Mazda 6 Reviews & Pictures. Mazda 6 is available in three body styles: Sports Sedan, Sport Wagon and 5-Door. The exterior Mazda 6 design is now sharper and even sportier, while the cabin is more comfortable with even higher levels of craftsmanship.
There are two Mazda 6 models: the four-cylinder i version and the V6-powered s. Each is available in one of four different packages: entry-level, Sport, Grand Touring and – new for 2006 – Grand Sport. Another new model for 2006 is the entry-level V6-powered s, giving value-conscious buyers the opportunity to drive Mazda’s superb V6 engine at the most affordable price ever. Also new for 2006 is a top-of-the-line Mazda 6 sedan powered by a turbocharged 274-horsepower four-cylinder engine offering all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission.
The familiar pointed nose and sharp styling has been accented with a new sport grille on some models and angular new headlamps across the range. The headlamps on the Sport and Grand Sport packages use dark gray bezels. Revised tail lamps – using black bezels on the Sport and Grand Sport – and a new rear bumper on all models underline the sports-oriented changes. New for 2006 on Mazda 6 Grand Sport package are High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps for superior illumination and lower maintenance. The front bumper also is new, and helps give even more edge to the styling. Foglamps are incorporated into the front spoiler. New side sills highlight the “hug-the-road” quality of the Mazda 6 style, while a trunk spoiler is standard on Sport and Grand Sport versions.
The range-topping 3.0-liter V6 engine has been noted for its strong performance and refinement, and now gets a torque boost from 190 to 199 lb-ft (at 5,000 rpm). The change Mazda 6 makes the engine even more tractable and the car easier to drive, and also will improve off- the-line performance. In addition, fuel economy is improved by one mile per gallon on both manual and automatic vehicles. Because of changes to the exhaust system to boost torque, maximum horsepower is reduced slightly from 220 horsepower to 215 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm).
As before, the V6 is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed Sport A/T automatic with manual shift. The Mazda 6 is in the only vehicle in the class to be offered with a six-speed automatic transmission. The wide number of ratios improves performance, drivability, smoothness and gas mileage. The tall top gear also improves comfort and quietness on the freeway, while a short first gear gives aggressive off-the-line performance. These are all examples of Mazda 6 sports-first philosophy.
The 2.3-liter four-cylinder (I-4) engine used on the Mazda 6 models continues as before, producing 160 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 155 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. This highly sophisticated engine is all-aluminum (like the V6 engine), uses double overhead camshafts and 16 valves (for excellent engine breathing and smooth revving). Smoothness and refinement are enhanced by the use of a balance shaft, helping make this four-cylinder engine almost as smooth as a reliable six-cylinder unit.
The 2.3-liter engine is specified with Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) equipment in the four states that require California emissions (NH, Mass, NY and VT). This makes the 2.3-liter engine Mazda 6 90-percent cleaner than the average new car. Evaporative emissions are completely eliminated by re-engineering the exhaust plumbing, repositioning the first catalytic converter and eco-friendly Electronic Control Unit (ECU) programming.
For 2006, Mazda 6 available with a new five-speed Sport AT automatic transmission with manual shift mode, replacing the previous four-speed unit. The extra gear ratio improves acceleration, cruising refinement and fuel economy (24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway – which is 1 mpg and 4 mpg respectively better than the 2005 model). Of course the Mazda 6 also is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.
Other improvements for the Mazda 6 for 2006 include bigger ventilated front disc brakes – up from 11.1 inches to 11.8 inches – to further cut stopping distances, resist brake fade and improve pedal feel. Solid 11.0 inch disc brakes are used at the rear. As before, anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard – to cut stopping distances, allow drivers to steer when braking hard, and to stop skids. Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) automatically balances front-to-rear braking forces, irrespective of the vehicle’s load. Electronic traction control, which minimizes wheel spin in poor weather or slippery conditions, is standard across the range.
Mazda 6 safety features include Triple-H body construction, which gives superb strength to the unitary construction body, front and rear side door beams, three-point seat belts for all five occupants, dual front airbags, and front and rear whiplash-reducing head restraints. Side airbags and side-curtain bags are standard on all models apart from the entry level iversion, on which they’re optional.