true competitor price wise would be the Accord, Camry and Altima. The other domestics are priced way too low to have a price advantage.

If Accord, Camry and Altima use real leather in their seats and price equivalent to the 6, why must Mazda cheapen their leather to get the price same as the other manufacturers?

Problem with leatherette is that they have different endurance capability. One will fade out more than the other and as the model gets older, you can really tell the difference between the two materials. Yes it will look good now but down the line, it will make the car look really outdated and crappy.

Mazda will hear from me since I want to get the top of the line but rather have the cloth if the leather is cheapen like this. I rather not pay the extra dollars for the leather. Unfortunately, the top line package has to have leather.

Another packaging dilenmas but this time it is for us Canadian. Why could we just not get the same car from the place like all from Japan like the olden days. I rather pay the extra money knowing that every single car is the same no matter what country you buy it from. At least everyone get shafted the same way.
 
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wasn't aware that the new accords and camrys use real leather everywhere. Thats a real surprise, are you sure they just do't use a high qaulity synthetic?... in any case My HONDA TL has 110,000 miles in the hot Texas sun and there is not an appreciable difference between the real deal and the fake stuff, except for the real leather on my steering wheel getting a little worn out.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

I had a look at the german and dutch versions of the leather seats. They seemed to be all leather. The brochures don't mention anything about using leatherette or vinyl. If they would and don't tell you, they could be made liable for what they print. At least that's the way it is in Germany.

Then I had a look at my father's car. It's a Jaguar S-Type and the leather seats in the back seem to be different from the front seats. The arm rest in the back is definitely no leather. So you see, even manufacturers of luxury cars rip you off.

Another example: The leather seats in the Audi A3 look completely fake. I've never ever seen leather seats that have left such a bad impression. :p
 

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Replying to Topic 'Got to crawl around the car.....'

I don't really know if it's a 'rip off' so to speak, and I was not really upset about it, like I had said in a previous post, it just makes me want to opt out of the leather option. I can understand the rationale behind it, and as long as it is nicely done, good. However, if you don't get the leather option here you can't get the auto climate controls, which strike me as useless overall but still cool. ?

It's a toss up. At least the Canadian packaging is no where near as bad as the US packaging job.

Anyway, glad to hear the other thread confirmed I was correct, I was beginning to think I wasn't.

Bryan
 

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Yeah, maybe the term rip off wasn't quite right and a bit to harsh. As long as the quality is o.k. it's o.k. with me. Most of all the looks and the overall impression of a car are important. The Mazda 6 certainly is a winner. :D
 

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The whole leather seat business is standard practice. I read an article not too long ago about how even sedans from BMW and Mercedes Benz use leather seating SURFACES, but then use some type of faux leather on the seat sides and backs. That is why many new cars now say "leather seating surfaces" on the sticker rather than simply "leather seats"

I'm sure this is the exact same thing with Mazda. the surfaces you actually sit on are real leather, but from the side bolsters back is something else. It isn't anything to get too worked up about, as this is how just about every leather seat car is done.

Hope that clears things up.
 

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I agree with you Ishmael. I was going to opt out of the leather too. I went to the dealer today and the salesguy was nice enough and showed me his sheet on all the options.

I found that if I opted out of the leather, I have to go down to the GS trim level. What I can see in Canada, the GS is missing these items compared to the top level GT (V6 model). The GS is missing ACC, Homelink/auto dimming rear mirror, heated seats (not needed since cloth); and security alarm. That is it. The price difference is $2500CDN if you get the GFX, package and Premium Audio/Moonrof.

But I really love ACC, it is so convienent. I like the auto dimming rear mirror too. I don't know if it is worth $2500CDN though.
 
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