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View Full Version : Drove a Mazda-6


rumratt
11-13-2003, 07:54 PM
I stopped by a dealer last night and drove a Mazda-6 sedan, 6-cylinder manual, with sport package. It was really hard to get a good impression of the car because a) the sales guy came with us and took us on a relatively short loop, and b) he would NOT stop talking the whole time. Holy crap he was annoying.

But a few impressions:

- The engine was reasonably powerful, but it was nowhere near as smooth as the 330 (hmm. big shock, huh?) It was a bit rough and just sounded cheap compared to what I'm used to.

- The clutch take up point was SUPER high. I kept reving the engine before it would grab

- The handling seemed reasonable (supposidly one of the strong points of this car) but it was really hard to tell based on such a crappy test drive.

- Interior had so much silver plastic and looked quite cheap.

The car was definitely reasonable, and possibly the best thing out there for someone who is used to driving a BMW. But I wasn't in love. I left thinking that we would either a) save some money and get the 4-cylinder manual, or b) go all out and buy a european delivery 3-series (wagon, or X3, etc).

If we buy a loaded mazda-6, it costs more but we're still getting a mazda-6.... if that makes any sense.

racerdave
11-13-2003, 09:37 PM
If you're in the market for a decent front-drive sedan that's not an Accord, the 6 is nice. I only drove one at Rev-It-Up, but it seemed decent and handled ok.

No where as good as any of the E46ers however.

The Roadstergal
11-14-2003, 01:55 AM
Have you tried the Mazdaspeed Protege?

Mazda won't give you as luxurious a car as a BMW, though. Just not what they do.

PhilH
11-14-2003, 06:17 AM
My test drive of the Mazda 6 was a 4-cylinder automatic. It was smooth and a bit quicker than I expected (considering). The 6-cylinder is a modified Ford Duratec motor, similar to a Taurus motor.

What impressed me the most was the refinement of the steering feel and the ride/handling balance.

I'll have to drive the 6-cylinder before I buy the Mazda 6 wagon for my wife...

missing23
11-14-2003, 08:50 AM
I had one for a blip in time earlier this year and here is what I wrote...the thing I remember the most was the lack of low end torque but for the price?...we also didn't end up keeping for a third car as it sold on autotrader pretty quickly.

Before anyone even starts, it is not remotely close to a BMW, but it has definitely impressed me with its handling and engine power for the $ (MSRP was $22.4K). Steering is overboosted but is significantly tighter than the Honda's, Nissan's and Toyota's of the world. 220hp engine has nice pull in the 3K and up band and I find myself in third gear a lot as fun really resides there. It rolls in corners but not as much as you would think. I like the looks (matter of taste I guess) and the fit and finish are really good and the interior is nice looking, again for the $. Overall, I find myself liking the car more and more and I may just end up keeping it for our third car. The true test was the wife thought I was nuts too for buying it but even she now likes the car and it may eventually replace hers so ?

AF
11-14-2003, 10:56 AM
Go to another dealer and take another test drive, I have always found that by the 2nd or 3rd test drive you can really get an impression of a car.

I've driven cars and was very disappointed on the first test drive yet to find that by the 2nd or 3rd test drive I really liked them.

Also keep in mind part of the Japanese feel is the lightness they have in the steering, controls, clutch, etc. It is not better or worse, it's just different. If you owned the Mazda, over time you would get used to that lightness and might in fact appreciate it.

One thing I like about having a 2 car family is the variety factor, yes I love the bimmer feel but it's nice to have a change of pace on the weekends.

Cadd
11-14-2003, 11:42 AM
If you're in the market for a decent front-drive sedan that's not an Accord, the 6 is nice. I only drove one at Rev-It-Up, but it seemed decent and handled ok.

No where as good as any of the E46ers however.
Dude, I was at the Rev-it-up as well. Those Mazda 6 were lowered about 1 - 2" and had slick like tires on them.

I felt that they handled great!

Johann
11-14-2003, 12:18 PM
Have you tried the Mazdaspeed Protege?

Mazda won't give you as luxurious a car as a BMW, though. Just not what they do.

The Mazdaspeed protege is in theory, a nice car: well tuned handling by Racing Beat, turbo engine developed by Callaway, and a kick ass stereo by Kenwood. But in execution, I think it falls short. The small intercooler becomes easily heat soaked, the engine uses stock internals (which limits how much boost you can safely throw at it), and the fuel map is subpar (too rich, causing a lot of stumbling).

The upcoming Mazda3 will have an optional 2.3L I-4 (from the '6) that puts out almost as much hp as the Mazdaspeed.

Jonathan

racerdave
11-14-2003, 02:26 PM
Dude, I was at the Rev-it-up as well. Those Mazda 6 were lowered about 1 - 2" and had slick like tires on them.

I felt that they handled great!

All the cars were on Falken Azenis, which will help almost any car, especially a family sedan.

But only the competition cars were "sprung." All the others for the braking, lane-change and practice course had stock suspensions.

With that said, I thought the stock sprung cars worked better than the Eibach cars... at least at the lot I was on, which had very old, crumbling pavement.

Brashland
11-14-2003, 03:19 PM
How about one of the new Maximas? I don't know price but they have a 265 HP 6-speed. Could be worthwhile to check out.

Jeff_DML
11-14-2003, 04:52 PM
How about one of the new Maximas? I don't know price but they have a 265 HP 6-speed. Could be worthwhile to check out.

265 hp throught the front tires sounds scary to me :yikes: I drove my aunts 240hp accord coupe and that was a handful. But I guess the new Acura TL does pretty well with that much hp.


Rumatt you the one thinking about the mazda 6 wagon? :dunno:

rumratt
11-14-2003, 05:40 PM
Rumatt you the one thinking about the mazda 6 wagon? :dunno:

Yep. She's in love with the X3, so thought if she drove a mazda-6 it might make her like it. Interestingly, it actually worked a little. She liked it more than I did. :dunno: Like Alan said, I needed more to drive it much more to appreciate the good aspects of the car.

RG: no, I've never driven the Mazdaspeed Protege. Maybe I'll look into it.

Brashland: Did you say something? All I noticed is that your signature is back. :eeps:

What pisses me off is that you can't get the side air bags without getting several other options. Once the car hits 26K it's just wrong... I'd rather have BMW wagon.

Chris90
11-14-2003, 11:51 PM
I toyed with getting a MazdaSpeed - they are so cheap with the $2500 incentives! But I got scared by the issues it's having. It certainly drives nice - but not quite like you'd guess - I found it more relaxed, refined feeling, more like a German car than say a Type R. But it also has a dog-whistle turbo that would get real annoying (imagine someone whistling in your ear while you drive), and a lousy throttle delivery. A Type R is way better.
Actually the Focus SVT drove better than the Mazda - was more fun to drive. Loved test driving that car - Shame it is such a POS.

The Mazdaspeed protege is in theory, a nice car: well tuned handling by Racing Beat, turbo engine developed by Callaway, and a kick ass stereo by Kenwood. But in execution, I think it falls short. The small intercooler becomes easily heat soaked, the engine uses stock internals (which limits how much boost you can safely throw at it), and the fuel map is subpar (too rich, causing a lot of stumbling).

The upcoming Mazda3 will have an optional 2.3L I-4 (from the '6) that puts out almost as much hp as the Mazdaspeed.

Jonathan

racerdave
11-15-2003, 06:36 AM
Yeah, the SVT Focus really does drive well. Ford is capable of producing handling and ride that is almost BMW-like, meaning it has good grip and feel without pounding you to pieces.

But like you said, it's a Ford. I would not buy one because of the quality. Focus's in general have been recall-city, and my Contour is a piece of junk... albeit a fairly reliable piece of junk.