MAZDA6 is One of the Most Decorated Sedans Ever
By: Brad Nevin | Ford Communications Network
For more information on MAZDA6, visit mazdausa.com.
DEARBORN, June 28, 2004 -- During its debut last year, the MAZDA6 won over 60 domestic and international industry awards, including Car and Driver’s "10Best," Automobile Magazine’s "All-Star," Money Magazine’s "Best Mid-Sized Sedan," and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s "Best Pick." It was also the highest-rated new vehicle nameplate in the entire 2003 JD Power and Associates’ APEAL study.
"Like any sports team looking to repeat its run at the title, our formula for success is to replicate what got us to where we are today," said Jim Sailer, MAZDA6 launch manager. "The momentum we built in 2003 with developing a new nameplate for the MAZDA6 will continue into 2004."
MAZDA6 Sport Wagon (left) and 5-Door
The latest MAZDA6 news is the addition of two new models, the Sport Wagon and 5-Door. Both of these new MAZDA6 models give customers an even greater choice of practicality, versatility and sportiness. The MAZDA6 5-Door is the only mid-size five-door vehicle available in the United States and fills an untapped need for active singles and couples. The MAZDA6 Sport Wagon builds on attributes developed on the Protegé5 and MAZDA3s -- aggressive styling, driving entertainment and outstanding functionality.
Two trim levels, i and s, are offered on the MAZDA6 and MAZDA6 5-Door (the Sport Wagon is available with only s trim). Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard on all MAZDA6s models. For 2004, two new upgrade packages were added, a Luxury and Security Package, that let customers bundle popular options. There are two new exterior colors this year, Pebble Ash Metallic and Blazing Copper Mica, and it is also now possible to order the Sport Package with or without the rear wing spoiler.
The MAZDA6i is powered by a 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder (I-4) engine that produces 160 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The MAZDA6s is equipped with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine that produces 220-horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are available with a choice of a five-speed manual or Sport Shift automatic transmission (four speeds on MAZDA6i, five speeds on MAZDA6s). Both the 3.0-liter V-6 and the 2.3-liter I-4 feature continuously variable intake valve timing (VVT).
Nearly everyone who has driven a MAZDA6 comes away from the experience impressed by the car's handling and road-holding abilities.
For the twisties, every MAZDA6 is tuned for sharp reflexes and maximum road holding. Mazda engineers selected a double-wishbone front and E-type multi-link rear suspension to provide the most accurate geometry with the least amount of built-in friction. A wide front track and standard stabilizer bar help resist body roll and weight transfer. Low-profile coil springs and angled shock absorbers are part of the E-link design in the rear -- meaning minimal intrusion into the rear sub-floor to maximize trunk space.
Nearly everyone who has driven a MAZDA6 comes away from the experience impressed by the car's handling and road-holding abilities. Forbes magazine wrote: "Most cars in this class feel a little wobbly near the edge of adhesion, as if the car is saying, 'Whoa, fella, you're scaring me!' But the Mazda hangs on tight, with very little sway." Car and Driver magazine said that driving the MAZDA6 is like a roller coaster ride.
For braking duty, Mazda selected 11.1-inch ventilated discs for the front wheels and 11.0-inch solid discs in back to deliver rapid, controlled stopping and the utmost resistance to fading. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is standard on the MAZDA6s and available on the MAZDA6i
While the MAZDA6 is first and foremost a driver’s car, it never forgets it is still has four passenger doors and can accommodate five adults comfortably. The three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel offers tilt and telescope adjustment along with integrated cruise control and audio controls. Full gauges are provided, regardless of trim or engine choice, with speedometer, tachometer, fuel and temperature readouts all illuminated red at night.
The mid-size sedan is one of the most crowded in the industry right now; it also has a history of being one of the most boring. The introduction of the MAZDA6 last year changed all that by offering a car that is practical and at the same time more fun to drive than anything else in its league. The many awards belonging to the MAZDA6 are hard to dispute.