Mazda 6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently saw the 6 at the AutoShow in Toronto, both the sedan model (available for purchase now --- built in Flat Rock) and the wagon and hatch (both were right hand drive Japanese market vehicles on display as "future models"). My two buddies and I made the same observations (independently) that the quality of finish seemed to be noticeably better on the Japanese made models. For example, the rubber trim around the door windows was smooth with no ripples on the Hatch/Wagon whereas fit on the sedans was not the best with flared corners and uneven lines (note that there were three US built 6 sedans on display and all three were similar in this regard). Even the quality (feel and texture) of the plastics seemed to be better on the Japanese built models. We weren't looking to fault the US built 6s we just all noticed the differences. Anyone else able to see both versions to compare?

As for the interior, we were somewhat disappointed at the feel of the plastics. We also noticed excessive flex in the door panels. The circular air vents are neat but they seem to be used on every second Japanese or Korean model out there. The center console also left us with mixed reactions. The buttons and knobs felt smooth in operation but the finish and feel of the plastics took away from the overall effect. I came out thinking that the concepts were good but the build quality was questionable.

My buddies and I are all driving german cars right now ('97 A4, '99 A4 and a '99 Golf VR6) so we were interested to see if there was anything in the hype around the 6 comparing to german or european design or "feel". Maybe the 6 drives more like a european car and I think the 6 is greatly improved over previous offerings with regards to fit, finish, materials, design, etc., however Mazda has a ways to go to match these "lower end" german vehicles. I appreciate that the 6 is less expensive than the A4 however it's not far off the Passat which for a 5 year old model is still a benchmark for this class of car with regards to finish and interior appointments.

I've been looking for a second vehicle for the wife and kid and I thought the 6 wagon nailed it when I first read about it. Now I feel like I need to lower my standards a bit. I don't want to take anything away from the 6 on the driving side of things. That's next in my evaluation (hopefully soon). I guess all the great reports on this forum left me expecting more on the overall quality of build.

Just my $0.02 (Canadian $ which is about US$0.01)


D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

VW's are notorious for having mechanical problems. I've heard several direct testimonies to this fact. I expect more from the 6 in terms of reliability. I haven't heard much about A4's except that they're expensive to repair. I was turned off a bit by BMW when I heard they had 100's of engines blown on first year M3's, and they were extremely slow to come around and admit the problem was with the car (as opposed to driver error). I recognize this problem was likely just an anomaly, but the lack of service and support speaks volumes about how they treat their customers.

Don't get me wrong, I like the A4 and the 3-series BMW, but I need to feel a little more confident if I'm gonna spend that much money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,126 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

A4's have been plagued with reliability problems in the past as well. I would imagine (and hope) that the new ones are better (as I like them!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

As far as finish quality difference between U.S. and Japan, perhaps you're right or maybe they just REALLY did a good job on those vehicles for the Auto Show?

Anyway, it's tough to compare A4 and 3-series to the 6 because the 6 is simply a much lower price point. A comparably rquipped A4 and 3-series cost at least $8-10k more here in the U.S. Then again, just the fact that people are even comparing the 6 to these "entry luxury" cars is rather flattering for the 6 IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,059 Posts
Replying to Topic 'US build quality vs. Japanese?'

comparing the quality of cars between US and Japan, i always knew the quality is the best in Japan and also the most reliable.

which is why i tend to look at a Honda first or a Toyota.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

I think Honda has fallen off the mark a little bit, but not much. Little things here and there with the new Civic. And now they've released a new generation of the Accord with alot of changes. Toyota is the definite leader hands down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

The new A4's are nice, but as with most German cars....repairing and maintenance becomes a hassle.
I knew someone who had their Audi in the shop for half a year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

I'm gonna have to post this somewhere. I sold it because I'm getting married and need to get into a house. Houses are f***ing expensive in this area. My philosophy once was "you can sleep in your car, but you can't drive your house to work". My soon-to-be-wife doesn't buy that. :D Hence, car was sold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Replying to Topic 'US build quality vs. Japanese?'

QUOTE
comparing the quality of cars between US and Japan, i always knew the quality is the best in Japan and also the most reliable.  which is why i tend to look at a Honda first or a Toyota.[/b]

What about American built Toyotas and Hondas? Since almost all of them are built in the US now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

They are still best in the business though especially Toyota/Lexus. With that said, they are not perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

Remember too, the Japanese cars have different suppliers than the US cars.

That could be the biggest diff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

digli,

Jerome81 is correct. Mazda's AutoAlliance plant is 50/50 Mazda/Ford owned and is also Mazda's only assembly plant in N. America (I'm excluding the Tribute plant because that's a 100% Ford plant). Therefore, the suppliers to this plant are Ford suppliers. Of all the car makers in N. America, Ford stresses the price factor to it's suppliers second most (with Chrysler stressing the price factor the most). This is where the difference in 'the feel of the plastics' comes from.

But here's the positive part. Mazda's are designed well, and although the AutoAlliance uses Ford suppliers, my Mazda 626 from the exact same plant has been nothing short of superb in terms of reliability. And the Mazda6 is much better designed than my 626. I have complete faith in the AutoAlliance's build quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Replying to Topic 'US build quality vs. Japanese?'

Wrongpres:

Thanks for relating your "real-world" experience. It's good to hear that you're happy with your 626. I'm not giving up on the 6. I will be comparing the 6 wagon to the Passat wagon next spring and decide at that point based on overall value.

D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

My experience is that Toyota's Japanese built cars are superior to the English a US built car's.
My parents have a Corolla hatch which was built in Japan and the finish and quality are great, the Corolla built same year but sedan is built in England and have much lower quality.
I have owned Camry, Avensis, Corolla myself and those made in Japan had much higher quality.
US built Camry and all English produced Toyotas have more problems as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Reading Topic: Replying to Topic 'US build quality vs. Japanese?'

The comparison to Audi and BMW is fine in terms of what you can get IF you want to spend MORE money. Yes, the A4 has superior fit and finish to the 6. The materials are exemplery in the A4 and decent in the BMW. However, the cost is significantly higher in the Audi and BMW.
The 6 compares favorably to the 3 series BMW and almost matches it in terms of materials with the nod going to BMW, of course, which is a LOT more money and that's where the difference lies.

Now, in terms of driveability and reliability the 6 will match both Audi and BMW and will likely surpass them in the long run. The A4 and 325 were my initial cars on my list. I have a budget of $30k-$35k for a car. However, I waited to see and drive the 6. I was extremely impressed with the quality and driveability in comparison to the A4 and 325. The 6 is simply on par with those cars and it's actually slightly more driver oriented in feel to the A4. Also, the manual 6 is vastly superior to either the A4 and the 325 in terms of feel and operation. The shift quality is solid and precise in the 6 and extremely vague and light in the A4 and less so in the 325. The 325 has one of the longest throws in a "sport sedan" I've ever driven.

The 6 compares easily to the German sport sedans at a much lower price. In terms of sport sedan it simply outshines the Honda and Toyota. The new Acura TSX will be a nice car but it'll be slower and probably cost more but we'll have to wait and see.

The build quality may be better in Japan as I believe those workers care more. I don't like to say it or admit it but American built cars sometimes lack the little things that become noticeable to those enthusiasts who happen to care about those little things. But, the 6 is a new car to the American assembly plant, so it may take a bit longer to get things up to speed and spec.
I've noticed some 6's with some questionable alignment on body panels, but overall the fit and finish is very very nice. Just look for one that is up to your desire.

The demand for the 6 is increasing thus the value of these cars should remain close to the Honda and Toyota, hopefully. Take one for a drive and you'll know why the 6 is compared to the Audi and BMW. It's simply fantastic.

Tome
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

I was speaking with an ex Mazda tech today. We were discussing the realibilty of Mazda vehicles in general. He mentioned that the vehicles built in Japan were of a much better build quality than those manufactured in the US. He in fact recommended I specify that I wanted a vehicle built in Japan when ordering. As a fyi he told me you can recognize those Japanese vehicles by their vin which starts with a J.

Sue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Reading Topic: US build quality vs. Japanese?

Not necessarily that they are Ford suppliers, just that the suppliers Mazda is dealing with are not the same suppliers as the plant in Japan uses.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top