Overview & Reviews
With a few well-established vehicles dominating the midsize sedan segment, and numerous likable competitors trying to unseat them, it's tough for any particular vehicle to stand out. But the Mazda 6 has often offered something most competitors don't: charisma.
While just about any car in this segment will get the job done, the Mazda 6 manages to engage the driver in the process. This was particularly true of the first-generation 6, which had a relatively compact, European-size footprint and sporty suspension tuning that gave the car a remarkably nimble feel. For the second- and third-generation 6, Mazda enlarged the dimensions but retained much of the original model's handling panache. Whichever vintage you choose, the Mazda 6 is a solid choice as a midsize sedan.
Current Mazda 6
The Mazda 6 midsize sedan comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Two transmissions are available: a six speed manual or a six-speed automatic (with shift paddles on the steering wheel).
Sport, Touring and Grand Touring are the three trim levels for the current Mazda 6. Standard equipment on the base Sport with the manual transmission includes a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a 60/40-split rear seat and a six-speaker sound system. The automatic transmission-equipped Sport gets Bluetooth, an infotainment touchscreen and a rearview camera.
Stepping up to the Touring adds items such as keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control and a power-adjustable driver seat. Options for the Touring include automatic headlights, a sunroof, an upgraded sound system, navigation and a frontal collision mitigation system. The Grand Touring gets all the standard and optional features from the Touring, plus bi-xenon headlights, foglights, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Notable options for the Grand Touring include adaptive cruise control and the i-Eloop system that improves fuel economy by 2-3 mpg.
Visually, the 6 is no wallflower, with a distinctive face and a sleek profile that stands out in a crowd. In terms of practicality, the Mazda 6 also stacks up well against class leaders such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with regard to passenger space and cargo volume. Moreover, most midsize sedans can't match the Mazda's entertaining character on twisty back roads. The car's main downsides are an electronic interface that's a little behind the times and a ride quality that some drivers might deem a tad too stiff.
Used Mazda 6 Models
The newest, third-generation Mazda 6 appeared for 2014. Compared to the previous-generation model, the latest 6 differentiates itself with sleeker styling, higher fuel economy and added safety features. Mazda hasn't made any major changes since.
The second-generation Mazda 6 debuted for the 2009 model year and was produced through 2013. There were two available engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 170 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque or a 3.7-liter V6 that put out 272 hp and 269 lb-ft. The four-cylinder was paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic, while the V6 was only available with a six-speed automatic.
In its second generation, the 6 was available in five trim levels: i Sport, i Touring, i Touring Plus, i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring. Models with the "i" prefix come with the four-cylinder engine, while those with the "s"prefix come with the V6. Base models were respectably equipped, while higher trim levels came with such niceties as a sunroof, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control and an audible blind-spot monitoring system. Other notable options included xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry, satellite radio and a navigation system.
As with other Mazda 6 models, we appreciated this generation's sporty handling. It was also pretty practical thanks to a roomy interior and a big trunk. On the downside, though, fuel economy wasn't the best in the segment and interior materials were lackluster. In its final couple years, this 6 also seemed increasingly outdated compared to newer rivals from Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota. But overall we think it's still worth considering as a used family sedan.
Launched for the 2003 model year and produced through 2008, the first-generation Mazda 6 was initially available only as a sedan, while a four-door hatchback and a wagon joined the lineup from 2004-'07. There were two basic trim levels: i and s. The Mazda 6 i was powered by a 160-hp four-cylinder engine mated to either a manual or an automatic transmission. The s came with a 220-hp 3.0-liter V6 -- also available with a manual transmission or an automatic.
The Mazdaspeed 6 was a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive variant of the Mazda 6 sedan that was only offered in 2006 and '07. Boasting 278 hp, a six-speed manual transmission and sports-car-like handling, this European-style sedan delivered great driving excitement. As a used car, it's a compelling package for those with a need for speed, not to mention all-wheel-drive traction.
With power accessories, cruise control and pleasant cloth upholstery, even base models were reasonably well equipped. Optional features included a rear spoiler, foglights, leather seating, a power sunroof and an upgraded audio system with a CD changer.
We like the original Mazda 6 for its edgy, handsome design and stylish interior. Even more impressive were its communicative steering and tight suspension. Both the hatchback and wagon were fun-to-drive and sensible alternatives to other sedans and even SUVs. On the downside, the first-gen Mazda 6's interior quality was lacking, and the sedan was relatively short on passenger space. Moreover, the V6 lacked the punch of rival uplevel motors.
There were a few changes made to the first-generation Mazda 6 over the years. In 2005, a six-speed automatic replaced the five-speed unit on V6 models. For 2006, four-cylinder cars received an upgraded five-speed automatic in place of the old four-speed, and all Mazda 6 models were treated to minor styling updates. The 2006 and '07 models benefited from additional safety features being made standard.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 1,498.00
Mazda6 S 5 speed - 2004 Mazda Mazda6
By chedmardo - December 31 - 10:30 am
Had it since new and would like to have more power with better gas mileage (dont we all?). Its been fantastic mechanically with only putting brakes on it and changing the oil. Still has the original plugs at 96000 miles!
Keeps on pushing - 2003 Mazda Mazda6
By musick man - December 30 - 11:03 pm
I got my 2003 Mazda 6 i in September 2006. The only problems that I had were a dead battery (I used to leave the lights on), and my rack and pinion steering system which was replaced by the dealer covered by the factory warranty. Other than that the car is great. the low end torque could be better but the handling is awesome at all speeds. Love the ground clearance, I take it fishing and it has no problems with climbing steep embankments. Took it to Arkansas from Louisiana on a single tank of gas with four passengers and luggage, rode smoothly but is no Lincoln. The leather seats are very comfortable, radio is loud, and it looks great. Now has 76k still runs strong.
Mazda make cars fun - 2004 Mazda Mazda6
By johnnyB5646 - December 29 - 2:00 am
Great looking car. Get compliments all the time. My fiance zooms around in it and has a blast with its comfortable yet sporty feel.
i love my mazda 6 - 2004 Mazda Mazda6
By steverino - December 29 - 2:00 am
this car is so beautiful and thrilling to drive..the interior is so cool and the exterior so hot... i havent felt this excited about a car in over 10 years
Stylish And Exciting Sports Sedan - 2004 Mazda Mazda6
By RustyBawl - December 29 - 2:00 am
Mazda designers are taking huge strides in the right direction in regards to the styling of their vehicles. The Mazda6 is available as a sedan and very soon will also be available in the US as a hatch and a wagon. One of the best things about this car right now is that you dont drive 15 minutes down the road and during that period see five cars exactly like the one you are driving. Look different and still have an excellent sedan! This vehicle suits someone with kids that still wants a sporty look and wants to keep the car for a long time. Find endless information on this vehicle as stated by owners themselves, on the forums at mazda6club.
The Greatest Car - 2004 Mazda Mazda6
By allison - December 29 - 2:00 am
This car has it all it has a smooth ride and a wonderful style and i would recommend it to everyone as well as it is a stylish car
Think I Bought a Lemon! - 2006 Mazda Mazda6
By pstiles1 - December 25 - 8:35 am
I bought my 2006 Mazda 6 new. I am sad to say, I think that I bought an albatross. It has become a money pit. I have put 3 sets of tires at around $1000.00 per set. The air conditioner had to be replaced. The drive chain broke & had to be replaced, thank God it was under warranty! I have had to replace the clutch. The dashboard compartment broke and now my head liner is falling down near the rear window. I also have a very audible "squeaking noise" as the car changes speed which the dealer (whom I will never work with again) says is the acs clutch since my car is "old." I had an RX7 which I loved. This car is a big disappointment!
Cant Beat It - 2009 Mazda Mazda6
By ktp - December 15 - 10:00 am
After looking at the malibu LTZ (v6), accord EX-L v6, and altima the choice was obvious for me. Mazda all the way. I have never owned a mazda, but the features and amenities are 2nd to none and with current manufacturer rebates/incentives, I simply couldnt walk away. I ended up getting my loaded mazda 6 grand touring at about 3400 under invoice. The mazda6 is still relatively new, so its nice to not be one of the crowd.
diy Mazda 6s 5spd owner - 2004 Mazda Mazda6
By maz6s - December 14 - 6:21 pm
Since 07, my 04 6s(v6) has been strong. I bought it at ~60,000 miles. All maintenance done early except the spark plugs. Dont drive too long with a misfire/vacuum leak/hesitation. Lucky I had knowledge of precat failure prevention so I didnt find out the hard way like others...keep an eye on fluid level and color esp oil. Since about 90-100,000 miles I noticed the oil level drops a lil every 1500 miles which is normal on most vehicles. Dont trust oil change places, they only pour 5qts in, but this engine takes 6...oh and Honda seekers dont buy Automatic Accords, my wifes tranny died@100,000 miles...fluid drained and filled every 10,000 miles since 40,000 miles. 2004 Accord EX V6. Thx
little disappointed - 2006 Mazda Mazda6
By valley - December 12 - 3:43 am
The car looks are great, however I have had it in the shop a few times. I think the seats are the poorest quality I have ever seen in a car. I have had my Mazda since July of 06 and the front seats looks so worn, they are awful. The gas mileage is not as good as they say either. The car is not too comfortable, I wish I could have had a 30 day money back/trade in because it would be gone. Like I said the looks are great, but they need to improve on some quality issues...interior is very cheap...the lumbar on drivers seat has already broken.