Sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,200 – $2,500*


1995 Mazda MX-6


1994 Mazda MX-6


1996 Mazda MX-6


1993 Mazda MX-6 interior


1993 Mazda MX-6 V-6 engine

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Antilock brakes (optional)
  • Refinement
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Rear-seat room
  • Ride (LS)

Ford’s Probe has the same mechanical features but at a lower price. Both the MX-6 and Probe are the cream of the crop among sports coupes, in our view.

Overview

The MX-6, Mazda 626 sedan, and Ford Probe were all built in Flat Rock, Michigan, at a plant jointly owned by Mazda and Ford. Powering the MX-6 were both a 4-cylinder and a V6. Base models got a modest 2.0-liter four, while the premium LS version moved out with a 164-horsepower 2.5-liter V6. Both engines were mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. A driver-side airbag was standard; antilock brakes optional.

Yearly Updates

1994 MX-6
New passenger-side airbags for both the base model and up-level LS headline the changes to the MX-6 for 1994. Also, more sound-deadening material has been added to the door panels to reduce unwanted resonance.
1995 MX-6
The premium LS coupe is discontinued for 1995. The base MX-6 is still powered by a 118-horsepower 4-cylinder, but the V6 and the LS equipment can be selected as separate option packages.
1996 MX-6
Mazda decided to go back to “Plan A” and once again offer both a base model and a separate premium LS model. Otherwise, the MX-6 sports coupe is all but unchanged.
1997 MX-6
As the MX-6 entered its final year of production, Mazda made only a few minor changes to the upscale LS version. The 2.5-liter V6 powering the LS adopted sequential fuel injection, boosting the horsepower rating from 160 to 164 at 5600 rpm.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

When the restyled MX-6 was unveiled in 1993, it made its debut with two engines, a 118-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and a 164-horsepower 2.5-liter V6. Both can be mated with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. For 1996, modest changes to the engine management system result in small drops in the performance figures for both engines. The 4-cylinder now lists a horsepower rating of 114 and the V6 has four fewer horses, for a total of 160. The four horses and four pound-feet of torque lost in ’96 return in ’97 when the V6 moves from port to sequential fuel injection.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 114-118
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 124-127
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
26/34
23/31
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 160-164
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 156-160
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
21/26
20/26
23.0

Road Test

While we prefer the V6, be aware that the 4-cylinder engine does have adequate performance and better fuel economy. Equipped with a V6 and 5-speed, the coupe delivers willing performance and spirited acceleration. The engine has plenty of low-end torque and revs freely to redline. While the V6 runs smoothly and quietly at all speeds, the automatic tends to stifle the car’s performance, even becoming balky when asked to perform a full-throttle downshift. The 4-cylinder likewise delivers decent power with the manual, but as expected, turns sluggish when paired with the automatic.

Handling is crisp and responsive, with little body roll in tight corners. Ride quality on the LS suffers some from the standard performance tires, which are rated for speeds up to 149 mph. However, the ride is still better than that provided by the Ford Probe GT. You can also expect the stiff tires to offer poor traction in snow.

The MX-6 is a snug 2+2. Front head room and leg room are adequate for 6-footers, the rear seats are so tiny that even some small children may complain about the lack of space.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Mazda MX-6 2.5-liter 5-speed

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 48

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.8 181.5 68.9 51.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.4 15.5 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 34.7 44.0 27.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 MX-6 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 140
Injury 120
Theft 110

Trouble Spots

Engine knock
Description: Cars with a V6 engine built before March 1993 may have engine knock, especially when cold, due to carbon buildup in the combustion chamber. (1993-94)
Engine mounts
Description: Broken motor mounts allow the engine to rock back and forth when accelerating, decelerating, or starting from a stop. (1993-94)
Engine noise
Description: A metallic tapping noise from the rear of the engine could be due to slippage between the exhaust-camshaft driven gear and friction gear. (1993-95)
Hard starting
Description: Distributor problems cause no-start or engine performance problems. (1993-94)
Power seats
Description: The insulation on the wires for the power seat can wear through causing a short circuit. (1993-94)
Transmission leak
Description: A damaged torque-converter hub seal allows fluid to leak from the automatic transmission. (1994-96)
Vehicle shake
Description: Vibrations in the steering wheel, shift lever, and floor are probably caused by mispositioned radiator dampers. (1993-95)
Wipers
Description: The welds holding the wiper-arm support bracket break, causing a creak or rattle when the wipers are running. (1993-95)

Recall History

1993-99
Description: Certain SPX Filtran fuel filters may leak.
1994
Description: Headlight wire that runs through turn-signal lever can fail where it is soldered to switch, causing loss of headlights.
1995-96
Description: Airbag could deploy as a result of minor undercarriage impact.
1997
Description: Spring in timing-belt tensioner can break and get caught, resulting in possible engine stalling.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.