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Old 05-01-2004, 18:32   #1 (permalink)
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First Look: Mazda6 Sport Wagon And 5-Door

First Look: Mazda6 Sport Wagon And 5-Door
If sporty station wagons are, in fact, the next rage, then Mazda is just in time.

By Matt Stone
Photography by the author
Motor Trend


2004 Mazda6 Sport Wagon and 5-Door

Base prices $18,500 (I-4); $21,900 (V-6), (MT est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, fwd, 4-door, 5-pass (Sport Wagon); front engine, fwd, 5-door, 5-pass (5-Door)
Engine 2.3L/160-hp I-4, DOHC, 4-valves/cyl; 3.0L/220-hp V-6, DOHC, 4-valves/cyl
0-60 mph, sec 7.2 (V-6, MT est)
On sale in U.S. Currently

Competing against Accord and Camry isn't easy. Just ask the people who build cars like the Malibu, Galant, and Mazda6. Credit the last with a scrappy effort, however, as it brings two new bodystyles to the fray--neither of which is offered by Honda or Toyota.

If sporty station wagons are, in fact, the next rage, then Mazda is just in time with the handsome and practical Sport Wagon. It's already on sale in several other world markets and makes its way here boasting 60.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. That equals many smaller sport/utilities.

Hatchback sedans have seldom been popular in the U.S., but the Mazda6 5-Door will attempt to change that trend. It carries 22 cubic feet of stuff in its covered cargo area, about double the trunk size of the standard sedan. Fold the seats flat, and it'll hold 58.7 cubic feet of groceries or gear.

Powertrain and trim-level options remain much the same. All Sport Wagons and 5-Doors ride on 17-inch alloy wheels, and the 6's sport package comes standard on the wagon. As much as we love the 220-horse V-6, don't sell short the smooth, revvy 2.3-liter, 160-horsepower four, which moves the Mazda6 smartly and economically.

Sportwagons and hatchbacks have satisfied Asian and European market buyers for years; some are even seen as cool. There's no reason these two new versions of the Mazda6 shouldn't be considered the same.
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