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Mazda6 Sedan

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  • Now driving a '99 626 with the old 2.5 litre Six [170 HP @6k; Torque 163 @5k]. Soon "stepping down" to the new 2.3 Four [160 HP @5500; torque 155 @4k].

    Never been interested in being the fastest kid on the block, so the 2.5 litre 6 has always been plenty for me: a little weak down low but pretty nice higher up (beginning to sound like a constant Mazda trait). Given the specs comparo above it seems as if I'm not going to notice a huge difference. Or will I?
  • Funny, I will be making the same switch in engines when I buy go from a 97 Contour V6 (same engine as 626), to the 2.3 4 cyl., but in the Mazda3 instead of the Mazda6. I agree with you that the 2.5 V6 is a little slow of the line ( I drive an auto) but is a very good engine overall. In my Mazda3 test drive, I was surprised how responsive the 2.3 was down low, even with the auto, but since the Mazda6 is heavier it probably won't feel quite the same as the Mazda3, but adequate nonetheless.

    Do you need the room of the Mazda6 (e.g. family, frequent backseat passengers etc.), because the Mazda3 is a very good alternative that would be satisfy most people's needs for power. Plus I think that the room is very good for people up to 6' in the rear seat ( even in the sedan).

    The only way to know if the 4 cyl Mazda6 will be adequate is to test drive it, along with the Mazda3 if it could be a satisfactory alternative.
    After driving the Mazda3, the Contour certainly felt a lot heavier, but with sufficient power.

    Good luck in your search.
  • February 09, 2004 - SIRIUS announced that the satellite service is expected to be available as a dealer-installed option in the Mazda Tribute, MPV, Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3 and MAZDA6--all by fall of this year.

    All of these Mazda vehicles will have factory-equipped radios that display artist, song title and category when playing SIRIUS. To obtain the SIRIUS service, a tuner and antenna must be installed by the dealer, and a subscription to SIRIUS must be purchased. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

    SIRIUS will provide Mazda drivers with 61 commercial-free music streams and 44 sports, news and entertainment streams, including live play-by-play games from the NBA, NHL, and beginning next football season, the NFL.

    SIRIUS is expected to be available on additional Mazda vehicle lines in the near future.
  • I am not sure what Mazda did here, or why they did it. The 2.3L in both cars must be tuned differently. In the 6, the 2.3L feels weak at low RPMs. In the 3, it is really strong no matter where the tach is. Then again, it may have nothing to do with the engine tuning at all... it could be as simple as the electronic throttle settings.

    The electronic throttle in the 6 never seems to let you have full power off-the-line and my be too conservative. In my ex-99 Protege ES (5-spd), current 03 Protege5 (auto), and the current loaner 04 Hyundai Elantra, getting up to speed on short uphill on-ramps is no problem. In my 6i (auto), these are a challenge until the tach gets past 4000rpm. I miss old cable throttle linkages... sure, the electronic throttle is smooth, helps to prevent jerky take-offs and wheelspin, and isolates the engine's NVH from the driver. However, the loss of full control is a disappointment. My dealer's service department said there is a backup should the electronic throttle fail... anyone know what that backup is?

    As for the 2.5L V6 and the 2.3L 4-cyl... power-wise, they will probably be pretty similar. What you'll miss is the overall relaxed nature and smoothness of the V6, but you'll enjoy the better fuel economy.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    I noticed the same thing. The difference seemed to be more than just what the weight would account for. The 2.3L feels just right in the Mazda3, but not in the Mazda6.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "Funny, I will be making the same switch in engines when I buy go from a 97 Contour V6 (same engine as 626)"

    Same displacement, different engine. The 2.5L in the Contour is a Ford Duratec. The 2.5L in the 626 is a Mazda engine.
  • Somewhat reassuring, what you say.

    I've got a manual in my '99 626, and will also have one with my 6i. I haven't ordered the auto, which I've gathered from your previous remarks ain't too sweet with the 2.3. Perhaps I can hope for performance more similar between the 2.5 and 2.3 because it'll be coupled with a manual? As I said, I don't need to be the fastest boy off the line, but it would be nice to get on a freeway (almost) as quickly as I do with the Six, which is pretty sweet in 4th gear.

    BTW, despite the fact that that 626 is about as vanilla a car imaginable, it's been the best one I've ever owned. Still going on the original exhaust system (!), battery and brakes. It never breaks. Apart from maintenance, it has cost us little more than $200 in actual repairs over 103 K. Built in, yes, Flat Rock, folks. Gonna keep it; my wife wants it. She only puts about 8K a year on a car. Should save some money on gas, since the old 2.5 Six required 91 octane.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "I can hope for performance more similar between the 2.5 and 2.3 because it'll be coupled with a manual? As I said, I don't need to be the fastest boy off the line, but it would be nice to get on a freeway (almost) as quickly as I do with the Six, which is pretty sweet in 4th gear."

    Go drive a 6i manual right now. You'll be surprised.
  • The '04 6s requires regular gasoline. The comparable models from other makes require premium. Is it a waste to use premium in the new 6s?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,168
    Yes, premium is a waste of money.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • "You'll be surprised"

    A somewhat ambiguous remark, Newcar31 :) May I respond with a short answer quiz?

    1-A PLEASANT surprise compared to the 2.5? or,
    2-An UNPLEASANT surprise?

    I did drive a 6i manual a few months ago, & it seemed ok. Been in my 626 2.5 Six since, so the "feeling" of the test drive has faded, except for the overall conclusion that I drew, which was that it should be ok.

    On the fuel issue raised by Madaxeman, every auto expert I've talked to or heard on the radio has said the same thing: use only the octane called for in the owner's manual. Anything more and you're throwing money away. I suspect a lot of people are throwing lots of money away on the erroneous theory that more octane has to be better for their cars. This is the line taken by the Magliazzi Bros. among others.
  • The '04 6s requires regular gasoline. The comparable models from other makes require premium. Is it a waste to use premium in the new 6s?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I've driven an MX6 with the 164-something hp 2.5L and manual and it doesn't feel that much quicker than my 6i manual, probably because it isn't. The manual/2.5L V6 combo is good for mid 7s 0-60. Car and Driver did 7.9 0-60 in a 6i manual. Notice that the torque peaks at a lower RPM on the 2.3L I4 vs. the 2.5L V6. That probably has a lot to do with the variable valve timing on the 2.3L. Also, the 2.3L has a really nice sound and is incredibly smooth as far as 4 cyl engines go.
  • The engines in the Mazda6 are not tuned to run on premium fuel; they are tuned for regular. Running premium fuel won't make any difference at all. Other competing models have engines designed for premium fuel and running regular fuel won't hurt the engine, but it will result in the knock sensor retarding ignition timing and the engine will produce less power and lower fuel economy. If Mazda tuned the V6 for premium, it will probably boost power output up to 230-240 hp. The question to ask is: Is that extra horsepower that you probably won't even notice worth the extra cost? Filling up the loaner last night, I noticed premium was at $2.07 (regular was $1.86).
  • I don't know if any of you have been on the Nissan boards, but the new interior for the 2005 Altima is outstanding, really really upscale. My point is, it frames another 6 deficiency--interior quality. The 6 has a decent interior but it's a Playschool busy-toy compared to the 2005 Alty. (I'm sad to say.) The Mazda3 has the finest interior in compact cars; why can't the 6 follow suit?? Heck, even the upcoming GrandAm has a better interior. Mazda had better wake up. Mazda should have cloned the Millenia interior for the 6; instead, it added a few Protege parts to an all-new (but uninspired) design. It won't cut it anymore. Check out that new Nissan interior--your heart will sink for Mazda.
  • Well, I'll reserve judgement on the '05 Altima until I can actually touch and feel. The current Altima's interior doesn't look bad at all in pictures, but it only takes a couple of minutes once you're in to realize what a low-quality interior it is. The 6's interior isn't bad and it does have some nice, subtle features that I didn't find when looking at the competition.

    I think Mazda needs to seriously fix one thing: road noise. This has always been a Mazda shortfall. What really drove this home is that I picked up my car today after 15 days at the dealership. I couldn't believe how much louder it is compared to the loaner I've had. I can't believe I'm saying this, but... after a few blocks in the 6, I already miss the Elantra they gave me. That said, I do have to say that I'm glad to have back a car that can handle.

    Later, I'll post my comparison of the 6 to the Elantra while it's still fresh in my head. Let's just say this little Hyundai was an eye-opener.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "My point is, it frames another 6 deficiency--interior quality."

    Another 6 deficiency? You make it sound like it's full of "deficiencies". The only real deficiencies IMO is the silver colored center stack and the rust. Besides the silver center stack, what is so cheap looking about the interior? Many auto publications think it's pretty nice. I'm not going to go dig up quotes, but I know the dash has been compared to BMW and German cars in general. I had a 2001 Protege and there are no visible Protege parts in the 6's interior, so I don't know where you got that from. I've heard other people (maybe it was you) say this before. Really, if there are Protege parts in the interior, what are they, specifically?

    The smaller size is not a deficiency. It's about the same size as my parent's old 92 Camry and about as big of a car that I'd ever want.

    Neither of the engines qualify as "deficiencies" either, unless you get an automatic, but then that's your fault...lol. They may not have the absolute power of the Hondas or Nissans, but they're still pretty darn sweet engines. The V6 sounds excellent, and the 4 cyl sounds pretty good too. They're both super smooth. I know the V6 in the Mazda6 is smoother and sounds better than my parents I35 with the 255hp VQ.

    Road noise? ALL of my friends think it's very quiet, and I do too. My parent's I35 isn't noticeably quieter.

    As far as the Altima's interior being improved, it should've been done a lot sooner. It really looked unbelievably, inexcusably, cheap. On a par with with an 87' Chevy Celebrity IMO. The interior was pretty much trashed in every automotive review, so it doesn't surprise me that Nissan would want to improve.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    SIRIUS is expected to be available as a dealer-installed option in the following schedule of Mazda vehicles:

    * Mazda Tribute - spring 2004
    * Mazda MPV - spring 2004
    * Miata - spring 2004
    * RX-8 - summer 2004
    * MAZDA3 - fall 2004
    * MAZDA6 - fall 2004
  • Some magazine reviewers have commented on the high quality of the Mazda6 interior, others haven't been so kind. Interior and exterior styling is always going to an objective thing, and after having sat in a two dozen cars over the the past 6 months, I gotta say the Mazda6 interior styling is very, very good. Sure, it's not as good as a Passat's or Acura in many respects, but it's also not as bad as the current Altima's or Maxima's (yuck!), or any bland Toyota product.

    I think most agree that the silver on the center stack is a bit much, but in keeping with the rest of the interior styling, it's not horrible (and some actually like it). The materials used and fit and finish are very good. I never felt like it was a cheap interior (like the new Toyota's Prius feels) with cheap materials. It feels on par with a car that is much more expensive.

    I just checked Road and Track's test of 5 sedans in 2003 and it shows that at 70 mph, the Mazda6's (6s) road noise is 69 dBA, exactly the same as the Accord EX and the Altima 3.5, and quieter than a Toyota Camry and VW Passat. So I'm not sure about the road noise complaint....
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "The 6 has a decent interior but it's a Playschool busy-toy compared to the 2005 Alty. (I'm sad to say.)"

    I just checked out the new Altima interior and I don't see what the big deal is. It appears that they changed the dash to a softer material (the way it should've been in the first place). Whoopde do! It still has the goofy recessed guages, and the nasty orange illumination that should be left back in 1986. The 6's interior is still better IMO.
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