Mazda Mazda 6 Hatchback 2002 - 2007

Mazda Mazda 6 Hatchback 2002 - 2007

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Best handling in its class
  • A significantly improved design
  • Reliable and practical

Cons:

  • High noise level at high speeds
  • Some petrol engines have inherited problems

Overview

How hard, do you think, it might be for a major car manufacturer to fine-tune the suspension and get the handling right. Unachievable for some, but Mazda showed that they are listening to what their customers say. The last 'big' Mazda 626 was a very boring car with rather disappointing handling. Although moderately successful, it was scrapped in 2002 and replaced by the Mazda 6. Although you could still recognise some common design elements, it was an entirely new car and what's most important is that they got the handling right and made the car really exciting to drive. Economical engines, moderate prices and high-class handling made the Mazda 6 one of the most desirable cars in its sector.

Exterior and Interior

Although to a certain extent, it continues the traditional Mazda 626 theme, the car has its own character. It was the first Mazda to be released under the new marketing adage "Zoom-Zoom". No-one knows what zoom-zoom means but looking at the Model 6 one might discern that it has something to do with being cool and sporty because that's exactly how the new Mazda was. Like its predecessor, it was available in 3 body types: sedan, hatchback and estate. The latter, possibly inspired by the sporty Mercedes estates, was also available as a sporty version with the most powerful engine. There are two basic trims: S and TS and two sportier versions TS2 and Sport, both of which have an advanced stability control system. The TS2 models also include a high-end audio system, 6-slot CD-changer, electric sunroof, and some interior updates. The Mazda 6 is one of the most spacious and comfortable cars in its class. All the big Mazdas can accommodate five adults easily. The quality of interior materials has also improved comparing to the 626. The Mazda6 Hatchback has 500 litres of boot space, the Wagon version "zooms" it to 1700 litres. In addition to that there is a large number of compartments and nooks in the salon.

Performance and Economy

One of the most exciting cars in the range is the heavy sport estate with the 2.3-litre engine. Called the Sport Wagon, it is also available in an all-wheel drive version. This is, however, a rarity and difficult to find. All Mazda 6s have an outstanding performance. Even the smallest 1.8-litre engine provides enough power to enjoy the drive. It is a very sensible choice as the engine is capable of 40mpg. The more powerful petrol engines will average around 35mpg. The diesel engine achieves a respectable 52mpg.

Like to Drive

From a car that was made to be sensible and practical, you wouldn't normally expect such a high level of handling. The car is so much fun to drive, so this 'Zoom-Zoom', whatever it may be, is actually working. It should be noted that the ride of the Mazda 6 is quite firm but you won't mind ‐ it feels sporty and is confident both in a straight line and around the bends.

Faults and Repairs

Although a big improvement from the 626, the Mazda 6 is not perfect. The body parts, especially the plastic ones can be easily damaged or lost and body repairs on a Mazda are usually expensive. The good news is that apart from the body there will be little more that can go wrong. The improved engines and gearboxes have a long working life. Earlier Sixes had clutch problems, but to the best of our knowledge, those were quickly fixed by the manufacturer and haven't reoccurred since.


Overall Rating:
Review by Squeeels
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Mazda 6 - 'Big but responsive' "

Exterior and Interior

Although this model has been updated, it still has a sporty look with it's sleek highlights, colour coded wing mirrors/door handles, alloys and rear spoiler. As a family car, this is the roomiest cars I've had. It's got plenty of leg space in the rear for the biggest of passengers. The cloth seating is well made, soft but hard wearing. Mine is a dark grey and black which I prefer - Less marks from the kiddes. The dash board still holds its own in modern terms, again for a car that is 7 years old. The stereo is excellent, plenty of bass (if you like that type of thing) and has a nice gloss finish to it which compliments the gloss finished door handles, centre console etc. The boot is huge. No issues for shopping, prams, dogs etc.

Performance and Economy

I was surprised how much acceleration this has, from a 2.0 diesel. It is the 147bhp model. Again, more responsive than any other diesel I've driven. I am currently getting around 500 miles from a full tank (using the on board computer and milometer). With diesel currently at around 6p per gallon more than petrol, I was only getting about 330 from my petrol focus, so it was worth moving to the Mazda diesel.

Like to Drive

This is a big car and I feel it is somewhat heavy on the steering but that doesn't mean it's hard work, plus it could be down to the age. It is extremely comfortable and feels solid and well built. As I said previously, for a diesel it responds if you need to accelerate quickly. I do enjoy the drive. I will look at the newer model of the Mazda 6 for my next purchase. <

Faults and Repairs

None so far, although I had had a small issue with the master electric not opening one of the rear windows.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value