Used Mazda 2003-2008 6 review
2004 Mazda 6 Sport Wagon. Click for larger photo.
Mazda 6 is a stylish, moderately-priced mid-size car with sporty handling and comfortable ride.
Introduced for 2003, Mazda 6 was available only as a four-door sedan. The hatchback and wagon body styles were added for 2004.
Inside Mazda 6 feels sporty, with red gauges and a thick-rimmed steering wheel. Front seats are supportive and comfortable even on long trips. Visibility is good all around. The front legroom is good, but tall drivers may find the headroom a bit tight with a sunroof. Interior materials are not bad. We checked several used high-mileage Mazda6's and the interior plastic and leather held up pretty well. In a hatchback and wagon, rear seats fold flat creating a huge cargo space. We've done some research for used car buyers on Mazda 6 reliability and common problems, read below.
Mazda6 3.0L V6 engine
2004 Mazda 6 interior
Powertrain: The 6 comes with the 2.3L 160-hp 4-cylinder Mazda MZR DOHC engine or 220-hp 3.0L Ford Duratec DOHC V6. Mazda 6 Wagon comes only with a V6. Both engines have a timing chain; there is no timing belt. The 2.3L is better on gas and easier to work on. With good maintenance, it shouldn't give you too many troubles. The V6 is known for oil leaks, but otherwise is also pretty reliable and can easily last over 200,000 miles with proper care. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and four- or five-speed automatic. Late models have a 6-speed automatic.
Handling and Performance: Mazda 6 handles better than most mid-size cars. The ride is smooth and quiet, yet you still have excellent road feel. Steering is precise and responsive. Mazda 6 is one of those cars that will be comfortable on a long highway trip. The 2.3L 4-cylinder engine is adequate for daily driving. The 3.0L V6 has more power, but is not as strong as the V6 in the Nissan Altima or Acura TL. The one thing that could be better is the turning radius (38.7 ft. curb to curb).
Safety: Mazda 6 has disc brakes on all four wheels. Antilock brakes (ABS) were optional in early models, standard from 2005. Traction control, side airbags, side curtain airbags are standard from 2007. In the NHTSA frontal crash tests, the 2003-2008 Mazda 6 got five stars for both the driver and the front passenger. In the side-impact crash tests, the 2003-2006 Mazda 6 without side airbags received three stars for the front and four stars for the rear passenger protection. The 2006-2008 model with side airbags was given four stars for both the front and the rear.
Pros: Sleek styling, sporty interior, excellent handling, comfortable ride, comes as sedan, sporty hatchback or wagon, available Bose audio system, affordable price.
Cons: Fuel economy, turning radius, oil leaks in V6, poor crash test scores without side airbags.
|2007 Family cars: (US MPG):||City||Highway|
|Nissan Altima 4-cyl, auto||23||31|
|Honda Accord 4-cyl, auto||21||31|
|Toyota Camry 4-cyl, auto||21||30|
|Mazda 6 4-cyl, auto||21||28|
|Ford Fusion 4 cyl, auto||22||29|
|Mazda 6 V6, auto||17||25|
Fuel Economy: The EPA rates the 2007 4-cylinder Mazda 6 sedan at 21/28 mpg or 11.2/8.4 L/100 km city/highway. The 2007 V6 gets 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway (13.8/9.4 L/100 km).
Reliability and common problems: For the most part, Mazda 6 has been reliable, but transmission issues are reported often. It might be a good idea to stay away from the 2003 model. In a V6, misfiring could be caused by a bad ignition coil. The repair involves replacing the faulty ignition coil and all spark plugs. A clunking or popping felt in the steering wheel could be caused by lack of lubrication in the intermediate shaft splines in the steering column. There was a technical service bulletin (TSB) on this issue and the repair is very simple; the steering shaft splines need to be lubricated. A faulty or clogged purge valve (solenoid) can cause the “Check Engine” light to come on. A purge valve is easy to replace and is not very expensive. Oil leaks from a valve cover and oil pan gaskets are common in a V6.
Many DIY repairs are described at this forum
What to look for when buying a used Mazda 6: When checking a used Mazda 6, test the air conditioner, see if the center display works. We noticed that in some high-mileage models parts of the center display don't work. Check under the hood; a burnt oil smell in a V6 is a sign of oil leaks. Check the engine oil level, low oil level may indicate that the engine consumes oil, which is something to avoid in a used car. During the test drive, watch out for a humming noise that may indicate a bad wheel bearing, which is fairly common in these cars. Pay attention to how the automatic transmission shifts between gears. If there is a jolt or delay, avoid the car. Have the car properly inspected by an independent mechanic before buying.
You might also be interested:
| How to buy a used car
step-by-step guide »
| How to spot signs of
transmission problems »
2002-2006 Toyota Camry
2003-2008 Honda Accord
Mazda 6 club - plenty of DIY instruction and other information.
Mazda USA - download owner's manual; maintenance schedule, references.
Safety Recalls - NHTSA
Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls
2005 Mazda 6 specifications
| Overall length:
186.8 in (4745 mm)
187.8 in (4770 mm)
56.7 in (1440 mm)
57.3 in (1455 mm)
70.1 in (1781 mm)
105.3 in (2675 mm)
|Turning circle: (curb to curb)
|| 38.7 ft. (11.8 m)
|2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT
160 hp @ 6000 rpm, 155 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 with VVT
220 hp @ 6300 rpm, 192 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
|EPA Estimated Fuel Economy:|
2.3L 4-cylinder, manual:
2.3L 4-cylinder, automatic:
3.0L V6 manual:
3.0L V6 automatic:
city: 21 MPG (11.2 L/100km)
hwy: 28 MPG (8.4 L/100km)
city: 20 MPG (11.8 L/100km)
hwy: 26 MPG (9.0 L/100km)
city: 17 MPG (13.8 L/100km)
hwy: 24 MPG (9.8 L/100km)
city: 17 MPG (13.8 L/100km)
hwy: 25 MPG (9.4 L/100km)
|Recommended Fuel:|| Regular unleaded
|Fuel Tank Capacity:
||18.0 US gallons (68 liters)
|Engine oil capacity:|
|With oil filter change:
4.5 US qt. (4.3L)
6.0 US qt. (5.7L)