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Mazda6 Sedan



  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Scoobies may be ugly but the WRX is a demon. If only the interior were nicer...
  • storytellerstoryteller Posts: 476
    Hey, audi8q, you get to diss Subarus when the new Mazdas have racked up as many industry awards as the Subies have. Until then, a little more respect, please! :-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If the WRX interior were nicer it would cost $40 grand like the S4 and BMW 330xi do.

    I own Mazdas (2) and a Subaru, and it's our Mazda 626 that has been giving us big repair bills. If Subaru's reliability is boring, well, you're entitled to that opinion.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Where do I find this tally?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    no way. They could slap some decent materials in the car and barely bump the price. It doesn't even come with leather!
  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    After talking with the Mazda representative at the Baltimore Auto Show (he was from Mazda NA, not someone from the local Mazda dealer), he told me the 4 cylinder 6 will have a 5-speed manual and the V6 will get a 6-speed! That's pretty exciting news. I'm tired of having 5-speed manuals. They always rev so high on the highway, hopefully the 6-speed will have a nice overdrive to reduce highway noise.
  • storytellerstoryteller Posts: 476
    Some Subaru awards:

    Justy - "MotorWeek" TV-Driver's Choice Award, "Best Bargain Car"
    Legacy - Federation International de l'Automobile World Land Speed Endurance Record
    Legacy sets two world and 13 international endurance and speed records
    Legacy - Home Mechanix "Easy Maintenance Car of the Year"
    Subaru SVX - Popular Science "Best of What's New"
    Subaru SVX - Automotive Industries "Car of the Year: Annual Engineering Award"
    Subaru SVX - Automobile Magazine "1992 All Stars"
    Outback - Popular Science Magazine "Best of What's New"
    Impreza - J. D. Powers & Associates "Best Compact Car"

    Outback - MotorWeek TV "Driver's Choice Award"
    Forester - Consumers Digest Magazine "Best Buy"
    Forester - AAA 1998 Top Car Awards Outback - Motorweek TV "Driver's Choice Award"
    Forester - New England Motor Press Assn. "Best in Class"
    Legacy - Kiplinger's Magazine "Best New Car"

    Forester - Consumers Digest "Best Buy"
    Legacy top performer in IIHS crash tests

    Outback takes First Place, Seat of the Pants Class, 2000 Alcan Rally

    Outback - Northwest Automotive Press Assn. "Best in Class"

    Forester - Consumers Digest "Best Buy" third consecutive year
    The 2002 Impreza WRX voted “Most Fun to Drive” by Auto Week Magazine.

    Sport Compact Car Magazine names the Impreza WRX one of the Eight Great Rides of 2001.

    Subaru of America, Inc. receives the “Consumers Voice Award” from
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138

    I love making fun of subaru's and their owners. They are funny...

    it's all in fun guys...get overyourselves and your car.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    According to Mazda's site, both 4 and 6 cyl. manuals will be 5 speeds. I think maybe the Mazda rep at the Baltimore show was mistaken - but I hope not.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My uncle always had has Subaru 4WD wagons for as long as I can remember (and I am 23). He has only had 3 of them in 23 years though. Always stick, always 4WD, and always wagons. He lives on top of a fairly steep mountain in NC, and has to use the 4WD to go up and down them every day. The road is also full of holes and ruts and things of that sort. Those Subarus keep taking the abuse and holding right on though. The latest one he has (about an '89 or so) is a mess, but it still runs like a champ though.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    They were reps from Mazda, and not just salesman (I live in Baltimore and went to the show too). I do hope they would know what they were talking about.

    On the tranny topic, will the 6 have one of those "tiptronic" type transmissions? The Protege just debuted with one, so I wonder if the 6 will have one as well? I sure hope so, because they are pretty cool.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Did you happen to catch a name of the rep you talked to? The folks at autoshows are usually hired just to do shows and basically try to memorize a few tidbits on the vehicles at the show. They are contractors and not factory employees, so don't expect a wealth of knowledge from them. Sad but true.

    So where is the Mazda list? TELLING half of the STORY?
  • storytellerstoryteller Posts: 476
    I love Mazdas. I hope the new 6 is a sensation. The last car I bought was a Mazda for my daughter. You'll not be able to bait me into dissing Mazda. If you come up with a list of Mazda accomplishments, I promise to read it with respect. Up with Mazdas!

    And Subies. ;-)
  • The pictures I've seen of the "6" interior show a floor mounted automatic transmission shifter with a "manumatic" side gate.
  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    I didn't get the guy's name at the auto show, but I was directed to him specifically because he was supposed to know details about the Mazda 6. I'd say there's about a 50/50 shot he knew what he was talking about. If it turns out to be true though, remember you heard it here first.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Did anybody read about the diesel engine in the link above (Post 436) 224 lbft of torque. Not too shabby. More than the 217 of the WRX, and at half the engine speed (2,000 vs 4,000) ; ^ ) Talk about grunt off of the line!!

    Most of those who clammor for more hp really want more torque anyway. I wish this engine would come to the states, but I am sure it won't. Nobody really wants an engine that gets 50 mpg here.

    It seems practical cars don't have the image that many people feel they need to project with a new vehicle - too bad! Kind of the same reason hatchbacks and wagons fell out of favor (but are fortunately making a comeback). Just too practical, and practical isn't cool enough - hopefully that is changing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Leather is less grippy than the cloth, which also breathes better. Leather is cold in winter, hot in summer. Our 626 does not have heated seats. :-(

    I own both, and I prefer cloth. In fact I'd trade the leather seats in my Miata for the cloth equivalent. They'd have to be tan in color, though.

    My wife likes leather though. I hope the Mazda 6 is equipped like the 626, where you can get the V6 with or without it.

  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    TDI engines are great for producing torque and get great fuel economy but the reason we don't see them hear in the states isn't because Americans don't like cars that get great gas mileage but rather the fact that american deisel fuel is low grade and contains too much sulfer (among other things). Foreign manufacturers don't want to bring their TDI engines to the states because the crappy fuel here mucks up the engine quicker leading to more repairs (with a lot of those repairs under warranty and costing the manufacturers too much money). If you really want to see those high efficiency TDI's here in the states you need to petition the governmont to tighten up the standards for deisel fuel . . . and that would be a tough fight since big-oil has a lot of influence on capital hill and doesn't want to spend any more money than they have to (and additional equipment at the refineries to make cleaner deisel fuel is not an expense they want to make).

    Just my $.02
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Also depends on where you live. Around me, diesel actually costs more than premium fuel does. It's a lot more than regular.

    But in many places diesel is much cheaper. So it varies by region.

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Yep, diesel in CA is far cheaper than premium fuel.

    As for leather/cloth...I detest cloth for one reason: stains. Leather doesn't stain, doesn't get smudges or marks. It may be warm (not a problem in San Diego) and may get cold (again not a problem here) but one thing it has all over cloth: durability.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Diesel fuel at the Crown gas station around me last night was 1.549 a gallon. I put regular gas in my friend's 1997 Sentra for 1.059 a gallon. Premium was like 1.239 a gallon. That's a huge price difference. I almost bought a TDI Jetta, but glad I didn't now.

    Leather vs. cloth: I love the leather in my Jetta. This is the first car I have had with it, and the seats are heated as well. They feel good in the winter, but have not lived through summer with them yet. We shall see I guess. I particularly love leather when my best friend's 2 year old gets in my car and drops his bottle by accident. Milk wipes right up in a second. :)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Gas that's only 1.23 a gallon! I usually pay 1.60 a gallon for premium and I usually not regular is 1.40. Diesel's usually 1.33 here. :(
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That's nothing. At BJ's Wholesale Club here in Md., they have gas for members. Premium goes for 1.129 a gallon! :) That's why I don't mind putting in premium, even though I ran my 1.8T with regular before just to see the affects. It drops the economy by about 1-2mpg though, and performance drops a bit. Not worth it, considering it's only .139 difference between the two grades.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    Paying an extra $.50 a gallon for diesel fuel over regular may seem like a lot of money but when you consider that you are getting nearly two times the miles per gallon for the diesel it really makes it difficult to rationalize discounting the diesel purely on fuel costs.

    example: If you had two identical cars, one with a TDI and one a regular gas engine. (for sake of example lets use the VW Jetta). The TDI gets 42 mpg city and the 2.0L gas engine gets 24 mpg city. Each car has a 14.5 gallon tank. The TDI goes 609 miles on one tank of gas that cost you $22.62 to fill at $1.56/gallon. The gasoline car goes 348 miles on one tank of gas that cost you $15.75 to fill at $1.05/gallon. You need to put 10.875 more gallons of fuel in the gasoline vehicle to reach the same 609 mile mark that the TDI vehicle hit with one tank of fuel. This cost you an additional $11.42. So in effect you spent $22.62 to go 609 miles in the TDI but you spent $27.17 to go 609 miles in the 2.0L gasoline vehicle. So even though the diesel fuel may be more expensive to buy, you get more mileage for your money. If you only put premium fuel in the car then the costs get even further apart. (say premium is $1.24/gallon, you spend $31.47 to travel the same 609 miles). Over the life of the vehicle you will spend significantly less money for fuel on the TDI than you will for a similar gasoline vehicle.

    Just an obervation. People alway look at first cost rather than long-term costs.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    In San Diego running a diesel is cheaper in every way. Cheaper gas, better economy. It's a win-win. Plus most driving here is freeway and not very much is stop and go. My fuel costs would be more than halved with a TDI.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    In addition to the low-grade diesel fuel here in the states, one other disadvantage to diesel engines is that they put out more emissions than a similar gasoline engine. I just read on article about the EPA and how they have rejected the idea of lowering the emissions restrictions which makes TDI's even less likely to make it to the states because the manufacturer's need to install additional emissions control devices to be in compliance with EPA requirements.

    article is here

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    putting out more emissions to be a disadvantage. I know in tree-hugger CA that's not cool, but I really couldn't care less. BTW, VW has its TDI cars here right now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Leather doesn't stain, true, but it does crack and certainly shows wear.

    Heated seats should be mandatory with leather, IMHO. Both of mine don't have heat, though. It would be especially useful in the Miata. The top goes down even in 40 degree weather.

    Two times the miles per gallon? Not if you compare it to a gas engine making the same horsepower (even the 2.0l makes 25 more hp). Diesels are generally 20-30% more efficient.

    Where I live, the fuel costs 20% more, so they offset and you end up about even, but the diesel model costs more up front. At least here you'll never recoup that, plus you have to look hard to even find diesel, and it's slower than a gas engine.

    It makes sense where diesel prices are low, for sure.

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I get 23-24 mpg with my Jetta 1.8T manual. The car's gearing is horrible (as it pulls close to 4000 rpm when only doing 85) and that clobbers my gas mileage on the freeway.

    A TDI gets something like 50 mpg and the power is actually supposed to be really nice.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    First, sorry for posting off topic. I drove an automatic Jetta GL TDI a year ago, when I was going to buy one. Actually, the power is a little better than the standard 2.slow engine (I had one as a loaner car). Of course, it's nowhere near the 1.8T's power though. You get it back in economy though. But the older TDIs had to have their timing belts replaced every 40K, which added expense. But that's changed now. They have to be replaced at 80K now.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    Ahhh, there lies one of the true reasons that Amercian consumers don't like TDI's or hybrids . . . we all suffer from the "more power" syndrome. For an around the town vehicle with mostly city driving, it is the torque of the vehicle that gets you quickly out of the gate and down the street to the next traffic light not how many ponies are under the hood. Both the TDI and gas/electric hybrids have a lot of low end torque and make for good city commuter cars. But marketers emphasis the HP numbers to sell the car. Look at the much vaunted Honda VTEC engines that produce amazing HP at screaming RPM's (that are seldom reached during typical driving conditions) but have pitifully low torque numbers. It is all in the perspective. I personally would sacrifice 25 HP for better fuel economy and better low end grunt . . . the trick for me is finding a vehicle that I can fit in and everything is icing after that.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Posts: 464
    I'll take your comment about leather cracking to task. Although, leather will crack if it is a lower grade and not taken care of, most leather with proper care and general leather conditioning will easily last as long as the rest of the car. The problem is that some cars put a lower grade leather on their seats so that they can taut the fact that they have this feature at a very low price point. My dads 2000 Buick Century is a perfect example, sure he has leather seats but their so cruddy he may as well have vinyl (sorry dad if you're reading this). On older cars the lack of UV protection in the glass also effected the life of the leather.

    If you want leather seats first ask the grade of the leather that they use and then take basic care of them. Oh, and by the way, I completely agree about the bun warmer thing, they're awesome.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure the 1.8T isn't nearly as efficient, but c'mon, it'll blow the doors off a TDI. It's not even in the same league. What, like 11s to 60mph instead of 7s?

    The TDI has nice torque off the line, but gets wheezy and runs out of steam well before the gas engines do.

    I have three cars, two with leather, both of those Mazdas. How's that for getting back on-topic :-).

    The Miata's passenger seat is cracked, though I bought it used so I don't know how it was maintained. My wife's 626 has held up well, but it does have some wrinkles.

    My cloth seats (3rd car) have also held up well, though. Kids spill stuff - but usually on their child seats or the boosters they sit on, not the seat fabric, which looks perfect despite the child and dog that ride in it constantly.

  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    Like I said, a TDI or hybrid makes a great city commuter car. On the highway it is not as spunky as it is around town. How may times do I need to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in town? 0 to 30 mph yes but rarely do I have the opportunity to floor it in city traffic.

    That having been said, I am not immune to the "more power" syndrome. I would love to own a Subaru WRX STi and currently have a lease on a Passat 1.8T and I love the performance of the Passat . . . but I think I would equally love visiting the fuel pump less often and saving money there. If they offered the Passat here in the states with the 2.5L V6 TDI that they offer in Europe I would have opted for that over the 1.8T.

    Now to veer back on to the topic at hand, I used to own a 4 cyl Mazda 626 and I enjoyed the car but it had the Ford CD4E auto tranny and I ran into problems with the tranny before we got rid of it. I would like to test drive the new Mazda 6 with the V6. I like the sporty nature of the Mazda products and would consider purchasing one in the future. If they offered it with a TDI it might make it appeal to me a bit more.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Every time I get a car with fabric I end up regretting the decision. It's as if my friends have some odd desire to make my interior's blotchy. A week after getting my last car a friend spilled coffee on the passengers seat...I didn't want to let her take the coffee into the car but she looked at me with those pleading eyes and I crumbled.

    The new car, I stood my ground. No food or liquids ever. Yet a different female friend somehow managed to sit on gum at a theater and then sit on the passenger seat of my 1.8T!!! I can't win. :(

    The next car must have leather. I'm sick of scrubbing other people's messes outa my cars. hopefully the 6 will have decent (non-Tribute) leather.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We agree, it's just that my commute is along a parkway where I go 60 most of the way. At least until I get close to the city, and it becomes bumper to bumper.

    Now a 2.5l TDI sounds interesting. They always save the best for Europe. BTW I drove a TDI Passat wagon, so maybe the Golf and Jetta are better suited (i.e. lighter) for that engine.

    I heard all about the CD4E woes, but luckily mine was a 5 speed Mazda tranny. I hope they stick with that, and use the Jatco 5 speed auto from the MPV, not the Ford CD4E auto.

    I'm sure the 6 will offer leather as an option. That ought to please all of us.

  • Not to get too offtopic, but you can have a car interior redone in high-quality leather for $1500 or less, and you get many more choices than you do from the factory.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The Jetta comes with seat-mounted side air bags. I don't think you can get aftermarket leather when the car comes from the factory with side air bags. I saw something to that affect way back in the Mitsu. Galant forum.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It may depend on the manufacturer. I've seen aftermarket leather that even had the "SRS" logo sewn into the side.

    Lots of times the factory leather is only on seating surfaces, while most of the material is actually vinyl. I know our 626 and Miata are that way. I'm not sure about aftermarket leather, but I bet you can get it either way, too.

    BTW, I just got the new car issue of Consumer Reports, and among small SUVs, the Forester was the most reliable pick. The least reliable was the Mazda Tribute. This is why you have to be careful who you tease! ;-)

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I learned alot of interesting things from that April auto issue. I sat and read it cover to cover last night.

    Everyone complains about the Jetta's reliability. It's recommended by CR now, so that's cool. Also, the 626 looks to be a very reliable car as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, VW has been steadily improving. Passats and Jettas are a tiny bit above average now. Only the New Beetle is still lagging. Good for them.

    626 rates well, I just wish ours would stop giving us problems. It was great for 5 years and since then took a nose dive. I hope that's it.

    The only Mazdas do score poorly are the pickup and the Tribute, both with more Ford influence than Mazda, and both built at Ford plants. Other models are joint ventures and share some parts, but they are mostly Mazda and score high in reliability (626, MPV).

    That bodes well for the Mazda 6.

  • I'm pretty sure that all you need is some sort of tear-away stitching in some important spots. It probably limits the number of places/vendors, but I'm sure that it is still very possible for the same prices (which seem to be very reasonable).

    As for the 6, I like the look of the seats I've seen in pictures - not sure what type of cloth it is. If the final production cloth seats aren't as nice I would definitely consider aftermarket leather seats.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    You want to risk your life with supposed tear-away stitching that some aftermarket hack puts in? I don't.

    BTW, the leather is just one concern. Obviously if the 6 has nice leather but an Altima/Accord like interior, I'll have to pass. I can't do aftermarket on new plastics and switchgear.

    Strange about the Tribute. I had no idea its reliability was low. Is that in comparison to the 4 other mini-utes on the road or all cars on the road? That'd be good to know considering the only competition comes from Toyota, Honda and Subaru. If it's just among the segment, then the Tribute may in fact have high reliability among all cars/trucks, but low in its segment. Makes a big difference. Consider the Rav4 comes off the Corolla, the CRV off the Civic and the Forester off the Imprezza. They better be top notch!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure they'd get sued so badly they would no longer exist if it really interfered with the air bag. And who's to say the manufacturer's seamstress is any better? Look at all the safety recalls we see - they screw up all the time.

    CR reliability isn't broken up by segment, it's compared to the average number of problems for all vehicles.

    Tribute really stumbled early on, with 5 recalls, some of them quite embarassing. I went to Edmunds Live hoping to sample one and they had a sign that said there were MIA. Later I found out it was because the steering wheels could come off! Another recall had possible rear wheels coming off. That's not a joke.

    I don't necessarily blame Mazda. It's an Escape clone, and it's built in a Ford plant IIRC. Mazda has done much better with the MPV, which also shares Ford parts but isn't a clone of a Ford product.

  • I only know one person that owns one, and his has been flawless. The guy drives like a maniac, too. Slam on the gas, then slam on the brakes, rinse, lather, repeat.

    The reliability ranking may be in comparison to the other 3 (in which case the ranking really means nothing) or the ranking could be due to unreasonable people. If you look at the different boards, you get the idea that a small problem on a Toyota is considered by their owners as a minor inconvenience while the same small problem on a Ford or GM product is seen as a quality concern. I don't know why that is. My parents used to own an Oldsmobile that in the 8 years and 150000 miles that they owned it spent maybe $2000 in repairs. My moms 97 Camry has already surpassed that yet if you ask her about the Oldsmobile she thinks it was a piece of junk while the Camry is the most reliable thing ever built. Did we get lucky on the Oldsmobile? Yes, but the fact remains that if my mom were given a CR survey for the two cars she would rank the Camry much, much higher than the Oldsmobile even though *in this situation* the Oldsmobile should be rated higher. Many people blindly believe that Honda and Toyota vehicles are pinnacles of reliablilty and rate them accordingly even if they don't deserve it. I'm not going to argue whether or not a Ford is as reliable as a Toyota, but I insist that the true reliability of vehicles is unknown and the reports of CR and others is skewed by the survey participants predispositions.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Have you checked out Mazda's website? They have 360 pictures of the 6's interior.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I don't really trust pics. I gotta touch and feel it.

    Juice, you should try one. I'm not an SUV guy but lord that thing can handle and its 6 feels great. Very quick and agile little bugger. Of course I only know one person with a Tribute and hers has had an annoying rattle for a year and a half with no other problems. Fun vehicle to drive though.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    but the best thing about the 200hp in the Tribute is the optional AWD. Punch the throttle on a turn and it feels great. I've never driven a WRX, but I imagine it is that and more.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't see how the expectation would hurt a Mazda, because Mazdas have historically been reliable.

    A few cases make no difference, it's simply not a big enough sample to matter statistically.

    Back in my more idealistic college days I promised never to buy a vehicle that didn't get 20mpg in the city in the EPA cycle. I've kept that so far, and the Tribute's V6 doesn't meet that standard. Long-termers at Edmunds were getting 16-18mpg, so it's not even close.

    Tribute's AWD is part-time only. It starts out as FWD and then the rears kick in temporarily when there is slippage. But there is no center differential, so they cannot remain engaged full-time, and you should not use it on dry pavement. Subies are truly full-time; I prefer that setup.

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    my friend and her husband push that car hard and get 24 mpg doing 85 on the freeway. I borrowed it for a week and came away impressed by the gas mileage (as good as my 1.8T Jetta's) and it felt much tighter in corners than my Jetta. Much more room too. I've read there's a possibility of a supercharged 275 HP lowered MPS Tribute with 17s. I'd actually consider it, even with the cruddy leather. That's how much I enjoyed that car. Go figure.

    Their car is a FWD model though, not the useless (for San Diego) AWD.
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