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As you know, I live in winterland. Damn, we have car manufacturers from all over the world building test facilities for winter testing all over the place here. That's a clue...

Anyway, I have some 1500 km on my 6 now, and many of those km are on roads with a lot of snow and ice. So, how is it then? Is it any good? Here's my report.

My first reflection was that my tyres weren't any good. And even if they, as I told in another thread, was badly treated by my dealer who left them in the display window during summer:sarc (will have them changed); they're not THAT bad. It's simply that this engine wants to spin some wheels...

The second experience was that it was a bit scary to go through circulation places, because the car is very direct steered, and by the standards of my old 626 I have to turn the steering wheel quite a lot to get through. Takes some time to get used to.

Now to the important stuff. When you push this car in corners on a winter road, it has a tendency of letting the rear loose. (Quite like a RWD, actually, but just not as much). You who are familiar with different types of RWD on winter roads know that there are two types of cars...those that warn you BEFORE the ass of the car looses grip, and those where this just happens and surprises you completely. Well, the Mazda6 belongs to the cars that warns you. It feels safe, because it's real easy to push the gas too much especially when you're new to the car.

So what if you push it really, really hard. Like drive fast and just turn the steering wheel? I did. I wanted to know.

Let me tell you, I rotated the cars several times (I did this on a big open area with packed snow) and it felt very good. It never gave a feeling of inbalance, or the nasty feeling of "almost turning over" like some cars do. When the wheels finally gets the grip back, and stops the car, it doesn't even rock a bit. It just simply stops. No side motion. Not nothing, it just stops.

The DSC (sorry for you guys that may not get it) works very smooth. You can feel it helping sometimes when you push it a bit too much in corners, or when left and right wheel pairs are on different surfaces. The comfort for those who can't get this is that DSC won't help in the big situations, then you would have to trust your own driving skills and - of course - plain old good luck.

TCS is soft but effective. Better than on the 626. You feel the vibration in the pedal, but it doesn't sound like a meltdown as it did on the 626.

Braking is a comfortable thing. The car goes like an iron - straight forward. No matter how the surface looks. And this is not only because of DSC, because it doesn't kick in when you brake. The car's ABS system handles this good.

All in all...it works good on winter roads, and in cold weather too.

There are no big cons as far as I've seen so far. The only con is that you just keep longing for the next drive...:sarc
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

Have you read the winter test in Aftonbladet? :(
A minus for heating for example.

Is it so bad ?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

No, I didn't read that.

But there are some moments when gloves could become handy. If you keep the car in a heated garage (like I do) and go out in the cold air, the car at first (thanks to the ACC) thinks it's warm inside the car.

And then it starts sending cold air into the cabin. But this goes on for a while only, until the ACC realizes the fact that it's not so hot after all...

Anyway, you can regulate this quite easy, and I'm not bothered. I took a long trip last week, put my jacket in the back seat and had only a thin shirt on. No prob. And it was REALLY cold outside...

When was that test in Aftonbladet?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Steve 6er


            No, I didn't read that.

But there are some moments when gloves could become handy. If you keep the car in a heated garage (like I do) and go out in the cold air, the car at first (thanks to the ACC) thinks it's warm inside the car.

And then it starts sending cold air into the cabin. But this goes on for a while only, until the ACC realizes the fact that it's not so hot after all...

Anyway, you can regulate this quite easy, and I'm not bothered. I took a long trip last week, put my jacket in the back seat and had only a thin shirt on. No prob. And it was REALLY cold outside...

When was that test in Aftonbladet?[/b]
Saturday
M6 came dead last:(
Only 8 points when Volvo S60 scored 18 and Citroen C5 17 points!
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

Well, I'm still alive after 1600 km in this car in the winter...so it can't be that bad...:D
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

Yeah I have to agree that the heating in the car is somewhat crappy. A lot of warm air from the main nozzles, but almost no heat at all for your feet/legs. We don't have a heated garage (actually it has a radiator, but I don't know if it works...); so when we use the car nowadays its almost always cold in the beginning . I guess some of the freezing has to do with that the legs feel cooler as the upper body/face is so warm... but I still think it have really bad heating...
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Blackbird


            Yeah I have to agree that the heating in the car is somewhat crappy. A lot of warm air from the main nozzles, but almost no heat at all for your feet/legs. We don't have a heated garage (actually it has a radiator, but I don't know if it works...); so when we use the car nowadays its almost always cold in the beginning . I guess some of the freezing has to do with that the legs feel cooler as the upper body/face is so warm... but I still think it have really bad heating...[/b]
You can always install a separate heater for engine and/or interior if that's a problem (BTW Steve: you could dispense your experience here).

And then there are seat heaters...

... which IMO are where the beancounters have caught us big time:
1.- The switches are extremely badly positioned - no way of (visually) telling if heaters are on unless you are up to some acrobatics in your winter clothing.
2.- There is no manual regulation of heat level and the automatic sucks. Even now, at -15C when my ass might get quite frozen, it gets too hot. Right to the point when you can almost smell smoke coming from your tender body parts. When the thermostate finally decides to let go, it seems to completely simmer down before it kicks back in. :(
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Sigvard
You can always install a separate heater for engine and/or interior if that's a problem (BTW Steve: you could dispense your experience here).  [/b]
Engine heater and interior heater only helps from the moment you start the car, but since the air inside the car is warm, the ACC decides to help by pushing cold air...not too fun, really...

QUOTE
And then there are seat heaters...

... which IMO are where the beancounters have caught us big time:  
1.- The switches are extremely badly positioned - no way of (visually) telling if heaters are on unless you are up to some acrobatics in your winter clothing.
2.- There is no manual regulation of heat level and the automatic sucks. Even now, at -15C when my ass might get quite frozen, it gets too hot. Right to the point when you can almost smell smoke coming from your tender body parts. When the thermostate finally decides to let go, it seems to completely simmer down before it kicks back in. :([/b]
1. I agree. At first I thought this was cleverly done, and it is in one way cause you don't turn them on by mistake. But the downside is as you say you can't tell without fingering on it if it's on or not. I wonder why they bothered to put a light in the swith when you just can't see it??

2. In my case it's almost the opposite. I like getting a bit fried, but just as it's about to heat me up it reduces heat. Perfect really, but I would like the opportunity to add some extra heat. I like black coffee also, and prefer meat well done.

I don't think this is a beancounter error, but an engineering error. They solved one problem (turning on the heaters by mistake) and created a new one...

When it comes to heat in general in this car I have a feeling that it takes some getting used to all these air outlets to tune it to put the heat where you want it...

Today when I was driving (I started with a cold car) I had a feeling of draught next to the door. Couldn't really find the source of it, but it felt like the entire door panel radiated cold...
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Steve 6er

I like getting a bit fried...[/b]
Well, I can't afford to get fried in that area :p. I want to have at least two sons and a daughter one day...
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

We had around -10 whole weekend, so it gave good impression how fast it gets hot...

Well, if you keep it totally automatic, it might push the air first where you necessaraly don't need it. And auto air con is "checking around" about 30 seconds or so, before it figures out what it is supposed to do... This is quite common with AUTO setup on with all other cars. Otherwise it seems to find the right temperature nicely and doesn't take too long compared to some other cars, but I believe Volvo would do the heating part a bit better.

Leather seats are ofcourse COLD in winter, especially if you sit on it without any pants on. :p Okay, sometimes there is some skin touching it, even with winter clothes on, and it feels cold for some seconds, but because it is real leather it warms up fast. SEAT heaters are powerfull, and not very well balanced, they need your finger on them after they get hot. The good thing is that they seem to get hot quite fast, and I believe everyone is gonna press the off-button before the thermostate will have even a chance to do anything.

But those things above are nothing special, but what really makes me wonder is the outdoor temperature... Check if you have this happening:

1. You drive and it is about -8 outside... And that's what the cars outdoor temperature says also.

2. Then you park for few hours and start your car again, it is still -8 outside, but the temperature in car says it is about 0!?

3. Then you drive for few minutes and it gets the real temperature from outside...

So where the heck is this sensor for temperature??? Is it just mine, or do they all work this way? Strange behaviour indeed...
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Blackbird


            Yeah I have to agree that the heating in the car is somewhat crappy. A lot of warm air from the main nozzles, but almost no heat at all for your feet/legs. We don't have a heated garage (actually it has a radiator, but I don't know if it works...); so when we use the car nowadays its almost always cold in the beginning . I guess some of the freezing has to do with that the legs feel cooler as the upper body/face is so warm... but I still think it have really bad heating...[/b]
But does the engine heat up and start producing heat quickly? That, to me, is much more important than heat distribution.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

Javah... the sensor for the outdoor temperature is in the front area of the car, hidden, and when you park, heat from the engine heats that area a bit so when you drive off again, it won't show correct temperature for a few minutes. Happens if you use engine heater also. (Same on my old 626).

Streschje: Yes, the engine heats up REAL fast. Much faster than on my old 626 (which wasn't slow either).
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

I had some snowy driving also this weekend. It's fun. Before Mazda6 I used
to have cars without TCS and DSC. Well, TCS is a nice thing -
don't have to worry about pressure on accelerator, but that other thing...
Well I just have to get used to.
It was on the quite sharp turn where I expected car to loose the grip so
I would be able to try to reestablish control. I had a feeling that it was not
me who reestablsihed the control - it was the car.

About heating - engine warms up quite fast if driving. And that's what I'm
doing (within low revs at the beginning). When engine is warm the cabin is warm.
I've decided to switch off the auto climate and use manual tuning with air
intake from cabin. With such a combination it is a matter of several minutes before
cabin is warm. Windows sweat after some driving, but swithcing to intake from
outside the makes sweat gone immediately.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

It can be a difference between engines.
Aftonbladet drove a 2.0l, is the 2.3 better?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by stretchsje



But does the engine heat up and start producing heat quickly?  That, to me, is much more important than heat distribution.[/b]
Mine does... After that 30 seconds (which air con also was thinking, OR most likely waiting that the engine gets more warm, since in the beginning it would be only cold air coming in) it is already warming up... And after 4-5 km of driving it starts to get close to the middle part of engine temperatures... It seems very fast for me.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Steve 6er


            Javah... the sensor for the outdoor temperature is in the front area of the car, hidden, and when you park, heat from the engine heats that area a bit so when you drive off again, it won't show correct temperature for a few minutes. Happens if you use engine heater also. (Same on my old 626).[/b]
Exactly what I was doubting...

I had a car before this, which didn't have the sensor for outdoor temperature in such place, it showed always very accurate numbers... I just needed to know that everyone else has the same thing going on, that would indicate that its the positioning of the sensors making it happen.

And that would explain also, why the temperature is never so accurate (it is about 2 degrees warmer than the real temperature is all the time).
 

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Replying to Topic 'Winter road behaviour'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Gasjs

About heating - engine warms up quite fast if driving. And that's what I'm
doing (within low revs at the beginning). When engine is warm the cabin is warm.
I've decided to switch off the auto climate and use manual tuning with air
intake from cabin. With such a combination it is a matter of several minutes before
cabin is warm. Windows sweat after some driving, but swithcing to intake from
outside the makes sweat gone immediately.[/b]
Exactly what we noticed also. The Auto-con doesn't give so nice warmth in winter. So usually I mix the auto and manual to get the desired feeling.

And about the TCS and DSC... They seem to be working lots today. It was very slippery weather etc.

First I drove with my car, then I tested another Mazda6 2.3 with studded tyres. And back to mine again.

Results were surprising. After trying the studded ones, I was very happy with the studdless ones I have... And the ones with studds were 195 wide and my studdless are 205 wide. Differences on acceleration were very small, they both make spinning lots and TCS have to work lots etc. Just because the engine is powerfull... But if you drive easy (like you are supposed to in winter) then everything goes smoothly, no TCS... But since I was testing to find the difference I used gas more or less like in summer...

And just like Steve said, the back of the car slides easily. But great thing is that it tells you quite nicely when it is gonna do it... Ofcourse the first time you get to do it it might surprise you, but after that you know what to expect and you feel like you are one with the car... And then you are sliding the back just for fun. Eh - or maybe not...

So nothing so bad to tell yet... I do agree that Volvo has made many things better for winter in their cars, but I wouldn't say that the difference could be as big as 8 against 18... Maybe more like 7 against 9 (if 10 was max).
 
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