|Midsize car; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $4,500 – $14,000*|
2003 Mazda 6
2005 Mazda 6
Mazda 6 interior
In total refinement, the Mazda 6 ranks a shade behind the pace set by Accord and Camry. Acceleration is tepid in four-cylinder models with automatic; yet overall, the Mazda 6 delivers on its fun-to-drive promise. It’s also as practical as any compact sedan–and even some midsize models. As a result, the Mazda 6 earns a Recommended rating.
Replacing the 626 sedan, the new front-drive Mazda 6 (actually badged “Mazda6”) was a slightly wider, taller, and heavier sedan with fresh styling and more power. The base “i” model used a new 160-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. The uplevel “s” sedan held a 220-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6, versus the 165-hp 2.5-liter V6 in the departed 626.
Both engines teamed with a manual or automatic transmission. The automatic was a four-speed unit on four-cylinder models, but a five-speed with V6s; both had a separate gate for manual shifting.
All models had four-wheel disc brakes. ABS with integrated traction control was standard on V6 models, and optional for four-cylinder sedans. Front side airbags and curtain side airbags were available for all models. So was a Sport Package that included 17-inch alloy wheels instead of steel or 16-inch alloys, plus a rear spoiler and other aero body add-ons.
Standard equipment included a single-disc CD player, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and a split-folding rear seatback. V6s added automatic climate control. Options included a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, in-dash CD changer, and Bose audio. V6s came with a power driver’s seat.
The Mazda 6 competed against both compact and midsize cars, in power as well as marketing focus. Rivals included the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry; and later, the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu.
Wagon and hatchback body styles joined the original Mazda 6 sedan in the spring of 2004. Seventeen-inch wheels were standard on “s” models, and optional for “i” versions. The available Sport Package included special interior trim.
Antilock braking and traction control were standard on all 2005 models, and a six-speed automatic transmission replaced the five-speed unit for “s” versions. Mazda’s three body styles came in base, Sport, and Grand Touring trim levels.
An available 6-speed automatic transmission and a new MazdaSpeed performance model highlighted Mazda’s 2006 midsize car lineup. MazdaSpeeds were sedans with all-wheel drive and a 274-hp turbocharged 4-cyl. MazdaSpeeds came only with a 6-speed manual and included a sport suspension and specific trim.
Curtain side airbags were standard for 2007 on all versions of Mazda’s midsize cars.
The 2008 Mazda 6 was little changed, but the wagon and MazdaSpeed models were discontinued this year.