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What's your Mazda 6 story ?

16985 Views 47 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  slavuta
I think it was the winter of 2011 when I had to visit Las Vegas for a conference. The rental car agency had a choice of Elantra and Mazda 3 for me. I had never driven a Mazda in my life, so I chose the Mazda. The interiors were typical hard plastic econobox, and everything I touched and felt seemed rough and hard. Then as I pulled out of the rental car parking and on to the streets of vegas, I immediately noticed how quick the steering rack was. It was almost sports car like, every minute steering input evoked an instant reaction from the car. I just loved it !

A couple of days later we made a trip to the mojave desert. I don’t exactly recall what roads we took, but it was windy, twisty with plenty of elevation changes and miles of no traffic ! I distinctly remember driving through the desert roads at pretty ridiculous speeds and i thought more than once i was going to lose control of the car, but no matter what speed i carried into a corner, the car came out of it with minimal drama ! How hard was i on the car ? With 80% highway driving I was averaging teens to low 20s gas mileage >:)

Usually I am relieved when i turn over the keys of a rental car, but this time i was actually quite sad that my holiday romance with Mazda was coming to an end. I have since driven a 2011-2012 Mazda 3s on 4 different occasions only to confirm that it was indeed a good handling car with ample feedback and not just my imagination.

Fast forward 5 years when it was time to change cars, i just knew it had to be a Mazda. I am not a fan boy, so i did drive the competitors cars, and each one of them had their strong points and none of them were bad. But the Mazda 6 was that 1% car in the segment. Meaning 99% of the time there is little difference between the 6 and competition, but it is when you go for that last 1% that the Mazda 6 shines. It drives stiff, the steering is heavy and has feel (*more of it later), the body has better control and the interiors are more sophisticated ( not calling it superior because i think both the Accord and Fusion in highest trims have equally good quality materials and finish).

So in Jan 2016 I turned my holiday fling into a marriage when I bought a 2016 M6 GT. And as I get to know the car better, there are things that i love and there are things about the car i wish were different. But it still stands out of the crowd, and it still puts a smile on my face each time i take an exit at a higher speed than what the limit suggests. I love the interiors, some of my friends with Audis and Lexus have complimented how good the car looks and feels inside.

That said when i look compare my experience with 2012 Mazda 3, I feel the gen 3.5 Mazda 6 lacks some "feel" . The steering though heavy, isn’t as quick nor precise as the old Mazda 3. But it’s the overall feedback from the car which i think is lacking compared to the 3 which is a tad disappointing. I recently had a chance to drive on some rural twisties of Pennsylvania, and even at pretty sane speeds of <50 mph, the car has plenty of understeer. Then there are the brakes, all it takes is few miles of hard driving for the brakes to fade. I just couldn’t push the car without feeling uncomfortable. The front feels like it is trying to wash away under braking. Then ofcourse there is the known lack of power below 3000 rpm and a pretty thin torque band, so you constantly need to keep the revs up if you have to carry some speed.

Maybe I am expecting too much from what Is an economy car, but I constantly compare my experience with the last generation Mazda3 and somehow set my expectation much higher. I don’t regret my decision one bit, I still think it is the best car in its segment. I have plans for strut braces and better tires soon ( the 19in dunlops are rubbish for more reasons than one! ), and hopefully better brakes in future. Overall, it is still a fantastic car, but it has thought me a very important lesson, if you need a performance car that can be a daily driver, then get a Golf R/GTI/FocusST or RS, but if you need a daily driver that is economical to buy and own but has a little oomph, then keep your expectations in check and buy a Mazda. Zoom Zoom !
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You are right, ALL Mazda 6s have 220hp from factory, including the current 2017 model. Yeah. Everyone buys the old Mazda 6s. Every person who owns a Mazda 6 has the 220hp model. YEP.

https://www.google.com/search?q=chevy+cavalier+2004+horsepower&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

2004 Cavalier = 140hp
2014 Mazda 6 = 184hp

Yeah, you are right DOUBLE the power. Yeah, just because you had a non-ecotec Cavalier from 2000-2002, it must mean all cavaliers had 110hp, right? It also must mean that all mazda 6s have 220hp, right?
You're an idiot.
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I also miss the hydraulic steering assist - DK why everybody is so hot to save a few horsepower, at the expense of what is one of the most important sources of the driving experience. Almost impossible to find it on a new car, even the supposed 'greats' like Porsche.
I also miss the hydraulic steering assist - DK why everybody is so hot to save a few horsepower, at the expense of what is one of the most important sources of the driving experience. Almost impossible to find it on a new car, even the supposed 'greats' like Porsche.
As more drive trains go hybrid/electric, you will see the hydraulic rack go the way of the Dodo. The sharing of parts/technology across vehicle lines is $$$$ saved, and the bottom line is the bottom line. For the average driver the electric rack is not noticeable. And, from what I've read on the future of it, the guys at Porsche and BMW are getting closer every time they introduce a new one. Progress and change are constant. Embrace it or lament it, I choose embrace.

I still feel that the Mazda6 offers a better enthusiasts experience than it's main competitors, but the NA 4cyl as the only engine option is keeping a lot of dollars in the other brands.
I agree that they are getting the electrics better all the time, but still rashes me some. Personally, I don't buy the economy argument - hydraulic tech is already a well-developed area, so no up front devo costs, and it doesn't need to eat up much power (they already got smart and started driving coolant pump electrically, not via crank).


I think it is a precursor to permit safety systems to start to adjust steering, once they get that tech ready. Not necessarily bad, especially for the 90% that really would never notice, and perhaps once they finally catch up they will be equivalent (used to be that even hydraulic power steering assist was like novacaine).
And the multi disc CD changer - forgot to mention that, but probably the thing that I really curse about not having anymore. Starting to phase out ANY CD now, so it won't be long before they sit with the casettes... I know - marks me as a dinosaur, but I don't have time to transfer everything to an ipod.
And the multi disc CD changer - forgot to mention that, but probably the thing that I really curse about not having anymore. Starting to phase out ANY CD now, so it won't be long before they sit with the casettes... I know - marks me as a dinosaur, but I don't have time to transfer everything to an ipod.
What is this "ipod" of which you speak? It must be next to the 45, 8-track, cassette, CD.....
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What is this "ipod" of which you speak? It must be next to the 45, 8-track, cassette, CD.....
Hey now...
We luddites get by best as we can lol.

Sent from a Samsung that doesn't explode.
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Hey now...
We luddites get by best as we can lol.

Sent from a Samsung that doesn't explode.
One of our shared servers at work is named Luddite. I've had to explain what it means before, but that kinda ruins the joke.....
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That's awesome.

Sent from a Samsung that doesn't explode.
My Mazda story...

A few years back, I was driving a GTI hatch (2-door, 6-speed MTM) and loving it. Then, my wife got very sick. I found myself ferrying her to/from hospitals, ERs, doctors offices...a lot. She couldn't take the stiff ride in my lowered VW, so we had to take her Jeep Grand Cherokee. I HATE SUV's...they're a particular type of hell for me. I realized I needed to find a reasonably priced reliable 4-door sedan that wasn't totally boring to drive, but kept my better half comfortable.

I tried a couple and they were ok...but, something was really missing. I realized it was the manual transmission. If you want a decent handling mid-size sedan with three pedals, the list gets real short - real fast. There's pretty much only the Accord Sport and the Mazda 6. Unfortunately, the manual transmission Accord Sport seems to exist only in the Honda press pool. (There were none closer than 200 miles from me and only a few in a 500 mile radius.) That sorta left the Mazda as sole contender.

The 3rd generation 6 had been getting raves and praise from the auto press since its launch. Its seemed to be everything I was looking for...good looking, great handling, economical. I found a manual transmission touring model at a dealer about 3 hours from where I live. I drove over to look at it on Memorial day weekend. That Monday, I went back and bought it.

So far, I'm really happy with my decision. The 6 is a joy to drive. I love the gearbox, the handling, the great fuel economy, and the fact that it looks like S-E-X on wheels. The car is a little light on interior storage and back seat room...and it would have been nice if Mazda had made the manual available in GT trim or with the tech-package option. Other than those minor quibbles, I very pleased with my 6.
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Glad to see another Luddite on the forum.
I agree, but I always get a kick out of somebody whipping out their smartphone to google up what 'luddite' means.
Had a 2000 BMW 328. Best car ever drove. Bought a '14 Passat TDI manual transmission for the mileage only. Hated handling/transmission. Wanted something with mileage and handling. To be honest, have not been impressed by either. Decent, but not a BMW or diesel economy. Overall pleased with car but looking to improve handling.
Had a 2000 BMW 328. Best car ever drove. Bought a '14 Passat TDI manual transmission for the mileage only. Hated handling/transmission. Wanted something with mileage and handling. To be honest, have not been impressed by either. Decent, but not a BMW or diesel economy. Overall pleased with car but looking to improve handling.
Your expectations are too high, the 6 is a family car not a sports car and how can it compete with a BMW 3-series, different category (entry luxury car).

Not sure how you can't be impressed by the fuel economy, for the size of the car and decent power it's very good in my opinion.
Had a 2000 BMW 328. Best car ever drove. Bought a '14 Passat TDI manual transmission for the mileage only. Hated handling/transmission. Wanted something with mileage and handling. To be honest, have not been impressed by either. Decent, but not a BMW or diesel economy. Overall pleased with car but looking to improve handling.


My story follows yours pretty closely once I decided to jump into the luxury sedan market in 2003. In 1998 I purchased a 1995 Mazda MX-6 (5 speed) and absolutely loved the car until I carelessly drove the car like an idiot at 100 mph + speeds for WAY too long seizing the motor. After much pondering on what to buy, I ended up w/ a car I almost wish I still had, a 2001 Honda Prelude SH (my parents ended up buying the car from me and gave it to my little sister for her 16th birthday present.....must've been nice, which of course she had no idea what she had and treated the car like shit). Being young and dumb, in 2003 I purchased a BMW 325i equipped w/ the sport/premium pkg's and I loved the shit out of the car....UNTIL the warranty ran out and I realized just how expensive it is to maintain a German automobile. Soooooo, what does my dumbass do next, purchased a more sensible car, but didn't learn my lesson about German autos and went w/ a 2010 VW Jetta TDI (IF only I would've kept it through the scandal). After 4 years of ownership and 70k miles the A/C began to work sporadically. I called the dealership explaining the issue and made an apt to bring it in and SPECIFICALLY asked if I should discontinue using the A/C to which they responded "if when you turn it on and it's works, it should not cause any issues"......STUPID me, listening to the "stealership". After bringing the car in they diagnose the issue and say the ENTIRE A/C system has been compromised because it was being ran when the problem was occurring.....to which I said, "your service dept TOLD me it was ok!!!"......We know how that turned out of course. I complained to VW corporate to which they offered me a trade in discount on a new VW....thanks, but no thanks a-holes.


I literally walked next door to the Mazda dealership, traded in the VW, and have now been the happy owner of my 6 for almost 3 years now.
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My story follows yours pretty closely once I decided to jump into the luxury sedan market in 2003. In 1998 I purchased a 1995 Mazda MX-6 (5 speed) and absolutely loved the car until I carelessly drove the car like an idiot at 100 mph + speeds for WAY too long seizing the motor. After much pondering on what to buy, I ended up w/ a car I almost wish I still had, a 2001 Honda Prelude SH (my parents ended up buying the car from me and gave it to my little sister for her 16th birthday present.....must've been nice, which of course she had no idea what she had and treated the car like shit). Being young and dumb, in 2003 I purchased a BMW 325i equipped w/ the sport/premium pkg's and I loved the shit out of the car....UNTIL the warranty ran out and I realized just how expensive it is to maintain a German automobile. Soooooo, what does my dumbass do next, purchased a more sensible car, but didn't learn my lesson about German autos and went w/ a 2010 VW Jetta TDI (IF only I would've kept it through the scandal). After 4 years of ownership and 70k miles the A/C began to work sporadically. I called the dealership explaining the issue and made an apt to bring it in and SPECIFICALLY asked if I should discontinue using the A/C to which they responded "if when you turn it on and it's works, it should not cause any issues"......STUPID me, listening to the "stealership". After bringing the car in they diagnose the issue and say the ENTIRE A/C system has been compromised because it was being ran when the problem was occurring.....to which I said, "your service dept TOLD me it was ok!!!"......We know how that turned out of course. I complained to VW corporate to which they offered me a trade in discount on a new VW....thanks, but no thanks a-holes.


I literally walked next door to the Mazda dealership, traded in the VW, and have now been the happy owner of my 6 for almost 3 years now.
I'm holding back the laughter so you don't get pixxed :stickpoke::rofl::rofl:
I'm holding back the laughter so you don't get pixxed :stickpoke::rofl::rofl:
Hey, i didn't type up the post for sympathy!! Laugh away!
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I wanted a new ~$25k driver's car with manual transmission and some comfort features - proximity key, auto AC, non-cloth non-black seats, rain sensing wipers. The car must also comfortably accommodate a reset facing infant seat. The 6 was literally one of the only new cars that fit this criteria.

Accord Sport manual lacks many of these features. Looked at the GTI and 3, but they were just too small.

It's not much of a story, but I really like my 6!
VW Golf TDI was giving me issues and decided I wanted something new that could match the TDI fuel mileage that wasnt a hybrid.......non existent. I then was going for a base model basic car. Thought about that for a while and said " im going to have this car for a long time so you better like what you buy" and settled on the Accord Sport, it was a done deal, never had even seen a Mazda6 at that point. I dropped my fiance' off at work one morning and sat at the railroad tracks and watched a train litterally stop on the tracks and not move for 10 minutes and I looked to my left and their was a Mazda dealership with the driveway RIGHT THERE. I said "well its better than waiting for this damn train thats not moving". I pulled in, walked through the group of 3's and suv's and saw a GT6 and went "WHOA! Thats sexy!!" And thought it must be 35k$. Well it was close but then I saw the touring model and it was the same price as the Accord sport!!! Ok im in!! That was at 730am so no one was there and I couldnt wait to come back and test drive one!! Went back that afternoon and test drove a touring and that was it, Accord.....get in the back seat!! I was sold. Now as long as I can get out the door for 24.5$$ or less ill be driving one in the next two months. Pics upon delivery!!
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I never gave Mazda a thought. I thought they were Fords and it didnt fit my criteria at the time. I was looking for a luxury sports sedan, AWD, manual transmission.

So in 2005, the first year of the new B7 gen Audi A4 is released. Im and early adopter and Im driving around town in one of the first ones. A silver 6spd quattro with nav, great car but maintenance is steep. I trade in at the 5yr mark before some major maintenance is recommended. My next car is a 2011 6spd subaru legacy gt with nav etc, second year of the 5th gen. Another good experience, no complaints. I enjoyed the car and 265hp, fun to drive family car. I cant do small compacts (married with kid) plus that tail on the wrx sti kills it for me. It is a blast to drive though.

Fast forward to april, i break my collarbone in a sports activity. Im sitting around the computer quite a bit now. My legacy gt is going on 6yrs. I forecast a clutch, brakes, tires in the near future. Im at that mileage where i can get some trade in value but if i drive it another year or 2, i might as well drive it into the ground.

I look around for slightly used cars (im not going brand new again) with awd, manual tranny, and top level trims. The usual suspects appear, bmw, audi etc. I want to try something new (you only live once). I see the new gen mazda and it is a looker. i find out that mazda has separated from ford and this is a pure mazda made in japan. Im more intrigued and investigate further. No awd, i can live with that but i cant give up the clutch. One manual 2014 6 gt comes in at a dealership near me and i go see it. I bought it on the spot.


No significant driving done with it yet but so far im happy
it looks nice in the garage
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