Mazda 6 Review

For "money Monday", let's talk cars. Obviously this post will be completely useless to those of you not in the market for a car, but if you are, and you are considering the Mazda 6, maybe this will provide a little bit of insight into the vehicle…

So, anyway, I was happily driving my 2002 Chrysler sebring when for the 251st thousandth mile when, all of a sudden, the tire tread came off the back tire causing me to wreck (but not into anyone! Thank goodness!), the engine began to overheat on my way to work (needed fluid), and the back A-frame fell apart on me … all within 2 weeks worth of time. *sigh* This is not to say anything negative about the car itself. My personal opinion is that if we had replaced the tires when we should have the tread wouldn't have come off. Fluid runs out occasionally… If I had said something the first day I noticed the car acting up (a Monday), I would have gotten to work the day it began overheating (Wednesday) on time. And the A-frame? That still would have been a problem, but not an end-all need-a-new-car-because-you-are-unreliable problem.

No matter.

Justin and I went car shopping on a Friday towards the end of August. It was his last half-day before the end of summer and my mom's last full day out of work. I have to be honest – we started our search for a Mazda 6 from the beginning. I had driven one as a rental car approximately 7 years ago, and I really liked it. Obviously, it wasn't my car but it was a million times better than the Ford Fusion I drove about 3 years ago.

I went into the dealership(s) saying no to hatchbacks, trucks, SUVs, or vans. I wanted a 4-door sedan preferably silver with leather seats (so easy to clean!), a comfortable interior, a V6 engine (love when the car has the power to just go!), ability to get 30 miles to the gallon, and anti-lock brakes. Other desires I was looking for included low car mileage, newer model vehicle, the ability to connect my phone via bluetooth to the car, non-wire steering, and 8 way electric seat control for the driver's side seat. Anything else – like a moon roof – would be a plus! In other words, as my dad said, I wanted a new version of the car I was getting rid of. And believe me, I was actually pretty upset to be getting rid of it.

So let's talk about the negatives first:

1. The color: black.

• I live in Georgia where it is hot 75% of the year. Did I really want to drive a black vehicle when the temperature got about 90º? No.

• My dad owns a black 1980 camaro that is his "baby" … or was at one point. He has rebuilt the engine, painted it at least twice in my lifetime, and taken it to car shows on a trailer to prevent it from getting dirty and keep mileage off of it. Did I really want a car the same color as that? Did I really want those same connotations of "you can't touch this" and "OMG! It has a scratch!" associated with my day-to-day use of this car? It's going to get scratches, kids will bring mudd into the back seat, someday something will go wrong with it; I think that's the nature of daily use cars. I cannot be as particular with this car as my dad is with his – I just can't. (Although he's gotten a lot more easygoing about it in recent years. He let people write on it with glass markers the day I got married. It made me sooooo angry! I threatened to drive his and my mom's SUV to the hotel instead. Argh.)

• Black cars are hard to keep clean. It's a fact. At least with silver cars, the dirt kind of melds into the car and becomes one … noticeable but not nearly as gross looking.

2. There is a ton of room for things to fall between the seat and the center console! But, even with all of that room for things, the big plastic piece below the seat makes it hard to actually get the things that fall between. Justin and I found our solution in the Drop Stop. One too many times reaching for a cell phone or credit card between the seats had me anxious to solve that problem in a hurry!

3. The headrest isn't really a good place to rest your head.

It's suppose to prevent you from getting a concussion, but really it just ends up making it so that you can't lean fully against the seat. Relaxing drive in the country? Maybe not. Justin has suggested that maybe a neck pillow could help, we just haven't gotten one yet. (Plus, wouldn't that look stupid?)

4. The touchscreen automatic lighting set-up is stupid.

Apparently, if I have my headlights on, the screen is set to dim automatically whether or not I'm driving in daylight or night time. Let me just say that dim screens in rainy daylight are actually really hard to see. I ended up changing the setting to "daylight" always and we just switch the whole screen off at night.

5. The v-4 engine.

I like saving gas. I like how this car sounds when I press the gas. But no v-6? Come on! Think about how much more fun this car would be with that! :)

6. The joystick.

This one confuses me. You have a touchscreen for music, settings, and navigation (if you set it up), but they also included a hardly functioning joystick near the cup holders and center console … for what? to take up space?

7. Cup holder particularities.

I'd prefer my cup holders to be further away from me than my PRNDL, but that's just me being particular.

8. How big this car is!

My first impression when driving it was that it felt like a bus! Super wide and long. I compared it to a police vehicle the other day and was shocked at how much longer it was than the police vehicle! I was always able to fit my sebring into tiny spaces meant for compact cars … but now I had to look for "big truck" parking. Argh.

9. The 300 dollar key.

Don't lose it or you'll pay the price. :-/

10. The gas light.

It is silent and doesn't bug you every 5 seconds letting you know that gas is needed. Please, dear car, bug me! I forget that I need gas when I can't get to it immediately!

11. The steering wheel is small.

Regular size steering wheel covers do not fit. Believe me, I have tried.

Now for the good things:

1. The color and design of the vehicle.

Did you know that my car has already been admired? People seem to be impressed with the looks of this sedan and that brings me a source of pride … at least until it gets wrecked for the first time…

2. Bluetooth.

Because it's awesome. Slow to connect though, so keep that in mind.

3. Drivability.

The 9 year old I drive home from school every day said that this car reminded her of a race car. It's super comfortable, sounds awesome, and feels smooth. I have very few complaints. 90% of the people who ride in the backseat fall asleep; it's that great. :)

4. Back-up camera!

All of a sudden I have confidence in my ability to parallel park … even a vehicle I am still getting used to! I imagine driving tests are completely different now with this new functionality. Parallel parking and backing up have never been easier. (I still have to look behind me and use my mirrors though. I blame habit.)

5. Sound and light notification of other vehicles when changing lanes or backing up.

If you think backing up is easy, try changing lanes! The car is crazy long, but it will definitely notify you if someone is in the lane you are changing to. Nice.

6. Push start ignition.

Don't want to remove your keys from your pocket to start your car? You don't have to! Get in, press the brakes, push the button, and go!

7. Headlights don't drain the battery when you aren't driving.

If you leave the headlights on, the car will not beep at you and it will lock. On the other hand, when you go to get in your vehicle two days later, it will still start. That is definitely a plus with all of the rainy weather Georgia has been experiencing.

8. Lumbar support.

Not all Mazdas will have this, but mine does. And I like it.

9. Gas mileage!

Love the low gas usage. At approximately $25 a week for gas, I save so much! It gets 30mpg on back road and up to 38 on highways.

10. The windshield wipers.

I love the high, low, and medium settings. For once I don't have to worry about the wipers going too fast or too slow. They are just right!

11. And lastly, the trunk.

It is soooo big! It may not look huge from the outside, but it definitely is. When I pack for trips now, it's no longer about what I can't take but rather what else can I fit in there?

So, there you have it. That's my opinion of the Mazda 6. Would you consider purchasing one in the future?

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