2003 Mazda6/ FUN FOUR-DOOR: - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
Ford Forum Ford Forum

» Auto Insurance
» Featured Product
» Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Ford Cars and PAG Vehicles > Mazda Forum
Register Home Forum Active Topics Photo Gallery Auto Loans Garage Mark Forums Read Auto Escrow

Mazda Forum This area is for discussion of Mazda vehicles

FordForums.com is the premier Ford Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-2003, 10:34   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Stacy94PGT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Posts: 7,859
2003 Mazda6/ FUN FOUR-DOOR:

2003 Mazda6
By AutoWeek

MAZDA’S CORPORATE PHILOSOPHY SHOWS IN EVEN THE MIDSIZE SEDAN SEGMENT

LIKES
Fun to drive
A V6 mated to a manual

DISLIKES
Not as fun as advertised
WHERE'S THAT MAZDASPEED VERSION?

OTHERS CONSIDERED
Toyota Camry
Volkswagen Passat
Nissan Altima

WHILE IT DIDN’T SPANK the competition at the track or in the sales race the way our first impressions suggested it would, the new Mazda6 is still great fun to drive.

And to own, from what owners tell us.

When the 6 was introduced last fall, Mazda played it up as a BMW 3 Series competitor. That’s not so shocking, as every manufacturer that makes anything with four doors and a steering wheel hails its latest creation as a “3 Series competitor.” We never thought it would outperform the BMW icon, but our initial drives in the 6 suggested it would do better than the generic midsize sedans against which it did run, particularly in the slalom.

Mazda played up the 6’s new double-wishbone front suspension, more precise bushing control and stiff rear subframe, all bolted to a stiffer body, as big handling advances. The cars we drove at the intro and the car we tested here also came with the sport package’s 215/50 V-rated all-season radials mounted on 17-inch rims. So we expected great things.

We got good things instead. The 6 negotiated our slalom at 43.3 mph, which is good, especially against midsize sedans of the recent past. But sedans get better every generation. So while the 6 felt precise and nicely controllable, and while it was better than the Nissan Maxima’s 42.6 and the Toyota Camry’s 42.5, it trailed the Honda Accord’s 43.7 and new Nissan Altima’s 44.8 in the slalom.

That was with the V6. The four-cylinder 6s we’ve driven feel lighter through the steering wheel and generally more tossable; making do with four cylinders knocks a little over 200 pounds off the curb weight, too. So from a handling perspective, you might have more fun driving the four. You’d save about 5 mpg, too.

But most buyers look at acceleration as pivotal to judging a car’s performance. In acceleration our V6-powered car fell just a little short of the competition. Its 0-to-60 time of 7.25 seconds lagged behind all but the Camry in the above group of cars we tested recently for AutoFile, by a full second in most cases. We expected more out of the 3.0-liter, dohc 24-valve V6, especially attached as it was to a five-speed manual. A V6/manual combination is increasingly rare, so we applaud Mazda for offering it. But with a curb weight of 3243 pounds for the V6/manual, its 220 hp gives it a power- to-weight ratio of 1:14.7, meaning each horse has 14.7 pounds to pull around. The V6/manual Accord rates a 1:13.79, Altima 1:13.05 and Maxima 1:13.10.

With ABS giving a firm feel and very little noticeable dive even with a fully squashed pedal, the 6 covers the field in braking, stopping from 60 mph in 129 feet. That’s within a foot of all the competition except the Camry at a surprisingly short 118 feet.

But the important point is that the feel of the 6 is fun. It’s an enjoyable car to drive, just as its builders said it would be, and most of us even felt comfortable calling it sporty.

“The 6 is an entertaining driver in a fleet of capable cars, and that is the X-factor,” wrote one staffer. “Have your ginger-spiced carrot cake and eat it, too.”

As a daily driver the 6 has plenty going for it. It has many of the comfort qualities you’d expect to find in something more like a Camry. The engine is quiet, so much so that owners and testers alike spoke of checking the tach to make sure the engine was on. At idle the 6 produces just 40 dBA measured inside the cabin. That’s probably quieter than wherever you are now.

The rear seats fold flat for cargo versatility and there are plenty of storage pockets throughout. If the sedan doesn’t have enough utility, a hatchback and wagon version will be along a year from now.

The 6 is priced about mid-pack, starting at around $19,000 for the four-cylinder model. A fully loaded version hits about $27,000, depending on your definition of “fully loaded.” That’s a little higher starting point than the cheapest Accord and Altima, but tops out well below a gold-kit Camry.

So the 6 offers all the practicality of the cars it competes against, all the comfort, too, and still manages to feel like a sporty little sports sedan at the same time. Now, when’s that MazdaSpeed version coming?

VEHICLE SPECS AND ROAD-TEST DATA

MANUFACTURER INFO
Mazda North American Operations
7755 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine CA 92618-2922
Customer assistance: (800) 222-5500
Internet address: www.mazdausa.com
Country of origin: United States
Number of dealers: 700 (est.)

STICKER
Base: $21,620
As tested
(includes $520 delivery): $25,445
Owners paid; average: $18,700 to
$25,775; $21,081

OPTIONS AS TESTED
Sport package, with 17-inch wheels and tires,
electroluminescent gauges, titanium-colored
switch panels, fog lights, rear spoiler, side sill
extensions, sport bumpers and dual exhaust out-
lets ($860); leather ($860); moonroof ($700);
Bose audio package, with six-disc CD changer,
six speakers, amplifier and subwoofer ($635);
side-impact and head curtain airbags ($450);
comfort package, with heated front seats and
mirrors ($220); ULEV equipment ($100)

OTHER MAJOR OPTIONS
Appearance package, with front air dam, rear
bumper skirt, side sill extensions and exhaust
tips ($900); five-speed automatic transmission
($900); chrome appearance package, with
chrome trim and protective side moldings ($325)

CHASSIS
Unibody four-door sedan

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase (in): 105.3
Track (in): 60.2 front,
60.2 rear
Length/width/height (in): 186.8/70.1/56.7
Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 3243/4317

CAPACITIES
Fuel (gal): 18.0
Cargo (cu ft): 15.2

ENGINE
Front-transverse 3.0-liter/181.1-cid dohc V6
Horsepower: 220 @ 6300 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 192 @ 5000 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel requirement: 87 octane

DRIVETRAIN
Front-wheel drive
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Final drive ratio: 4.13:1

SUSPENSION
Front: Double wishbone with MacPherson
struts, coil springs, antiroll bar
Rear: Multilink double wishbone with coil
springs, gas-charged shock absorbers,
antiroll bar

BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES
Discs front and rear, ABS
Aluminum 215/50R-17
Michelin Pilot HX MXM4

STANDING-START ACCELERATION
0-60 mph: 7.25 sec
0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 7.89 sec
0-quarter-mile (90.4 mph): 15.66 sec

ROLLING ACCELERATION
20-40 mph (second gear): 3.6 sec
40-60 mph (second gear): 3.5 sec
60-80 mph (third gear): 5.3 sec

BRAKING
60 mph-0: 129 ft

HANDLING
490-foot slalom: 43.3 mph
Lateral acceleration
(200-foot skidpad): 0.80 g

INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
Idle: 40
Full throttle: 79
Steady 60 mph: 64

FUEL MILEAGE
EPA combined: 23.33 mpg
AW overall: 21.70 mpg

RESIDUALS
$10,474 after 48-month lease,
41.16 percent of new vehicle price
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 0526af-mazda1.jpeg (12.9 KB, 10 views)
__________________
Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
Stacy94PGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-22-2003, 10:36   #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Stacy94PGT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Posts: 7,859
The interior.......
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 0526af-mazda2.jpeg (16.2 KB, 5 views)
__________________
Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
Stacy94PGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Ford Cars and PAG Vehicles > Mazda Forum



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2003 Mazda 6 S, Mazda6 creeps up on rivals Stacy94PGT Mazda Forum 9 06-05-2003 22:51
Vehicle Profile: 2003 Mazda Mazda6 Stacy94PGT Mazda Forum 8 05-30-2003 17:43
MAZDASPEED to Debut 1000-Horsepower MAZDA6 Drag Car in 2003 Stacy94PGT Mazda Forum 2 11-08-2002 18:46
2003 Mazda6 Stacy94PGT Mazda Forum 1 10-07-2002 11:19
Ford Product-Led Transformation: 2003 RPO83 Trans | Driveline 0 07-22-2002 06:48

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:53.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.