Thursday, November 11, 2010
2010 Mazda6 reviews
With a few well-established vehicles dominating the midsize sedan segment, and numerous likable competitors trying to unseat them, it's tough for any particular vehicle to stand out. However, the handsome Mazda 6 has something most competitors don't: charisma.
For the new second-generation 6, Mazda has enlarged the car's dimensions while still retaining much of the original model's handling panache. Depending on your needs, either generation could make for a solid midsize sedan choice.
The four is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic, while the V6 is only available with a six-speed automatic.
The 6 is available in seven trim levels: i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Touring Plus, i Grand Touring, s Touring Plus and s Grand Touring. Base models are respectably equipped, while higher trim levels come with such niceties as alloy wheels, xenon headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and an audible blind-spot monitoring system. Visually, the current 6 is no wallflower, with a distinctive face and front fender flares that recall Mazda's RX-8 sports car. There are a few downsides to the new Mazda 6. The current, second-generation Mazda 6 debuted for the 2009 model year. Launched for the 2003 model year, the first-generation Mazda 6 was initially available only as a sedan, while a four-door hatchback and a wagon joined the lineup for 2004. The Mazda 6 i was powered by a reasonably gutsy 160-hp four-cylinder engine mated to either a manual or an automatic transmission. The s model upped the performance ante with its 3.0-liter V6 -- also available with either a manual transmission or an automatic -- though this engine lagged behind the bigger V6s in competing models.
With power accessories, cruise control and pleasant cloth upholstery, even base models were reasonably well equipped. In reviews, we praised the original "Mazda 6" for its edgy, handsome design and stylish if somewhat low-budget interior. Our enthusiast editors particularly enjoyed the Mazdaspeed 6, a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive variant of the Mazda 6 sedan that was only offered in 2006 and 2007. Boasting 278 hp, a mandatory six-speed manual transmission and sports-car-like handling, this steroidal sedan never caught on with American consumers-- In 2005, a six-speed automatic replaced the five-speed unit on V6 models. For 2006, four-cylinder cars received an upgraded five-speed automatic in place of the old four-speed, and all Mazda 6 models were treated to minor styling updates. Not much changed for this generation's final year, though Mazda discontinued the wagon body style.
The Mazda 6 replaced the forgettable 626. Early 626 models were celebrated for their European styling and emphasis on performance, but in later years, they slipped into midsize sedan oblivion as Mazda took the car mainstream.
The 2010 Mazda Mazda6 ranks 11 out of 21 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 21 published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda6, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Shoppers looking for a sporty, sexy midsize sedan with an affordable price tag should consider the Mazda6 – but go easy on the options. The 2010 Mazda6 is one of the few cars that should be on it. Sure, no four-door midsize car can truly be sports-car-sexy, but the 2010 Mazda6 comes close. The "2010 Mazda6 isn’t perfec"t. Higher trim levels have some of the nicest materials in the segment – but can cost so much that, really, you might as well buy an entry-level luxury car instead. But in a field crowded with look-alike, drive-alike family sedans, the Mazda6 stands out for its sharp styling and sporty driving dynamics.
The Nissan Altima is another sporty alternative. In the current market, most midsize cars are available at some discount. Redesigned just last year, the 2010 Mazda6 is still a fairly new sight on American roads, and Mazda has changed almost nothing about the car for the new model year. Navigation isn't available on most Mazda6 trim levels.
The bottom line: The 2010 Mazda6 is a thoroughly average car in a boring segment, but a couple of tech features keep it from total mediocrity.
The 2010 Mazda6 is yet another entrant among a class that appeals to comfort, reliability, and economy, yet Mazda tries to differentiate itself by giving its cars a slightly more sporting character. We set out to see if Zoom Zoom is part of the Mazda6's DNA.
But we weren't off to an auspicious start, as our 2010 Mazda6 was in i Touring Plus trim, which means a four-cylinder engine under the hood and a five-speed automatic transmission. There are seven trim levels for the Mazda6, a slightly bewildering array, and each one comes with a specific transmission and engine. Want the six-speed manual?
The interior features a quality look, but so do the cabins of most competing midsize sedans. As for Zoom Zoom, the Mazda6's moderate 170 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque sounded more appropriate for mileage over speed. Definitely more Zoom, than Zoom Zoom, but pretty typical behavior for the class of car coupled with this type of engine.
Topping out at five gears, the automatic transmission is a little primitive, lacking a tall gear to maximize economy at freeway speeds.