2006 Mazda 6 Classic Sedan GG1032 2.3 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A sensible, modestly priced driver's car


At 9565 kilometres, I had a ring seal replaced under a TSB (technical service bulletin-warranty), at the same time the 10000 kilometre service was carried out. This is a seal that is nestled in front of the catalytic converter. The original seal has a tendency to have a high pitched whistle at idle.

I had the interior trim re-upholstered in leather, after many problems with the original cloth/canvas trim separating at the seams. The problems were first discovered in April of 2007. After two rear cushion cover replacements, and various other upholstery items separating (driver's seat cushion, front passenger seat back map pocket), I decided that enough was enough.

General Comments:

This car is competitively priced, yet performs well above its intended station.

The 2.3 litre petrol engine and 6 speed manual transmission make for a very happy union indeed, with well chosen gear ratios to complement the engine's modest power and torque, positive but very easy to use clutch, and gearshift quality that is very precise. The pedals are properly positioned for heel-toe downchanges. Contrary to popular belief, 6th gear is the same gear ratio as 5th in the outgoing model (GG1031 series), showing 2800 rpm at 100km/h (62.1mph), or 4600rpm at 161km/h (100mph).

I have tested the car from 0-100km/h (62.1mph) in 8.42 seconds, and have had the car out to an indicated 228km/h (142mph) in 6th gear, at 6500rpm (true speed 223km/h/139mph). It does take a while to pass the 220km/h (137mph) mark though.

The engine is very tractable from idle, but it loves to be wound out into the middling to high rev range where it performs at its peak. It also makes a spicy engine note when doing so.

Fuel frugality is very good. On 95 RON premium petrol, it uses between 8.2 to 8.7 litres per 100km (32.4-34.4 mpg) in urban conditions. In highway use, it's possible to average less than 7 litres per 100 km (40.3mpg).

The handling is excellent. When pressed very hard, there is only very mild understeer at most, and can be coaxed into oversteer with a throttle lift. There is very minimal body roll. A chassis that is adjustable with both throttle and steering wheel, and very involving to drive at the same time. Very good steering directness and feel, positive turn-in response.

The ride is firm, but very well controlled. There is no floatiness whatsoever. High speed stability is second to none.

Refinement is reasonable, there is some road and tyre noise on coarse chip bitumen, but far less so than on the previous model (GG1031 series). Other than that, wind noise is barely audible, and general NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels are quite acceptable.

The interior can be described as good. The ergonomics are very good, nothing is out of reach, and the controls are logically placed.

The driving position is excellent, with reach and rake steering adjustment, and comfortable and supportive seating. All-round visibility is excellent. The switchgear is of high quality, and, being typically Japanese, never needs second guessing.

The rear seat is very comfortable and supportive. Rear legroom is average, but there are rear heating/cooling ducts underneath both front seats, as well as a centre armrest, and individual map reading lights.

The boot space is also good, and the boot incorporates a full size alloy spare wheel (205/55 VR16), as standard equipment.

The usual equipment levels are in place, like the 6 disc in dash CD changer with 6 speakers and AM/FM radio, power windows all round (auto only on the drivers window), front foglights, ABS, 6 airbags etc, but this is becoming commonplace with many manufacturers.

Build quality is very good, with the exception of the very poor original interior upholstery, as mentioned in the start of the review "What things have gone wrong with the car?" But the leather upholstery I have fitted is second to none, it's what the car should've come out with as standard.

However, I have been informed by a couple of sources that Mazda have changed to a different upholstery supplier for their new Mazda 6, the GH1051 series. Just as well, too, as I've seen many other GG1032 series cars with the same problem. Mazda Australia are very coy on this one. But then again, there were many problems with Mazda 3s, in terms of seat fabric pilling, as I had with my previous Mazda 3 Maxx Sport.

So, to summarise- The Mazda 6 Sedan is an excellent car-good performance, ride and handling- all for a very competitive price. Reliability and build quality are both excellent, a testament to the Mazda marque. But oh, that standard upholstery...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2008

10th May 2009, 23:03

Excellent review thanks mate. Just took a second hand 2006 model for a test drive and bought it for my girlfriend.

I have to say, I also noticed that it was revving just as high as the old 626 we traded in when driving at 100kph. Kind of made me wonder if there is much benefit to having the 6 speed gearbox over the 5 speed. I would have thought the sixth gear would be to allow you to cruise at 2500rpm at 110kph, but apparently that is not the case.

2006 Mazda 6 MazdaSpeed6 GT from North America


Good, clean fun.. if you have the patience of a saint!


The car seems to stutter and skip when going up and incline, and sometimes it will happen when driving on the highway when I try to accelerate. It does not happen all of the time, and this makes it incredibly frustrating when I bring it to the dealership and it will not repeat the problem.

We all know the problem of your car making a "ticking" noise, and then of course it won't cooperate when you bring to the mechanic to point it out.

I have brought the car into the dealer 3 or 4 times for the skipping problem.. and this last time, it was accompanied by a nasty rattling sound. Now, I am a woman, but I do know a few things about cars, and I'm thinking that it could be the tranny or the clutch. The slip makes me think tranny, and a few times I have missed a shift, so I worry that I've done damage to the gear box. I understand that it's a small gear box and the throw on the clutch is very short. It's difficult sometimes to properly time the clutch; it's so sensitive.

The dealer said that the slipping could be the car going from front wheel drive to AWD.. but I wonder.. is this car really front wheel drive with AWD kicking in when the turbo hits? That doesn't make much sense to me.

I have tried to find out if it was the type of gas I used.. only high octane.. but through different gas companies.. that doesn't seem to be it.. I've kept a log. How sad is that?

The dealer says that the car isn't throwing out codes, and the engine lights don't light and the car is fine. They look at me like I'm nuts. They say the car is in perfect condition.. nothing wrong. Excuse me? I drive this car everyday and I KNOW when somethings wrong. I may not be a mechanic, but a rattling noise during acceleration is not normal. I'm sorry, but it isn't.

On top of this nonsense, my remote keyless entry refuses to work sometimes. It will unlock the doors fine, but when I try to turn the engine, it flashes the little idiot light on the display panel, and basically says that I don't have the key. What's wrong with this picture? I just unlocked the doors with the key, and now the ignition won't turn over? I have had to take the key to the dealer to have it reprogrammed a couple of times. This is really beginning to get old.

I rack up more mileage on my car going to Mazda than I do anywhere else. Has anyone else had these problems, or am I just auto-phobic? Someone help, Mazda sure can't seem to.

General Comments:

On a good note, the car is fun to drive, and while I am an adult, I do enjoy having little Honda's with the noisy exhaust ride up next to me and try me at a light. I just look at them as if to say.."Silly little punk.. did you not see the Speed6 logo.. that means TURBO.. you idiot. I promptly make them eat dirt when my turbo kicks in... I find that a good whomping the first time around makes them look away in shame at the next light. The money for the car is well spent at that moment.

I also drive the car like a grownup, and I enjoy the smooth ride and a luxurious BOSE audio system. I get to be a kid with the turbo, and an adult with the fully loaded sedan at my finger tips.

All in all.. I think the car was a good buy.. but.. I don't think that I would do it again.. maybe a Lexus or Acura next time.. We'll see what Mazda says...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th April, 2008

8th May 2008, 08:22

I have the same issue in my 2007 Mazda MS6. I've had it for a year, and had to have it in for repair a few times. Once was because the engine mounts were broken...

So, have you been able to fix your issue with the rattle and what not? Mine does the same thing, though I don't get the slipping problem you state.

I've found that when the rattling start during highway acceleration, a simple down shift fixes the problem and the turbo immediately kicks in.