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Mazda6 Sedan



  • The only reason manufacturers like Nissan can sell "crazy options" is because they sell lots and lots of base models with 4-cylinder engines and plastic wheel covers. Mazda is too busy trying to get people to even take a second glance at the 6... they don't have time to concentrate on options that a very minute percentage of buyers will spring for. Besides, Mazda relies on the aftermarket to take care of that for them. Unfortunately, the aftermarket doesn't like Mazda very much (other than the RX-7 and Miata). Mazda vehicles are too difficult to tune (over-bearing electronic nannies) and too few to recuperate R&D costs and actually turn a decent profit.

    I don't understand why Mazda sells a 6 with wheel covers. They should really make the 16" alloys as standard equipment. I could understand if they wanted to sell the 16" alloys as an accessory for extra profit, but they only offer the 17's (you can order the 16's from parts, but for the same price you can buy ultra-lightweight multi-piece racing alloys and the associated Z-rated rubber).

    I can't stand the way the plastic wheel covers look on the 6. They don't match the car at all and are definitely better suited (and very similar to) for the bulky-looking 626. Unfortunately, I have to stare at them almost every day. The dealership had such a great price on the car, I figured I could buy wheels and the appearance package and still stay under $20k. Unfortunately, problems appeared and that plan went out the window. I have a Hyundai Elantra loaner right now (mighty impressive and powerful for its price), and its plastic wheel covers actually look quite good and you could easily mistake them for alloys (at night).
  • True car enthusiasts don't just make assumptions about a new car based upon an old car by the same manufacturer. True car enthusiasts do a lot of research and a lot of test driving before making a choice (especially the ones who can't afford to change cars every 3 years).

    That's what I did. I made no assumptions going into my new car buying process when I actually began nearly a year or more ago... While I had owned a 323 hatchback while in grad school, I didn't have any warm fuzzy feelings for the car (it was utilitarian, it did the job). I've been driving a Nissan Maxima, so obviously I took a look at their offerings. Honda, Acura, VW, Mitsu, and even Hyundai.

    When I finished my research and test drives, it was clear that the 6 wasn't like most of the other cars I drove. It had a fun driving form factor that just couldn't be matched! It felt like a true driver's car, and not in the way of some VW marketing slogan. It felt connected to the road without being harsh, and the cornering was just superb. The Mazda engineers really nailed the experience on the head with this one.

    Do I have nitpicks about the car? Sure I do, but then again, I'd have that with any car. After living without any cupholders for the past 7 years, I can overlook just about anything if the driving experience doesn't disappoint. And I can honestly say, in the Mazda6, you won't be disappointed.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    gained market share last year not lost market share in the US. Mazda gained a little but not alot. Mazda did pass Mitsu in overall vehicle sales for 2003. VW did lose markt share because they can't get a handle on their "quality control". Mitsu had nothing to offer in 2003 over any of the competition so thats why they lost market share. Their exterior styling direction is one of the worst in the industry. However they are offering the 10 year/100,000 mile warranty's for 2004 so lets see if that ups sales for Mitsu this year.

    About wheel covers you can always replace them. I don't think thats a big deal.
  • Get the 6! For less than a penny more per mile (than the Escort), you get to drive a car that got over 50 international awards. Or $2 more per day. I bet you will have more than 2 grins per day driving the 6! That's 1 buck per grin.

    Who knows? You might get rid of what you're driving and get a 6 for yourself...
  • rock44xrock44x Posts: 78
    what i'm say is that mazda can't go after Toyota and Honda , and nissan making the same cars they make, look at Subaru's wrx so popular cause there isn't anything on the market like it at that price. mazda being under ford can only get so big. so why can't they be the young driven enthusiasts brand of ford and not a bottom feeder.

    ps, jstandefer i see you like the "crazy options", you make a good point
  • Mazda isn't Ford's bottom feeder. In terms of current sales, it sure seems that way. However, I don't think Ford has any plans for Mazda to become a contender for any sales records. Instead, Ford is positioning Mazda as their answer to BMW. I feel that the Mazda3 is their first serious stab at beginning to move Mazda up-market. Depending on the success of the 3's top (expensive) models, I think we will see the 6's options list begin to grow and become more powerful, more refined, and more expensive.

    Ford's biggest challenge is to bring the Mazda nameplate to near-premium status, much in the way that VW is becoming. I think we'll see a return of the RX-7 and possibly an RX-3. It is interesting to see Mazda finally shy away from trying to compete head on with the Japanese Big-3. Less emphasis is being placed on bigger-is-better, while more emphasis is being placed on performance and style.

    The new Mazda3 (in S form) really doesn't compete with much on the market anymore. It's more expensive than a compact, but cheaper than a mid-size. It packs the performance advantages of the smaller, lighter platform and combines that with the refinement and upscale features of a midsize. I think we'll see the 6 begin to slot between a midsize and a near-luxury sedan. Think of it fitting between the Camry and ES330, or the Accord and TL. Unfortunately, it's going to be a roller coaster ride, but I hope it works.
  • For a brief moment I thought I might get an answer to this question from a Flat Rock worker on another thread, but he felt he could not respond.

    To those of you who have recently ordered cars from the factory as opposed to buying one off a dealer's lot: how much time did it take between your order going into the system and arrival of the vehicle at the dealer?

    My self-interested motive in asking the question is that I'm afraid the attractive incentives now available on the 6 might have disappeared if my car arrives after March 1st.

    Thanks much
  • HE! I'm a SHE! I cannot answer your question of time frame, because the only time frame I have knowledge the time it takes me to complete my job on each car. I'm not privy to order & completion dates. The dealership people that lurk in here, would be able to help you. I can tell you this ... at one point my Husband and I had considered ordering a hatch. We were advised by Management @ AAI and the Dealership that the estimated date of delivery would take approximately 3 months.
  • Sorry about that, Ms. RedcOugar. I had a 50% chance of being right--but was wrong in the end. Thanks for your story about hatch time, though.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Actually since most of the people in here are guys, your chances were much better than 50%. ;)

    On ordering, you probably know that dealers only have a short time window each month during which they can order cars. So, if you miss that by a day, you have almost a full month before the order will actually be placed. Then it may be several weeks before it gets built, assuming it's an option combo they can build at that time. Then you gotta wait for delivery. This is why nobody can give you a time frame that's even an approximation.
  • Thanks for this. As it happened, the order went in, according the dealer,just before the January window closed. So that's good. I only wonder if they can produce and ship the thing before March 1st and the next change in incentives.
  • vkarvkar Posts: 28
    Have folks started receiving recall letters?
  • I have had my yellow s since September. No recall notice on any subject.. But the good news is: no rust, no smell, no nothing. Just sweet zoom-zoomin'.

    BTW, what are all the outstanding recalls on the 6?
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Remember when both Nissan and Mazda after 1994 tried to compete with Honda and Toyota by blanding down their exterior styling. Just like the 95 Protege, and 98 626 weren't recived well by Mazda's loyal buyers Nissan loyal buyers rejected the 95 Maxima, 95 Sentra, and 98 Altima so Nissan was never were a Honda or Toyota beater. I know a former 2000 Altima owner who rejected the newer Altima's because Nissan changed their styling direction.

    Nissan a couple years ago got alot of press in Business Magazines just like GM is now. When you name drop the likes of Carl Ghosn or Bob Lutz in a magazine people pay attention. Mazda doesn't have one of those guys to name drop in a magazine article. Mark Fields was the cloeset thing you could name drop in a magazine article but now he's leading Ford's luxury divisions: Lincoln, and Volvo. Fields did a great job at Mazda while he was there.
  • I think that is one of Mazda's greatest internal problems. It seems like everytime I look at a Mazda Press Release, there's a new CEO. I agree that Fields did an outstanding job at Mazda. But, his time in the big seat was too short... long enough to change Mazda's direction, but too short to see it through. I hope he does well leading Ford PAG. Ford has set some extremely high standards for PAG, and probably spent too much time and effort concentrating on that effort, and too little time trying to develop their mainstream marques. As a result, Ford, Mercury, and Mazda are playing a catch-up game.

    With the new CEO, I think the musical chairs will stop. They are putting the Japanese back into Mazda, and that's a good thing.
  • From what I have been hearing, the fuel odor recall has been pushed back due to a major shortage of parts. Supposedly, Mazda will send out the notices on 2/9/04.
  • In the 6 is put in the wrong place. This happens to me quite often: trying to find a good position for the center vent, I inadvertently press the hazard button. Granted, it's only for a second or two, but the point is, it shouldn't happen. There are plenty of places to better position the hazard: somewhere lower, or on the steering wheel neck. You shouldn't hit something inadvertently if you do not intend to do so. There: my one beef with (along with the wide turn...)
  • I currently work for an intl org in Costa Rica, where cars are extremely expensive and engine choices on certain cars are limited; luckily we don't have to pay taxes. For example, the v6 model of the Mazda6 is not available (the Mazda 3 only comes with a ~105hp engine). Although I liked the 04 160hp Mazda 6, it comes with even less equipment than one would get in the States at a higher price and the sales guy is largely inflexible. I went to the VW dealership and found that the 04 Jetta 1.8T had more power, torque and standard equipment at a comparable price. The people were also more friendly and willing to negotiate.

    Right now, I'm torn between the seeming reliability of the 6 and the Jetta. Did anyone compare these two cars and choose one over the other? If so, what swayed you in one direction or another? How's the handling of the Jetta compared to the 6??

    Thanks for your help!
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    "Nissan loyal buyers rejected the 95 Maxima, 95 Sentra, and 98 Altima..."

    The late 90's Maximas were still fairly popular, but Altima and Sentra sales tanked. Renault's bailout enabled them to release the 2002 Altima sooner than planned.

    Also, I totally agree about the 98-01 Altima beeing nerdy. I bought a '97 for the same price as a '99, since I can't stand the 2nd generation.


    Back to Mazda, yeah the 95 Protege was hideous and had the blandest interior, too. The 626 was a snooze fest. I think the old car's poor reception is hurting sales of new base 6i's. Buyers of 4 cylinder sedans think of Cam-cord when shopping and that 'Mazda6 = 626'. Too bad.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    Where do the Mazda 6's come from in Costa Rica, maybe Japan? The Jettas I bet are from the same MEX plant as we get.
  • mpiatekmpiatek Posts: 68
    When I bought my 6s, the Jetta GLI was my #2 choice. In case you aren't familiar with the GLI, it's basically the Jetta with sport 17" wheels and suspension and the engine is their VR6. Both cars had manual transmissions. The Jetta was definitely fun to drive. It was quick off the line, had a nice turning radius, and overall handled pretty well.

    What swayed me toward the Mazda was the cars size, and a general safer feel to the 6. The Mazda 6 is a bigger car in general, but it's acceleration and handling were about the same as the Jetta GLI. The Mazda has much more interior room, so driving is more comfortable while having the same performance, which is nice on road trips. The safer feel is a little harder to explain. Basically, I took my wife on both test drives, pushed both cars pretty hard, and she simply said that in the Mazda 6, she never felt like the car was being pushed hard. The Mazda 6 gives you more confidence while driving.

    In the end, obviously, I ended up with a MT Mazda 6s with sport package. I've never regretted that decision a single minute. One thing the Mazda 6 has that a Jetta doesn't even come close to is looks. A Jetta will never make anyone do a double-take, and my Mazda 6 turns heads all the time.

  • mpiatekmpiatek Posts: 68
    I forgot to mention. Motor Trend did a road test between the Mazda 6s, Jetta GLI, and Altima 3.5SE. All of them have manual transmissions and I found the review very helpful.

  • On the Mazda Canada website ( they have old commercials from the 70s. 80s and 90s, really cool stuff. Look under "fun stuff" and then "multimedia"

    There's a 1990 commercial for the 626 where they try to explain "Kansai Engineering." its a very interesting concept.
  • I got the honors!! Not to just BS, but...

    My car now just turned over 7,000 glorious miles. My last tank is the best: 330 miles before the light turns on. I hope I keep getting better mileage. Has an oil change the other day. The dealer tried to have me approve a tire rotation, but charged me $35! I said no thanks, can do that for almost free at my local mechanic. Absolutely no problem so far. Knock on wood!
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    One reason why the Jetta is smaller, it's a compact size car! Classified so by the EPA, it is not a mid sized car. Just a compact at a mid sized price.
  • Thanks for your input. The Jettas sold here, like those in the States, are made in Mexico. Whereas the 6i that we get are imported from Japan. Since I just arrived here a few months ago (and importing a car from the States is out of the question), I'll give myself some time to consider all available options, including other models. I'm just afraid that the Jetta will not be as reliable, although it has more standard features. On the other hand, I don't feel comfortable 'giving my business' to the only Mazda dealership in town or even dealing with them afterwards. Maybe a good compromise is the new Volvo S40.
  • 12,000 wonderful miles on my 03 Steel Grey 6s AT. It is quite a bit better in the snow than I was anticipating. Even with the stock tires. Still no evidence of the Stain/Rust? returning from the repair.

    The DW may be interested in selling the MPV in 05 for a 6 Wagon. I'll keep the pressure on.

  • rodlcwrodlcw Posts: 45
    You have all seen my posts of the problems this past year. Supposed Brake fix. NO go. Still squeal. So, I have had about all ths problems I have seen posted, except NO Rust. Windows, Transmission leaks, brake noise, turn signals noise, manumatic sticking, shifter lever squeak noise, etc. Have owned many Mazda's since 1980 and have gone thru the "first" year blues before, but this FORD, ooops I mean Mazda, may be the worse one yet.
  • jgagnejgagne Posts: 5
    Is the Bose stereo worth the price? Is the base stereo in the 6 any good? I test drove a 6 with the Bose system and it sounded great, I havent heard the stock stereo yet though.
  • So I'm at 15,500 miles or so and my 6s rocks! None of the problems people have been explaning here except extremley minor staining... no big deal. Lots of grins still today when I drive. I love it when I floor it to pass on the highway and do the "holy s..." when I hit 90! So awesome...
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