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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be buying a 6s manual in a couple weeks once it rolls into my Mazda dealership's lot but I just NEEDED to drive one of these cars as soon as it came in. I was the first test drive of the Mazda 6 at this dealership (Menlo Mazda in CA). It was a silver S, loaded, auto (no sticks available yet). First off, I drive a 400 HP Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, so I'm not exactly impressed by HP figures below 300. On the other hand, the 6 did not at all feel like a 220 HP car. I suspect this has to do with the philosophy of holistic response that Mazda seems to adhere to. My wife's 130 HP P5 does not feel as slow as it should either.

The engine was as smooth as everyone attests it to be. The powerband is very clean, and does get a little torquey in the midrange. I think this is excellent for a FWD sports sedan as it allows for the rush of acceleration that everyone craves around town, without the torque steer of long-stroked engines off the line. This is probably why reviewers have likened it to an FWD car with RWD feel. I didn't punch it all the way to the top end (this was going to be another person's car) but I was definitely impressed with the powerband's linearity. I doubt I'll be unhappy with the engine in comparison to the VQ35DE in the Altima or Maxima.

The interior is lovely. I don't mind the plasticanium that much though I would prefer flat black. It's not a big deal to me. The optitron gauges are a very nice touch. I was hoping they'd be totally invisible when the car is off but they're still slightly visible (just a detail that might help someone). They are very bright in the day and very visible in direct sunlight.

Grip is marvelous. I took some freeway exits faster than I would have in any other sedan and there was no scrubbing whatsoever. These are speeds I take corners in my Z! I didn't get to really test out the dynamic handling though as I was mostly on freeways and city streets.

The chassis is solid... very solid. No fussiness over large bumps, even over railroad tracks. Interior noise is low, but not Lexus low. Definitely an improvement over my sports car.

In person, the car did not seem as small to me as others have alluded to. I think it was modestly-sized and definitely easy on the eyes. The trunk is spacious, the rear seats are comfortably firm, but supple. I loved that the front seats were both firm, and a little cushioned in the center (perforated) sections. They were the perfect balance for me. I also appreciated how low the seat bottom can go as I prefer a very low seating postion a'la sports cars. The steering wheel felt awesome albeit a little too thin for my tastes (but nothing I owuld have a problem with). I aboslutely love that the column telescopes as I have a very funky driving position. I was able to get my seat adjusted perfectly in a minute or less.

Interior materials are top-notch (other than the plasticanium, which I know will grow on me). The dashboard and door panel material looks like it came of a 3-series Bimmer.

And for those who are curious about the stereo: I picked up a Mazda 6 options brochure and it looks like there will be an MP3 player available for the car. Don't have a price yet but I do have part numbers for the player and panel: GJ6B-79-BGXF and GJ6B-79-AGXB.

Hope this is a helpful review!

regards,
-Alt
 

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Replying to Topic 'My 6s auto review'

Awesome, Alt! Thanks for the great review.

And I'm very, very happy to hear about the MP3 player option. I wasn't looking forward to spending $200 on a cassette player just to be able to plug a cassette/MP3 adapter into it.

Can't wait to find some details on that!
 

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Replying to Topic 'My 6s auto review'

It's my pleasure guys!

Lemme know if you have any specific questions you think I might have info on. I'm regularly visiting this dealer :)

-Alt
 
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