Mazda6 has a model, in a wide range of equipment levels, to suit the requirements of most buyers.
Mazda6 ignited the Mazda brand’s Zoom Zoom image when it replaced the reliable but bland 626 in 2002. The beauty of the 6 was that it blended style, comfort and on-road ability with Mazda’s reputation for quality and reliability.
The second generation in early 2008 brought more cabin space and comfort, a new and slightly more powerful 2.5L engine and better on-road dynamics and it won its mid-size category in RACV’s Australia’s Best Cars awards.
Mazda6 has a model to suit the requirements of most buyers, with sedan, hatchback and station-wagon versions in a wide range of equipment levels. The Classic model is the most common on the used market, followed by the top-spec Luxury Sport, plus the Touring version that was added to the line-up in 2010.
The majority will have 5spd automatics, with some variants having a 6spd manual, including a turbo-diesel model in late 2008.
The 6 uses its interior space efficiently to accommodate four adults comfortably and will carry five at a pinch. Most drivers will settle in quickly as the seats are well-shaped, while all controls and instruments are appropriately positioned for ease of use. Taller occupants won’t like the limited headroom, particularly in cars with a sunroof.
Both petrol and diesel versions are willing performers that feel equally at home around town or on the open road. The 2.5L petrol engine with the 5spd auto is a smooth and refined package. Mazda specifies 91 RON petrol but it performs better on higher grades.
The well-sorted chassis and suspension, along with responsive electric power steering, makes Mazda6 an involving and enjoyable driver’s car. Models with the 18-inch alloy wheels and low-profile tyres look smart but the ride is noticeably harder.
Most of the faults RACV vehicle inspectors find on Mazda6 have been service-related plus and normal wear items such as tyres and brakes as well as the occasional minor oil and coolant leaks.
Service intervals of 10,000km/six months are more frequent than some other makes. It is important that the oil and coolant are changed at the right intervals, so check the service history. Diesel versions are best serviced by a dealer due to the data reset requirements for the diesel particulate filter.
If it’s heavier to turn one way than the other, it could be a problem with the steering rack torque sensor. Also check the auto transmission operation. While they don’t give too many problems, they can be expensive to repair. Occasionally, you may also find a slipping or shuddering clutch in the manual versions.