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2009 Mazda6

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  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I'll second that about no car in this segment being that much better then another to trade a perfectly good 5 month old car and taking a $4,000 hit. Heck, I see no point in trading my 05 and taking a $500 hit for anything in this segment.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Here's a review/road test of the Mazda6 from Winding Road online car magazine.. They have mostly good words for it...

    http://windingroad.nextautos.com/windingroad/200810/?folio=86

    :D
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I like this part....

    "With all this added size and content, you would expect for the 6's driver engagement and tossability factor to suffer, and you would be right...but the narrowest of slivers."

    I would agree with that...
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Now comes the 2nd gen Mazda6...It has better looks(subjective but I haven't heard anyone say different)

    Well now you have, I like the old one's looks better :P

    (caveat: this is based only on photos of the new one)
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Caveat: I haven't heard it didn't look better from anybody that has seen it in person. Stop by Darrows and take a look. It looks pretty nice and not quite as muscular looking as some pictures would make it look. Actually appears very streamlined to me.

    I do, however, like the looks of the 1st gen almost as well.
    Little more classic in sporty way.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I've been getting calls and emails from Darrow about it, actually. But, I'll probably not see it until I get an oil change in Oct. (at different dealership)...unless I get an offer like $25 or $50 to take a test drive or something like that.

    But, is true that zoom-zoom live is coming back, only in honor of the new 6 it is now going to be called just zoom live :D ;) ...just having some fun there, don't take it too seriously.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    If I was really interested in an Aura this would be quite a deal.

    Of course, practical shoppers can take five-grand off their Saturn Aura XR sedan and end up paying just $21,634.28 for the privilege.

    The Malibu is only about $2000 grand off MSRP for the employee price. Seems odd when they are so similar.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    Shouldn't a car that cost at least $10-$20,000 more handle better and feel better?
    How about HP numbers? BMW never scores tops in that segment if you compare it to a Nissan. But it is still revered.

    In my opinion, if you want a sporty car, go for the Mazda3. If you want a family car with some style and zoom, go for the 6. for the 1st gen 6, how many people brought the car because it handled so good? Was it anywhere near a real RWD? No.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    The Altima V6 "recommends" premium. There are numerous people that have reported using regular 87 octane unleaded, and it works fine.

    Really? :P

    Of course. It will work just as fine. Except that you will not get the "Stated" performance numbers, which made you (the customer) to say the Nissan V6 is better than the Mazda.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Ok Ok I never said it wasn't revered. Don't know why you're so hung up on BMWs. I certainly didn't say Mazda compares to or should be compared to a BMW. I was just pointing out that it seems a lot of people compare the handling to it sometimes.

    Quite the contrary, I said the Mazda6 shouldn't be compared to a Beemer because it is a front wheel drive family sedan and cost $10-20,000 less.

    But to answer your question, I was one of those people that bought the 1st gen Mazda6 because it handled very well.....quick steering, flat cornering etc but NOT a BMW. I have no idea how many people bought the 1st Gen for this reason and neither do you.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I was one of those people that bought the 1st gen Mazda6 because it handled very well

    That was a key thing for me too. I wanted that, a comfortable seat and sufficient telescoping of the wheel to suit me. The good looks and bargain price were a bonus and tipped me to the 6 over it's cousins from Ford and Mercury. The Accord lost me with it's too light steering. Several reviews have refered to overly light steering in the new 6. Too me the current one is already a bit light.

    Edmunds was one of the reviews of the original version that compared it to a BMW. writing:

    Steering performance from the power-assisted rack and pinion setup is exemplary, with drivers citing the likes of the BMW 3 Series as a comparison.

    Of course, now edmunds says they hate the original... :confuse:
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Yeah, the 1st gen does have very light steering. Took me some to get used it. If the new is lighter than the 1st gen, I might have a major problem with it. I hope it was just a reviewer that hadn't driven a 1st gen in awhile.

    I never minded the Accord's steering that much. I have test driven Accords about every three years and I never had a warm fuzzy with their auto trannys. Each time I expected to be wowed and each time I really walked away shaking my head because I wanted to like it but felt the trannys felt like rubber bands. Although the '08 I drove was pretty decent transmissionwise. I couldn't get over the size, looks and I don't like the way they package the equipment.

    So Edmunds started the BMW comparison thing, huh! They might both corner fairly flat but that's the end of that story.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yes took me a while to get used to it too. I liked the heavier feeling Fusion steering better when I did test drives. I was coming from a Contour.

    Did I read somewhere that Mazda has or will go to electrical power steering? or maybe that was Ford??? My wife's Jetta has electrical and it is lighter than the 6 at low speeds but much. much heavier at higher speeds. I wonder if there can be more variability like that with electrical. VWs system is also adjustable, you can supposedly have them set it lighter or heavier, I think there are 4 or 5 settings.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    just for your own info - the actual HP difference between using premium vs. regular in most of these engines is very nominal - so much so that the average driver is not likely to tell the difference, performance wise or FE wise. A good example of this would be the regular fueled Camry V6 at 268hp vs. the same engine in the premium fueled ES350 at 272hp. There is much more a difference in the lack of sophistication that would require 3.7 liter of Ford V6 to almost put out as much HP as the smaller 3.5 liter VQ. Or you can compare it in another way, at the same displacement (in the G37) the Nissan engine is well over 300HP!
    The day that any Ford/Mazda engine can even approach the efficiencies, sophistication and/or refinement of something like the Nissan VQ is a long long way off. The VQ has pretty much defined the V6 in this segment for the last 15 years and about the only thing that even approaches (surpasses?) it in this group happens to be manufactured by Toyota.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Did I read somewhere that Mazda has or will go to electrical power steering?

    I haven't read that anywhere. It seems that more and more cars are going that way to reduce the power drain on the engine ie mpg enhancement. Didn't realize that about the Jetta. That's kind of slick actually and I like the fact the steering at speed is heavier on the Jetta. The Mazda's light steering is really nice at slow speed but on the freeway it can be a little too easy to move around if not careful IMO.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Here we go again...

    There is much more a difference in the lack of sophistication that would require 3.7 liter of Ford V6 to almost put out as much HP as the smaller 3.5 liter VQ. Or you can compare it in another way, at the same displacement (in the G37) the Nissan engine is well over 300HP!

    Let's see...
    3.5L V6 in the Altima: 270 HP, 258 LBS-FT torque (on premium fuel)
    3.7L V6 in the Mazda6: 272 HP, 269 LBS-FT torque (on REGULAR fuel)

    "Almost" as much HP? Not quite... Besides, why buy a car that recommends premium fuel and only fill it with regular? If you're too cheap to buy premium fuel for the car, then you shouldn't bother with it in the first place. As for the G37 comparison, there isn't one, since it's also tuned differently for a RWD lux-performance sedan, compared to a FWD midsize family sedan. Two different classes, two different types of vehicles.

    The day that any Ford/Mazda engine can even approach the efficiencies, sophistication and/or refinement of something like the Nissan VQ is a long long way off. The VQ has pretty much defined the V6 in this segment for the last 15 years and about the only thing that even approaches (surpasses?) it in this group happens to be manufactured by Toyota.

    "Long way off"? When are you going to get out of the stone age and join the rest of us? Having been exposed to both the 3.5L VQ (in the Altima) and the 3.7L (in the CX-9, and in the 6) within the past year, there's virtually no difference between them from behind the wheel. Both idle smoothly, are quiet at speed, and can put the power down without any drama. In fact, in the new 6, it was hard to tell if the 3.7L was running when parked unless you looked at the tach. I'll admit to not experiencing the Toy V6, but then again, I don't want to fall asleep behind the wheel (which pretty much EVERY Toy does to me these days). :)

    Go ahead and keep bashing Ford/Mazda based on outdated beliefs and "info", I enjoy the comic relief they bring.
  • As an owner of an '09 iGT, I can confirm that the steering is very light. It doesn't feel as if the weighting varies very much with speed either. IMO, this is the biggest thing Mazda sacrificed with the new 6. The pedal feel is excellent especiallly with the brake pedal. The suspension, while softer over bumps and such, feels very buttoned down when you push it into corners or accelerate hard out of them.

    Making the car quieter is a bit of a catch 22....and the car is VERY quiet. The reason is that sound has an affect on feel just as smell has on taste. For many, the ultra quiet cabin will make the car feel like its a lot less sporty than it truly is.

    So, after a full week of ownership, here are some of my thoughts.

    1. The steering, as mentioned above, is over-boosted......hopefully this is something that can possibly be dialed back. This WILL be a major turnoff to a lot of people accustomed to Mazdas. It does have a solid on center feel and is very accurate.....it's simply over-boosted.

    2. There are ZERO little nooks/crannies to put your cell phone/mp3 player etc. Yes, there's the storage space under the center armrest, but it's a single bin with a little tray in it. I wish the top of the armrest lifted up to have one of those little 1-2" deep spaces, but no dice. There's a TINY hinged door cubby to the lower left of the steering wheel, but it is too small for anything but loose change. The starter's push button takes the spot where most cars have a small cubby as well. Also, the back of the center console (the part that faces the rear seats) is nothing but a flat wall.....most cars might have a extra 12V outlet and/or a cubby there. In short, you are limited to the glove box and center armrest...that's it.

    3. The center armrest in the forward position, covers up one of the drink holders. Not a big deal to me, but is worth mentioning.

    4. The blind spot monitoring system actually works very well. It isn't grannified either. It only comes on when getting over really would be dangerous and not when there's still plenty of room. It's also very good at NOT picking up vehicles that are 2 lanes over. I initially thought (upon reading about it) that it was nothing but a gimmick, but it really is a nice feature.

    5. The smart keyless system/push button ignition is GREAT. I never have to get the key out of my pocket. I walk up to the car, simply pull the handle and all the doors unlock (this is configurable to have all or just the driver's door unlock.) Upon exit, you simply push this little button on the outside handle to lock all the doors. The Key fob's can individually be programmed to automatically adjust the driver's seat to a desired memory position upon approaching the car.

    6. The BOSE stereo sounds excellent. I'm not usually a fan of BOSE, but I can't say much bad about the system in the 6. The only thing is that the max volume isn't as loud as some other systems I've heard. It think this might be a system safety feature in the sense that BOSE has electronically limit the max level to the level just below where the amp would start to clip. At max volume the stereo still sounds excellent with zero breakup or bottomming out of the subwoofer. Perhaps I'll test the max volume later today with my SPL meter.

    7. Mazda needs to illuminate ALL the button on the doors. Only the window buttons for the driver and passenger door are illuminated. I found it odd since there are plethora of illuminated buttons on the dash...more than any car I've seen. They've got the wiring in the doors, how hard is it illuminate the other 3-4 buttons?

    8. The 8 way power seat along with tilt/telescoping steering wheel should allow just about anyone to find an ideal driving position.

    9. There's something I don't like about the dead pedal. It's either too small or slightly off in placement...might be a casualty of the exterior design (front wheel arches) intruding into the cabin.

    10. The sunglass holder in the overhead storage is actually large enough to hold wrap around style sunglasses. Most aren't deep enough.

    11. The manumatic is 'correct' in the sense that you pull back to go up a gear and push forward to go down a gear. I'm still amazed how many companies get this backwards. The manumatic is also on the correct side of the gate....the driver's side.

    12. The bluetooth is easilly set up and works as well as any car I've ever been in. It also has bluetooth music capability which might appeal to some.

    I'll be happy to answer any specific questions if anybody has any. There really isn't much on the web out there......
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    That's a great, down and dirty and comprehensive review! Thanks for posting it. I've been waiting for something like this.

    Sorry to hear about the light steering. That may have an affect on my future purchasing decision. Have you drive a 1st gen Mazda6 lately? I would be really interested in how they compare. Before someone tells me to just go drive one, you're right I should!

    Another thing that was very interesting is the "no place to put cell phones etc.". That's a major item in todays world and something that I would miss. I sometimes use a cupholder in the console but in cars with adjustable armrests I find that that I usually adjust them up(short arms) which, like you said, would cover one of the cupholders. There is no cubby right in front of the shifter?

    The smart key sounds great but I'm still a little hesitant on the technology(reliability). Why couldn't they just have replaced the ignition(on the steering column) with the smart key and free'd up some room in the dash. Maybe the electronics behind the pushbutton are too big for the steering column?

    The other things you mention sound pretty nice. I'm not real concerned about the few buttons not being illumunated but understand your point....why not.

    Again, thanks and look forward to another review from you after a little more time with it.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Thanks for you detailed impressions.

    Do they not have storage pockets in the front doors?

    While you indicate the center arm rest covers the cup-holder when moved forward, that sounds like an improvement over the non-moveable one it had before. I think the best use of the back wall of the center arm rest would have been to have A/C vents there, like my wife's Jetta does.

    I've noticed an annoying lack of lighting of some buttons on my 2007, also. I'm not even sure which ones as I don't really drive at night much.

    Your description of the dead pedal sounds about like the one in the prior version. It is not very good, but then most others aren't that great either. Again, this is something VW gets right in my wife's Jetta, the dead pedal is huge and my size 11.5 shoe fits very comfortably.

    One of the biggest minor annoyances to me with my 2007, is that the sunvisor does not extend to block sun in the side window. Did they fix that?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    read my post - what I said was that the Ford/Mazda 3.7 is not as efficient power per unit volume - and used the 300hp + version of the Nissan engine as an example of what that engine would be if the VQ was as large. The Ford DT in its 3.5 liter form is 263/249 short of the 270/258 for the VQ. Compare apples to apples'. But, of course you miss the point of the post - if you want to rag on the Nissan for saying something like 'premium fuel is recommended for best performance' (something that is true for almost every car made) then you should also note that there is no discernable drop-off in that performance etc. using the 87 octane - maybe 4 or 5 HP and an equal amount of torque.
    Nissan has long dominated this class (since 2002) V6 wise, still does, and will continue to. The day that Ford/Mazda comes up with anything under the hood (4 cylinder or 6 cylinder) that can even approach the combination of power,efficiency, reliabilities, and refinement of what you find under the hoods of Camcordimas - is correspondent to the day that the sun rises in the west and Ford (as well as a few other mfgrs. I can think of) has learned to build smaller engines.
  • Yes, I've driven a LOT of 08 mazda 6's.....they are my rental of choice from Hertz. The steering is a good deal heavier in the last generation and the suspension a little firmer. With that said, I don't feel that the suspension handles any worse than the '08....it just seems to absorb road irregularities better while still allowing the car to remain pretty flat through corners. I would change the steering weight if I could, no doubt. BTW, the turning radius of the '09 is EXCELLENT....more like RWD drive that doesn't have to worry about CV joints.

    An no, no cubby of any sort in front of the shifter with models that have the push button start. I mentioned the lack of cubbies because most people forgot to think about this type of thing when going on test drives and such.....when you live with a car you start to notice them.

    The location of the push button actually works very well...it falls right where you hand goes when you get in the car or when you put the car in park and need to shut off the engine. There is still an standard ignition in the normal place on the steering column...it is covered with a removable cover and there's a key inside the remote keyfob. This is helpful if you valet or if your key fob's battery were to go dead.
  • Yes, there are your standard pockets in the front doors, complete with bottle holder. However, like most cars in this class they aren't lined with anything and are just HARD plastic. Anything placed in them will slide all about. I wish the car mfg's would spend an extra $50 or so to line them with just about anything... I owned an '05 Protege5 and ALL the cubbies were barren plastic. I bought a sheet of nitrile rubber off Ebay and made my own litte rubber liners for EVERYTHING...cubbies, cupholders, and glovebox.

    There's no doubt that rear AC vents woud have been the best use of the rear of the center console. I guess Mazda didn't figure they were needed as their competitors don't have them either.

    Nope, the sunvisors do NOT extend. I found this odd seeing that the owner's manual mentions that they DO. I forgot to mention this to the dealership the other day when I went to pick up some of the all weather floor mats.....

    FWIW, the dead pedal in my '03 Protege5 was perfect....
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    (something that is true for almost every car made)

    You almost had me listening to you until you said that.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    read my post - what I said was that the Ford/Mazda 3.7 is not as efficient power per unit volume - and used the 300hp + version of the Nissan engine as an example of what that engine would be if the VQ was as large.

    I did read your post, and I'm still calling it false. I have no doubts that the 3.7L would gladly produce 300+ HP in the 6, but it doesn't. Why? FWD and something called "torque steer". Ask GM about putting 300+ HP to the front wheels and the resulting torque steer that was saddled with the Impala SS and the (now dead) Grand Prix.

    Now, read MY post. Again, a RWD is tuned entirely different than a FWD midsize sedan.

    The Ford DT in its 3.5 liter form is 263/249 short of the 270/258 for the VQ. Compare apples to apples'

    Well, since the 3.5L Ford engine isn't used in the '09 6 (nor in the Fusion or Milan), but the 3.7L is, I guess I really am comparing apples to apples, because THEY'RE THE CURRENT OFFERINGS IN THE MIDSIZE SEDAN CLASS.

    if you want to rag on the Nissan for saying something like 'premium fuel is recommended for best performance' (something that is true for almost every car made)...

    Wrong again! There are more than a few engines that actually do better on 87 octane, because they're specifically tuned to run on 87 octane. Check out the Altima 2.5 owners that complain about reduced gas mileage and hesitation on premium fuel. Same with 3.0L 6 and Fulan owners.

    ...then you should also note that there is no discernable drop-off in that performance etc. using the 87 octane - maybe 4 or 5 HP and an equal amount of torque.

    ...Which is still short of what the 3.7L does on regular fuel.

    Nissan has long dominated this class (since 2002) V6 wise, still does, and will continue to. The day that Ford/Mazda comes up with anything under the hood (4 cylinder or 6 cylinder) that can even approach the combination of power,efficiency, reliabilities, and refinement of what you find under the hoods of Camcordimas - is correspondent to the day that the sun rises in the west and Ford (as well as a few other mfgrs. I can think of) has learned to build smaller engines.

    LOL... Man, that's hilarious! It make's my Friday stuck in the office go that much faster. :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Nope, the sunvisors do NOT extend. I found this odd seeing that the owner's manual mentions that they DO.

    Is it possible the entire visor moves rather than having an extender? I had this same apparent issue with my wife's VW, I had read the visors extended but there was no extendable part to the visor...which was what I was looking for. Finally discovered that when the visor was moved to the side window the entire visor pulled out on a rod.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Man, that's hilarious! It make's my Friday stuck in the office go that much faster
    guess I'm happy to provide you some comic relief - BUT if that statement is so outrageous I do have a challenge for you - I challenge you to name even one smaller V6 (or 4) engine manufactured/developed by what used to be the Big 3 that is in any way outstanding or remarkable from any perspective you might choose - yes there are a very, very few. It's not just Ford by any means - Detroit in general has never known how to build smaller engines, and is one of the primary reasons why those mfgrs are no longer real players in the sedan market segments.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    current technologies like the CVVTi systems will allow truly current engines to adjust themselves (thru predetonation detection) to adjust valve timing openings continuously so that they can effectively use that extra octane. This is true, to some extent, with both the Nissan VQ and the Toyota 2GR as well as some of the better 4 bangers. Heck even my wife's new 1.8L 4 banger in her Matrix does this. I believe that you'll find that the Ford DT VVT system is a simple high rpm shift of valve timings, and yes if you want to tell me that a 20 year design called a DT runs better specifically and only on regular - I guess I'll amend my statement to 'something that is true of almost any car made with any sort of current technologies'.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    To my knowlege, just because modern engines can adjust valve timing to the octane of fuel doesn't mean they operate better, faster etc with premium if they were designed for regular. I'll be the first to admit I am not an engineer or mechanic though.

    I have no afinity for Ford engines nor do I think they are necessarily bad. I just think overly broad statements from someone that should know better should be questioned. :D
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    get so caught up in the broad statements about engines that we forget we're specifically talking about the new Mazda6 here. ;)
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    I challenge you to name even one smaller V6 (or 4) engine manufactured/developed by what used to be the Big 3

    Do engines made by Ford owned Mazda count in this?
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