I was ready to trade in my '00 Mazda Protege after 130,000 very satisfied miles for something with a few more comforts, and would have been hard-pressed to go with another brand. I browsed for a coupl...
I was ready to trade in my '00 Mazda Protege after 130,000 very satisfied miles for something with a few more comforts, and would have been hard-pressed to go with another brand. I browsed for a couple months, comparing almost new 6's, Accords, Grand Ams/G6's, etc., and also slightly older used Euro cars like the A4 and C230. Since the latter can be hard to find here in the midwest, I was narrowed down to basically Accord vs. 6 by default, and to me the 6 wins on style points, with everything else being pretty equal.
Eventually I found an '06 6s (V6) that lived for about 30k miles as a rental. I was cautious about buying a former rental, but the test drive was great, and everything's been great since.
The V6 won't slam you back in your seat like a pure sports car, but there's plenty of power and torque there for some spirited acceleration, and the automatic transmission is a 6-speed with sportronic shifter which helps it get 25 or so highway MPG. The weeked after I took delivery, I went on a 600 mile road trip and it got more than 400 miles on the first tank of gas doing 75-80 mph most of the way.
The combination of traction control, ABS, and the shifter is great when the roads get slick. You can start from 2nd to keep the RPMs a little lower and the traction does the rest.
Like others have written, I'm sure I'll like the 17 inch alloys and low profile tires a little less when it's time for a new set of tires, but for now they look great and add to the sporty look.
My only real gripe is it would be nice if there was a standard iPod hookup. For now I'm fine with a good FM transmitter adapter which fits perfectly in the extra power adapter located in the center console/armrest.
I've had my Mazda6 about 10 months now and driven it about 10,000 miles, bringing my total behind the wheel of Mazda vehicles to 140,000, with no major mechanical breakdowns (on the Protege, I replaced brake pads once and broke a stabilizer bar link sliding into a curb on the ice, and that's all). I have been an extremely satisfied customer, and may have to look into a certain rotary-powered sports car next.