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2003 MAZDA6

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0

Reviewed by 47 users

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Reviews written: 4
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Mazda 6s MT review


by jayseakay:      Jun 26, 2003 - Updated Jun 28, 2003


Product Rating: 5.0 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: This car is the reason I love to drive. Period.
Cons: Gas mileage a little low, turning radius, not a "pillowy" car.
The Bottom Line: If you love driving, you owe it to yourself to check the 6 out.


It all just depends on what you're looking for.

I'm in my mid-20s and just ended a three-year stint with an '00 Celica GT. I wanted something just as sporty but with more room and less road noise. So after doing my homework, I ended up focusing on two cars - the 6 and the Accord.

Reviews should never be about glorifying one car and bashing another. It's just a matter of finding out which one you personally appreciate more. Both cars are great. But in my case, I found that I appreciated the 6 more - namely, a fully-loaded 6s with the 5-speed manual transmission.

I can probably echo the majority of the statements already listed on this review board: Excellent handling, great styling, good acceleration (especially on the mid-to-high RPM range), a firm and fairly quiet ride, youthful dashboard and interior accents (namely with the sport models), spacious for your average-sized folk (I'm 5'8"), OK gas mileage, and a fair turning radius.

What sold me on the 6 was the performance-tied emotion involved with this car. The thrill I get taking the 6 out for a spin is almost comical.

- The 6 can dance around corners. The difference in handling between the 6 and the Celica is so small, it scares me.

- The 6 can turn a big hill into a little speed bump. I took some of my co-workers for a drive and one of them asked me to attack a nearby hill. The 6 climbed so it effortlessly and quietly, they couldn't stop talking about it.

- The 6 can stop on a dime and spot you a nickel. I haven't pounded on the breaks yet, but their "feel" just about equals what I became accustomed to in the Celica.

Just looking at the exterior styling makes my blood pump faster. And even when you're just cruising around town, the leather seats, moonroof, and Bose stereo make that enjoyable as well.

If you're looking for maximum comfort and plushness, the 6 is not for you. This car is not looking to get you from point A to point B without you even noticing. This is a car enthusiast's car. This car wants you have fun getting to point B.

It all just depends on what you're looking for... :)


Additional comments:

The leather seats were a bit tougher than other leather seats I've tried, but they have a durable feeling to them. I don't think they'll be flaking or coming apart 10 years from now. But they're not uncomfortably rough, and a little conditioning can soften them up (or just by wearing them in). The driver's seat is powered, so after a couple finger pushes, I was in perfect position.

The back seats feel fine to me - again, I'm 5'8". My guess is anyone over 6' will be kinda cramped.

Controls can be a little complicated - I'm very glad the dealership gave me a walk through. Initially, it might not be "pick-up-n-play" but you'll enjoy the setup once you get more accustomed to it. Ergonomically, everything feels fine. All the buttons are within easy reach, and even if they weren't, the power seat and telescoping wheel can be moved around to make it so.

Gas mileage has been a little low (under 20mpg) but I'm still breaking the car in, so I've been up and down the RPMs. Once I get back to my (fairly) conservative driving style, I bet it will become more economical.

Low-end pull can be disappointing if you're looking for a torque monster. The powerband resides on the higher side. But I find acceleration to be a nice and smooth. If you drop the hammer at the line, you can get a good 0-60 time, but it's still no Altima 3.5. But, coming from a 1.8L 4-banger, I don't consider the 6 to be a slouch at all.

The manual transmission is very light. Almost too light. The stick is very, very easy to move around, and the pedal is almost too lenient. The good thing about that is I don't herky-jerky the car around by engaging too early, and I haven't messed up a shift yet (aka pulled a gear grind). But I find it easy to operate. I had problems burning the reverse in the Celica, and I haven't burned a thing in the 6.
Amount Paid (US$): 24300
Condition: New
Model Year: 2003
Model and Options: 6s MT (fully-loaded)
Product Rating: 5.0
Recommended: Yes 
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