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  1. Join Date
    May 2005
    While perusing through my back issues of CAR Magazines (UK), I came across a review (Dec 2002 issue) of the Mazda 6 2.3L Hatch. They pitted it against the SAAB 9-3 Vector 2.0t, VOLVO S60 2.0T SE, JAGUAR X-Type 2.0, BMW 320i SE, and the AUDI A4 1.8T. The results are quite surprising given the amount of praise(s) the "6" has garnered both here and abroad elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAR Magazine UK - December 2002 pg.146-161
    Ride and Handling

    "The Mazda 6 shares lots of the Jaguar's dynamic cues, with firm springs and dampers, generally good body control and a genuine enthusiasm for twisty roads. The big downside is a serious lack of refinement, especially in this posh company, with lots of suspension noise and a far from smooth ride. And the nicely weighty steering can't disguise serious understeer if you start trying. It's effective, but the Mazda doesn't feel like a quality item in this company.

    Feels relatively crude and suffers big understeer. Hard suspension and good body control but a crashy ride. Fast progress results in a surprising amount of understeer; you need to lift off to keep it all tight.

    Score: 3 out of 5. (Second to the Last)

    * * * * * *

    Engines and performance

    The Mazda 6 isn't smooth, but you're almost prepared to forgive it for the verve and joy with which the 2.3 litre four gets stuck in. There's a great mid-range and a loud but effective top end; NVH insulation is poor; there's big engine noise to match the suspension's constant grumbling. And retardation from the inert brake pedal makes removing momentum less fun than adding it. The gearbox is agreeable enough - generic light Japanese - but it needs a weightier shift to create a lasting impression.

    A sprightly unit, but needs more refinement. Perky and pokey with a free-revving engine.

    Score: 3 out of 5. (Third to the Last)

    * * * * * *

    Driving Environment

    Inside, the Mazda is every bit as brash as it is externally. There's the shiny silver centre console, cheap-looking instruments and some very Japanese-feeling switchgear. On the plus side, there's tons of standard-fit kit and a comfortable, spacious seating position. Details like the rotary climate controls are instinctively easy to use, meaning you can keep your eyes on the road while tweaking the settings.

    Score: 3 out of 5. (Last Place)

    * * * * * *


    Plenty of space but cheesy cabin lacks executive feel. Certain bits of the 6 feel flimsy, but its a real step forward if you've ever driven a 626. Plenty of space in the front; much better ergonomics than the Jag, which is a surprise. Rear seat base moves forward and up when you drop the seat backs - a clever idea done well. Seat material manages to feel slightly cheap despite not actually being bad quality. (Of the driver's instrumental panel) Very Buck Rogers. Mazda's cabin is crammed with standard-fit kit, but the materials quality and finish leave plenty to be desired. Shiny centre console gets distracting, although the rotary heater controls work well. Very poor stereo reception on our test car, too. Feels closer to Mondeo et al than the aristocracy here. Mazda Best boot here thanks to hatch and clever rear seat. Pity about subwoofer inside spare wheel.

    * * * * * *


    The Mazda 6 hatch makes for a truly enormous load area, even in the context of other hatches. The rear seats tip and slide on a neat elbow mechanism, allowing a very flat load bay and a credible attempt at lifestyle estate space. The best for practicality here, although you'll be surprised when you need the spacesaver spare on the MI hard shoulder; a hi-fi subwoofer is housed inside it and you have to unclip wires to free it.

    Huge space with clever, functional design.

    Score: 5 out of 5. (First Place)

    * * * * * *


    Even playing against the big boys the Mazda has all the right bits and includes DSC, TSC, and EBA with 'Crashable Pedal Design' intended to stop your feet from being crushed in a major frontal. Which is nice.

    Lots of safety kit as a standard makes the Mazda good value.

    Score: 4 out of 5. (Last Place)

    * * * * * *

    Market and Residuals

    The Mazda 6 is so new that residuals are rock solid at the moment, but its probable status as a big fleet seller is likely to knock values heavily in the medium term. Still, it's bound to do considerably better than the value-shedding 626 it replaces, but don't reckon on seeing significantly more than 40 percent back after three years.

    Would you bet against the motor trade's prejudice?

    Score: 2.5 out of 5. (Last Place)

    * * * * * *


    It's an honest car, and a good one. If it was here with Mondeos, and Vectras it would be doing very well indeed, but the brash-for-not-much-flash formula can't cut it against real compact executives.

    Would you believe it beats the Jag? It does. Gutsy performance, direct steering and chassis means it's not disgraced. But the quality isn't there to cpmplete with the pricier cars in this sector.

    Overall Rating: Fifth Place out six cars
    Although the opinions expressed in the above articles may constitute as a minority among other rave reviews, it is quite disappointing. Just when I though I found the "Holy Grail" in the next car to buy for myself.
    Last edited by number001; September 20th, 2005 at 11:02 PM.

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I don't think fascia lang yung nagbago. It looks much larger than the one displayed in Glorietta.

  3. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Bro, they're comparing the 6 against cars that are more than twice its price. I'd say that's something right there.

  4. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by number001
    Just when I though I found the "Holy Grail" in the next car to buy for myself.
    As they say, you can't please everybody. Follow your heart. :inlove:
    Last edited by Automahn; September 21st, 2005 at 12:26 AM.

  5. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    2002 pa yan hehe. i agree that the old 6 had a pretty crappy interior, but i seriously disagree about "serious understeer", at least from experience with local 6's. i can tell you though that the local 6's with the 17" tires are darned netural in the corners.

  6. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Yup. No car is perfect. Kahit yung mga sobrang mamahal may flaws pa rin. The good thing about the 6 is the 'sulit' factor. The same factor that made the Fortuner a success.

  7. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Seen the list somewhere in the web but the changes to the old MZ6 is pretty comprehensive. To even call the new MZ6 as just a facelift of the old MZ6 is a big understatement.

  8. Join Date
    May 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Bry
    Bro, they're comparing the 6 against cars that are more than twice its price. I'd say that's something right there.
    Although they were running the 6 against so many more upscale cars, if you read the excerpts of the review, it zeroed in on the authors' opinion and findings specifically on their experience with the 6.

    And honestly I would never choose value-for-money over resale value, ever. Look at the Nissans, lots of bells and whistles, but such disappointing resale values (from the seller's point of view).
    Last edited by number001; September 21st, 2005 at 06:19 PM.

  9. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by number001
    Although they were running the 6 against so many more upscale cars, if you read the review that I excerpted, it focused alot on the authors' opinion and findings specifically on their experience with the 6.
    That is the OLD MZ6. Here's Mazda6 Facelift Enhancements at a Glance:

    * New front grille design
    * New front/rear bumpers
    * New exhaust pipes (2.0 and 2.3-litre petrol)
    * New black bezels for front/rear lights
    * New 16, 17 and 18-inch alloys
    * Front fog lamps
    * New Sports Appearance Package

    * New trim materials, including thicker armrest material
    * New meter cluster bezel
    * Door handles front/rear
    * Dark titanium coloured centre panel

    Comfort and Entertainment
    * Single CD player
    * Automatic power rear windows
    * Advanced keyless entry system and Retractable key with global closing
    * Burglar alarm system—Thatcham Category-1
    * Semi-bucket front seats (depending on grade)
    * Driver seat position memory system
    * Improved insulation, vibration damping and reinforcements for less cabin noise

    * Refined 2.0-litre common-rail turbo diesel engines
    * Diesel particulate filter system standard for diesel engines
    * Refined 1.8-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.3-litre petrol engines
    * New six-speed manual transmission (for diesel engines and 2.0/2.3-litre petrols)
    * New five-speed Activematic transmission (for 2.0/2.3-litre petrols)

    * Enlarged disc brakes (320 mm front / 314 mm rear) for 18-inch alloy wheels (optional for 2.3-litre petrol)
    * Retuned front and rear suspension bushings

    * Increased A- and B-pillar rigidity and strength
    * New body reinforcements
    * New outer door panel reinforcements and door pad
    * Thick front frame reinforcement
    * Rain-sensing wiper system
    * Auto light system
    * Seat belt reminder and indicator for rear seat


    Btw, test drive one first (and the competition) to see the difference.
    Last edited by mazdamazda; September 21st, 2005 at 06:27 PM.

  10. Join Date
    May 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by mazdamazda
    Btw, test drive one first (and the competition) to see the difference.
    I did test drive a Mazda 6 2.3L (albeit a very short drive in slow moving traffic and on a very potholed highway) and I had no complaints at all. Which makes me wonder a lot about those negative comments made on that particular review.

    Obviously, lots of people in this forums here are big ardent fans of the new Mazda 6 including myself, but I'm trying to be as objective as possible in determining what made those testers at CAR Magazine UK write those unflatterring comments. Personal bias and emotions should not get in the way in clouding one's sense of objectivity. I agree no car or thing on earth is perfect, but glossing over or turning a blind eye on it, will not make the situation any better, just worse. Some of the magazine's comments like the understeer and the "constant grumbling" are quite serious enough to catch an unwary reader's attention.

    Although the one they tested was way back in Dec 2002, I think it is still quite valid since a major change in a car's engineering is too costly and impractical to execute abruptly (unless REALLY warranted by a valid cause). No amount of new features and accessories can mask what flaws/shortcomings that a certain car may have inherently. For example, the Honda City. Although its exterior has been recently updated and supposedly some of its mechanical side as well as, yet a review by Manny de los Reyes of Philstar (9/21/2005) indicates that the suspension problem inherent in the previous City variant and Jazz, is still sadly there, still uncured.

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Tested: Mazda 6 2.3