Pros 1 - Great styling inside and out
2 - Smooth ride, yet sporty and nimble when driving - zoom-zoom indeed !
3 - Great mileage with the 4 cylinder model
4 - Great leather seats & trunk room, super features like Bluetooth phone & Blind Spot Monitor
Cons 1 - No automatic door locks
2 - Dashboard lighting, while adjustable, needs to be able to be made brighter in night mode without having to switch to day mode, which is then too bright.
# - Not much else.
Summary After downsizing from a SUV, I am really happy with my 2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring, automatic, with all options but the navigation system. I compared it to Accord and Camry, and to me, it was a clear winner. Accord came close, but the Mazda beat it with sportier lines inside and out, roomier inside except for slightly less headroom, and a much bigger trunk (biggest in the class) with a more usable shape. The multitude of features, like Blind Spot Monitoring, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio, rain sensing wipers, heated seats, and Bose Centerpoint sound system, are great for a car in this price range (some cars worth $10,000 more don't have these features). The leather interior is far superior to the leather offered by Honda.
Behind the wheel, this Mazda definitely has "Zoom-Zoom". Steering is precise, and the ride, while somewhat firm, is still very smooth and forgiving. Its small turning radius makes maneuvering great. The 4 cylinder has plenty of pep for most drivers, unless you're Mario Andretti. I looked at buying the V-6 Grand Touring, but it had several big minuses. First of all, mileage figures dropped from the 4 cylinder's 21/30 MPG ratings down to 17/25 MPG, which seems significant. Also, the V-6 had 18" tires (versus the I-4's 17" tires) and a much lower aspect ratio on the tire. The end result was a much rougher ride over uneven pavement, plus a much more expensive tire to replace which wears down quicker than the 17" version. If those factors don't bother you, then I would say get the V-6, as it really does have more power and is a hoot to drive. But I think the average buyer of this car would prefer the I-4 engine. My mileage on trips has averaged between 29 and 30 MPG, and I only have about 5,000 mile on the car so far, so I expect it may still improve some - you can't knock that. Also, what has really impressed me is that while this is a smaller vehicle than my previous 4 cars, it is by far the quietest car I've owned in a long time. Cruising on an interstate, I can barely tell the engine is running.
All things considered, Mazda has done their homework and has come out with a really great car that I believe competes favorably with cars costing $10,000 more. I really love my Mazda 6.
I also wanted to point out several mistakes made in the C/Net review:
1 - The Mazda 6i Grand Touring is available in all 9 colors, not the 4 colors listed in the C/Net review. Those 4 colors are the only colors available if you order the base Mazda 6i SV, which is the stripped down, $19,000 car. My Mazda 6i Grand Touring, 4 cylinder automatic listed at $26,600 plus $1760 for the Centerpoint Bose audio system with Sirius radio and a glass moonroof.
2 - Again, if you order the stripped down 6i SV, your only interior color choice is black. But the 6i Grand Touring interior reviewed by C/Net comes in black, beige, or light gray, so you do have more choices than C/Net stated.
3 - Contrary to what C/Net says, you don't have to order the navigation system to get the better stereo. With that optoin package I listed above for $ 1760, you get the Bose Centerpoint sound system with a 6 disc in-dash CD changer. You just don't get the fancier 7" display screen, but the radio is the same as with the navigation system. In fact, if you want the navigation system, it has to be ordered with the $1760 package I ordered. So if you want the better sound system and the navigation system, it will set you back $3760.
In summary, after careful consideration, including test drives and lots of research, I chose the 2009 Mazda 6 over comparably priced (but not comparably equipped) Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Chevy Malibu. I gave them all a fair shot and the Mazda was the clear winner, even though I went into it figuring I'd get an Accord. The Accord was a fairly close 2nd, the Camry a distant 3rd (today's version of a Olds Cutlass), and the Malibu was a waste of time, in my opinion.
2009 Mazda 6 - Zoom-Zoom indeed !!
Pros Peppy engine, fantastic transmission, comfortable and functional seats, gigantic trunk, rear seats fold flat, great on gas, a blast to drive.
Cons At 172 horsepower, the 6 is no muscle car, however it offers plenty of power for around town and has excellent freeway speed passing power.
Summary A great car and an amazing value. If you can afford it, opt for the vivacious six cylinder, although the four cylinder is certainly not under-powered. A great vehicle for active individuals: can fit multiple bikes in the trunk when seats are folded flat (I have fit three and some luggage with room to spare), and has enough ground clearance to hurdle bumps and troughs on dirt roads while still maintaining a sleek appearance.
Pros It looks nice. End of story
Cons Have constantly brought this car back. Terrible pick up and ticking sounds. Bad outside noise. Have been locked out of car several times, lost steering and breaks. Car has been again locked out, does not recognize. I hate this experience
Summary I will never purchanse another Mazda nor will I recommend this car. From the buying experience to the time and money I am out, to being stuck in horrible conditions, to be afraid to drive my own car or let my son learn to drive as the steering and breaks went out on him during a lesson is a horrible experience. You can't even see the speedometer unless you have the steering wheel in the full up position which is not comfortable so I don't see the speedometer going 60 or higher. NEVER AGAIN IN LIFE WILL I BUY A MAZDA and I will never recommend the dealership I bought it from in NEW JERSEY
"Zoom Zoom Forever"on by bake65
Pros The i Grand Touring is the best of both worlds - near luxury gizmos, look and feel, with great gas mileage and lower insurance rates - and enough zoom zoom for 90% of America. There's plenty of room in the cabin and the trunk space is cavernous.
Cons The grid AM/FM radio antenna embedded in the rear glass pulls in only the strongest local stations - let alone anything from 20 miles away.
Summary I traded by '97 Explorer for an i Grand Touring with all the options save for the navigation system. I absolutely LOVE this car! It totally hits the sweet spot of fun vs. practicality. It's comfortable, laden with gadgetry that adds value to the driving experience, such as auto lights and wipers, built in Sirius radio, the blind spot warning system, auto dimming mirrors, homelink etc etc.
Whether or not you like the looks of the car is totally subjective. I believe it also hits the sweet spot in styling, enough like its contemporaries that it doesn't look "weird", but with enough unique styling elements that it's not boring either.
With all the rebates, discounts etc. I snagged mine for under $20k, even though the sticker was nearly $29k.
My only complaint is the poor AM/FM radio reception. However, with the 6-disc CD changer, Sirius radio, and an input for an MP3 PLUS the ability to link Bluetooth devices into the 300W+ Bose stereo, there a entertainment options a-plenty.
I am sooo glad I held on to my 15 mpg Explorer long enough for the 2009 Mazda6. Zoom Zoom!
Pros Everything but the ride. Exterior lines are nice, interior is excellent for the price, features like blind spot mirrors are appealing.
Cons The butt in seat ride is rough, particularly in back. For a long trip, no thanks.
Summary For the person who is not overly fussy about a smooth, comfortable ride, hop in and have fun!