2005 Mazda 6 Reviews

2005 Mazda 6 Sports Sedan 2.3 inline-4 from North America

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.3 inline-4 Don't Know
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired150 miles
Most recent distance76000 miles
Previous carPlymouth Grand Voyager

Summary:

The Mazda6 Sport package zoom zooms into the hearts of enthusiasts everywhere

Faults:

Normal wear and tear issues:

- Factory Michelin Pilot Sport tires replaced after two normal service periods (one replacement set - $900) with Yokohama all-season tires.

Abnormal wear and tear issues:

- Involved in a deer strike accident, only body damage (claim made, repaired).

- Involved in an accident striking a stationary vehicle, only body damage (repaired).

- Strange sucking noise emitted from brake pedal during use, brakes and pedal feel still normal (not repaired).

- Shifter cable is linked using a plastic piece that breaks quite easily, new cable and connector installed - $135 (repaired in our garage).

General Comments:

In 2003, Mazda released the Mazda6 line-up. Critically acclaimed from the beginning for attractive styling, reliability, combined with category leading driving dynamics, the Mazda6 continues on today as one of America's favorite alternatives to Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Ford. When considering a Mazda, potential buyers are looking at a car that offers more than just point A to point B. I find that the current online Mazda ad campaign about discerning enthusiasts and craftsmanship does ring true with the Mazda products that I've driven. They're just more fun than anyone else in their market.

So what we have here is the 2005 Mazda6 Sport Sedan with the Sport package, which includes front splitter, side skirts, and a trunk-mounted wing. The example I drive has Mazda's 2.3-liter MZR inline-4 engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The car came from the factory with 17-in rims shod with Michelin Pilot Sport tires, which turned out to be very expensive to continue to put on the car. All of these features, combined with a relatively low weight translate into surprising performance, but mostly through corners. The 2.3-liter four cylinder engine does only produce 166-horsepower, which isn't a little, but it isn't a lot, even in the four-cylinder segment.

One of the common criticisms from the motoring journals is the steering, which they complain is too light and fast. This may be, but this car certainly does handle and steer well. There is very little body roll, understeer is hardly noticeable, and the overall cornering feel is magnificent. Miles ahead of other offerings in this class. So much so in fact that Ford, Mazda's corporate parent, is using the Mazda6 platform on its new Fusion models.

Braking is accomplished via four discs with electronic ABS. The brake pedal feel is firm, however my driving example suffers from an abnormal sucking noise emitting from the brake pedal. The pedal and brakes still work as normal, so this issue is has not been resolved. The discs do haul the Mazda6 down from speed quite well, though noticeably less so with the new, non sport tires (not Mazda's fault).

Compared to the heavier V6, the I4 is nimbler and better to drive through corners; as such, the I4 is recommended for enthusiasts. Also, real-world gas mileage on the four cylinder engine is far superior to the six. Both models are front-wheel-drive, and when combined with an electronic TCS, the cars handle well in moderate to heavy snow, and are absolutely planted in the heaviest of rainstorms.

Straight line performance does not match that of cornering abilities, due mainly to the 2.3-liter powerplant. Though, acceleration is not bad, and the 5-speed manual with its short and firm clutch pedal and short throw shifter accomplish smooth shifts very quickly. Though not as silky-smooth as the German gearboxes, Mazda's 'box is faster.

Outside, the Mazda6 features aggressive but attractive styling cues similar to the RX-8 model. The svelte headlamp cluster contains projector style low beam and fog lamps, turn repeaters, and high beam. The overall look of the body is very athletic; the rod antenna is mounted at the rear of the roof at a steep angle adding to the sporty appearance, as do the 17-in silver-painted 5-spoke alloy wheels. Combine graceful lines with a wide stance and you have a very pretty sports sedan with attractive, but restrained styling.

Inside, the design falls a little, but only a little. The silver-painted plastic center console isn't necessarily attractive, though the knobs and switchgear are. My example has a standard single in-dash CD player, which is actually a very good system. The seats feature a no-slip fabric, which helps keep drivers in place while exploring the back roads. In the back, there is room enough for three full-sized adults, a feat accomplished by the wide body.

Speaking of the body work, some panels are fairly thin and are prone to dents, especially when someone trying to maneuver a motorbike out of the garage happens to fall into the Mazda6, and leaves dents from elbow contact.

Also, Mazda6 users know that for some reason, plastic is used to mate the shifter cable to the gearbox... and if a driver misses a shift, erm badly, the plastic piece will shatter. Leaving you stuck in second to drive home. Happily, this can be repaired 'easily' in your home. I say 'easily' instead of easily, because annoyingly, you have to take the one-piece console apart and thread it through the firewall. Which as any mechanic can tell you, isn't fun, and if it's your first time, can take over 6 hours to complete.

So then by no means is fit-and-finish a strong suit of Mazda. But then it isn't for Ferrari either, and people still love those. Mazdas are, as their campaign insists, for enthusiasts who like to drive, not just to get somewhere. I love Mazdas with all my heart. You absolutely cannot have more fun for cheaper (and remember it the next day). And at the end of the day, it's still an ordinary housewife of a family sedan car with endless practicality and usability... it just likes to go for a run in its sports bra every now and again.

-Steven Zebrine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2011

2005 Mazda 6 Sport 3.0L DOHC from North America

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0L DOHC Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired22 miles
Most recent distance122000 miles
Previous carToyota Supra

Summary:

A very fun car to drive

Faults:

It seem like a headlamp bulb or foglamp bulb would burn out. If it wasn't one, it was the other. Finally put high quality bulbs in the car and haven't had the problem.

Had a coil pack burn out at 20,000 miles. Warranty replaced it.

No other major problems.

General Comments:

The car handles nicely in turns and picks up quickly from a stop. The 5 speed gear box shifts smoothly.

Short or long trips at various speeds, the vehicle handles very well.

The interior is quite comfortable. Offers enough head and leg room for all.

The Bose premium sound system adds great enjoyment while driving. The audio fingertip controls on the steering wheel are very helpful.

Gauges are in clear view and easily read.

Although when it is really frigid outside, the center dash display lights tend to not illuminate fully. After it warms up, everything is fine.

I average about 25 miles per gallon on long trips, local driving around 21 miles per gallon.

Overall it’s a fun driving vehicle. ZOOM! ZOOM!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2010

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 21 reviews