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Old 4th June 2011, 09:35   #1
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Default My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

As it happens with everyone, that life has its own ways of getting back at you, it happened with me as well.
After completing my year long assignment, I was too keen to return back to India. I packed up – sold everything, with a heavy heart even my Buick Le Sabre (my thread for the one year I owned can be found here (My First Car in America: 2002 Buick LeSabre Limited)) and headed back to India. And then I head back to US for another year long assignment.

Except work, the most I was excited about was another opportunity to try my hands at some brilliant cars. It says a lot (for me) that I bought my car while I was still staying in the hotel – within first three days after landing. It took more time to rent an apartment.

Cars test driven…
(all cars driven had done below 75K miles and were one owner cars)
  • 2005 Mustang V6 Convertible (Manual) – Felt terribly under powered
  • 2007 Mustang V8 Convertible (Manual) – After driving a V6 dud, I thought newer V8 may pack more punch. But for some reason, it didn’t got my adrenalin soaring.
  • 2000 BMW 3 Series (Automatic) – Was boring, not bad though
  • 1999 M3 Convertible (Manual) – the best car I have driven so far; didn't buy it because was worried about maintenance cost (if the occasion comes) and almost non existent boot space. My wife reminded me that we like to do long drives and where we gonna keep all the suitcases
  • 1999 M3 Convertible (Automatic) – Wasn’t the same car as M3 Manual
  • Mazda V6 (Automatic with Manual Shifters) – Instantly fell in love and it’s my ride now

if you happen to notice the brilliant shine - it is 99% hard work and 1% Mother's clay and wax
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9394.jpg


Coming up
Brief "My Impressions"
Some more pictures

Last edited by akbaree : 4th June 2011 at 09:39.
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Old 4th June 2011, 19:54   #2
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Congrats man. The Mazda 6 is a brilliant driver's car and I wish you an year full of pleasures in your new ride. May I request for some more color photos of your ride?
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Old 13th June 2011, 03:54   #3
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Default Driving Impressions & Some Photographs

Current Mileage - 59K and change
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9382-1024x504.jpg

So far, I have driven the car for 3000 Miles in different weather conditions. That's the beauty (or the curse as you look at it) of Minneapolis. In just three months, there has been a severe snow storm, oceans of rain and just last week, Minneapolis was hottest city (on that day) in the US at 102 degrees.

Ride & Handling
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9383-1024x616.jpg
Top notch handling. I can take a U turn at 50 MPH in a parking lot and jaws will drop. This Grand Touring version is equipped with 18" alloys and 215/45 low profile tires. The grip is awesome and it gives immense confidence when driving at high speeds, or chaning lanes or cornering. Body roll is almost minimal unless your are susceptible to centrifugal/g forces.

My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9396-1024x768.jpg
The suspension comes to its own only after you gain speed of 40 MPH. Otherwise you may have to remind yourself, that you are driving a sedan.

But I must say, all this is true in dry conditions. In snow it was aweful. It may have to do with the Kum Ho tires. I checked online and the tires are all season tires but then a lot of this could be marketing material. If I can have my heart rule over my head, I will change the tires to Continental DWS or Pirelli P Zero Nero. Any suggestions/advice on this would be welcome.

Engine & Transimission
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9414-1024x768.jpg
Duratec 3.0 L V6 with 215 BHP. It is a ford engine and is used in host of ford family cars - Jaguar, Ford, Mercury, Mazda, et al. Built in their Cleveland, Ohio factory. You can read more about the engine here

Excellent pick up. It has more than adequate power for you to launch yourself to the world. As far as you are driving with the automatic transimission, you will never feel lack of power. With one exception. If you need a burst of power at 60 MPH, the automatic is sluggish in deciding to downshift. It takes a while before it downshifts. The best option in such a scenario it to enter manual. Never the less that first opportunity will be lost but if you can make up for that one lost opportunity, it is worth the shift.

The option that allows manual shifting was one among that got me sold on the car. However I have realized that this option is not that much after all. For two reasons...
  • The gear shifts slowly. And if there's no clutch to press and only thing needed is a slight touch, it seems even slower. It could be a combination of clutch and transimission but the response time ought to be better for any fun.
  • The engine, as peppy as it is till 4000 RPM, it is quite the opposite after 4000 RPM. It gets a lot noisier and has very little power left.
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9412-1024x768.jpg
At it's launch, the reviewers were not very happy with the number of horses. The competition was at 240'ish and at 215 Mazda 6 was considered under powered. Under powered - sure it is not.

Keep it in automatic, you will just love driving the car unless you hit 60, when you can move to manual to keep having some more fun.


Design and Style
The fit and finish is excellent. No cheap plastics anywhere. Decent looking console that's functional as well.
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9398-1024x768.jpg

My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9405-1024x768.jpg
The door trims are the only let down.

To me, the car has to look good from behind as well, otherwise it is not good looking. And for some reason, I feel this car has the best back in the pack.
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9410-1024x768.jpg

My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9379-1024x676.jpg
The overall design may look not as contemporary as some of the 2011 and 2012 models, but I love the lower stance and over all presence that the car exuberates.

Note: I just love the looks for the 2012 Ford Focus. And the Chrysler 200 is good looking too. I am not sure who's losing the game this time between the Americas, Europe and Japanese - if there's anything like that any more.

My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9401-768x1024.jpg
This is first car that I have owned with a Sun/Moon roof. That little roof window remains open unless it is freezing or raining outside

HVAC - Great HVAC/Climate Control system. It cools/defrosts in seconds and without being in your face. I love it.

Bose Sound System - The system is subtly louder. If you like a loud system, you can check in the ORVM. The thumping is very much there. Thanks to the build quality of the door trims. The system is nice in playing strings. It also plays tabla very well. But for most other frequencies it is a below average system. I realized how crappy it really is (as compared to the one I had in Buick LeSabre Limited) when I played Raising Sand by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.
My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)-dscn9385-1024x696.jpg

Last edited by akbaree : 13th June 2011 at 04:31.
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Old 13th June 2011, 04:19   #4
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Default Grudges

For the fact that I had only owned Buick long enough(in the US), I can compare this car only to that.

Perhaps I will not be comparing apples to apples, but in simpler terms, I paid 150% more for this car and bought it at just few thousand miles less than the Buick LeSabre.

The euipment level difference between Buick and this car is like Honda Accord and Skoda Superb difference in India (just picking a random segment).

So what I loose
1. Auto headlights including day light running lamps
2. Auto wipers
3. 12 way electrically adjusted seats on both front seats (the mazda has 8 way adjustment for the driver and no seat memory)
4. Driver information system - it used to give a lot of feel good information.
5. Tire Pressure Monitory System
6. The interior lighting in Buick was awesome
7. All the extra cabin room
8. The smoothness of the Buick V6 engine
9. The paing quality of the Buick
10. Other small innovations that made the car much more personal

And what I gain
1. Superb handling
2. Manual shifting option
3. Moon roof
4. More fun

Last edited by akbaree : 13th June 2011 at 04:33.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:31   #5
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Note from Moderator: Thread moved from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 15th February 2012, 21:13   #6
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Default One Year Update

So, after one long drive and dozen of Mother's wax jobs - I had to lighten my pocket by quite a bit.

When I returned from my two week trip to India (last week) - the battery had died. And in Minnesota snow, the car needed new shoes as well. Battery, 4 tires, mounting, alignment and rear brakes - 1400 USD only

But oh my god - good tires can make such a huge difference. The Continental DWS are brilliant tires. I can literally feel transfer of weight (no body roll) at sharp corners. Pick up is much better (no wheel spinning even in light snowy and wet conditions).

And the tire noise is much lower than the previous Kum Ho's. I cannot say that they are the quietest tires but 100 times quieter than the Kum Ho's that I had on. Now I can listen to engine revs or my bose music system much better. I am loving this upgrade.

P.S.: 10K miles and two oil changes in last one year.
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Old 15th February 2012, 21:37   #7
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Nice thread, akbaree! The Mazda 6 is a great car; taken one for a test drive and liked what I drove a lot!

About the tires, if possible please get two sets. Summer tires and Winter tires. All season tires are for the most part horrible. They don't perform particularly well in any condition.
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Old 16th February 2012, 02:25   #8
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
Nice thread, akbaree! The Mazda 6 is a great car; taken one for a test drive and liked what I drove a lot!

About the tires, if possible please get two sets. Summer tires and Winter tires. All season tires are for the most part horrible. They don't perform particularly well in any condition.
Which model you drove (year and was it the V6?)

Yup, enjoying every bit of it. And after the tire upgrade, it is top notch. The only complaint I have is that it's V6 is not top end friendly. But the low and mid end is quite punchy.

And I completely agree with you on having two set of tires. But I am here only for few more months and it doesn't make economic sense for me. I had to change tires as the previous ones were horrible (horrible and horrible) on snow. The Continental DWS is one of the best all season tires and has received accolades from users, critics and reviewers. So kind of good balance.

Last edited by akbaree : 16th February 2012 at 02:28.
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Old 16th February 2012, 03:26   #9
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
Which model you drove (year and was it the V6?)

Yup, enjoying every bit of it. And after the tire upgrade, it is top notch. The only complaint I have is that it's V6 is not top end friendly. But the low and mid end is quite punchy.

And I completely agree with you on having two set of tires. But I am here only for few more months and it doesn't make economic sense for me. I had to change tires as the previous ones were horrible (horrible and horrible) on snow. The Continental DWS is one of the best all season tires and has received accolades from users, critics and reviewers. So kind of good balance.
Hello akbaree, I'm pleased to know that you are a Mazda fan.

I too recently landed in US and got myself a 2006 Mazda3. Great car, but the only problem are the tires. Got lots of thread left but the car skids all the time. The tires are Eclipse Toyo (never heard). So now I'm glad that I stumbled upon your thread. I have some information on which tires to look for. Thanks!

If you don't mind can you tell me the cost of the tires?

BTW, has Mazda stopped production of Mazda6? I did not see this model in display at Silicon Valley Auto Show last month.

Thanks,
Jose.
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Old 16th February 2012, 05:26   #10
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
Got lots of thread left but the car skids all the time.
you might want to go soft on gas and brake pedals till you change the tires
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Old 16th February 2012, 06:44   #11
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Congrats on your new car. Have travelled from NY to Ohio in it and that car is one awesome piece of machinery. It is so smooth and has a nice growl if we step hard on the accelerator. I have not driven it and all these are my observation from the passenger side but it is a beauty to be driven in and a looker.

I like the way the boot is made to look smaller from the outside but it is actually enormous if we open the trunk. I wish you many happy miles with it in a country that has awesome roads in it.
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:20   #12
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
I too recently landed in US and got myself a 2006 Mazda3. Great car, but the only problem are the tires. Got lots of thread left but the car skids all the time. The tires are Eclipse Toyo (never heard). So now I'm glad that I stumbled upon your thread...
The looks of Mazda3 actually inspired me to consider Mazda. And I love the looks of Mazda6 as well.

As far as tires are concerned, even the tires on my car had at least 40% tread left. You can see in the pictures. I am not a tire techie but tread is only one of the factors. As the tires are more than 5-6 years old, you should replace them. I delayed the replacement by few months and oh boy only now I know what I have been missing. Good tires can make a world of difference. I would suggest you go for a tire change. You will have a very different ownership experience.

Meanwhile, (although I don't know where you are in US; but guessing somewhere where it snows) you can use lower gears (instead of auto or D mode) for better traction, control and braking while driving in snow. My car has manual shifters and I can say that driving in lower gears saved my day a many times on those horrible Kum Ho's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
If you don't mind can you tell me the cost of the tires?
215-45 R18 costed me 165 a piece + mounting and balancing (some 20 bucks a tire).

Depending on which Mazda3 model you have, you may or may not have Continental DWS. If you are looking for an all weather tire, you can also consider Pirelli P Zero Nero or Good Years. Otherwise Michelin has good options as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
BTW, has Mazda stopped production of Mazda6? I did not see this model in display at Silicon Valley Auto Show last month.
Mazda 6 is very much in production. However I am not so much impressed with the looks of 2011/2012 versions. The front has retained some of the meaner look of earlier version but over all it look bloated (like Nissan sedans and I hate such bloated looks - personal opinion)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchumiFan View Post
Congrats on your new car. Have travelled from NY to Ohio in it and that car is one awesome piece of machinery. It is so smooth and has a nice growl if we step hard on the accelerator. I have not driven it and all these are my observation from the passenger side but it is a beauty to be driven in and a looker.

I like the way the boot is made to look smaller from the outside but it is actually enormous if we open the trunk. I wish you many happy miles with it in a country that has awesome roads in it.
Thanks @SchumiFan

Last edited by akbaree : 16th February 2012 at 07:24.
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Old 16th February 2012, 11:36   #13
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Nice pictures of a nicer car.
Mazda 6 is one of my design favorites. 2 of my friends own this car - one a 2005 and another a 2010 model.
Infact - I myself have owned the grandpa of this car - a 1998 Mazda 626 - from 2008 to 2009.
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Old 16th February 2012, 12:26   #14
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
As far as tires are concerned, even the tires on my car had at least 40% tread left. You can see in the pictures. I am not a tire techie but tread is only one of the factors. As the tires are more than 5-6 years old, you should replace them. I delayed the replacement by few months and oh boy only now I know what I have been missing. Good tires can make a world of difference. I would suggest you go for a tire change. You will have a very different ownership experience.
If I send you picture of tires on my car, can you advice if I need tire change? These tires are made in China and I don't know how old are they. I don't know how to find the date of manufacture. Will Google it.

I know tires are one of the most important factors in safety. So I don't want to risk my life on cheap tires.

Quote:
Meanwhile, (although I don't know where you are in US; but guessing somewhere where it snows) you can use lower gears (instead of auto or D mode) for better traction, control and braking while driving in snow. My car has manual shifters and I can say that driving in lower gears saved my day a many times on those horrible Kum Ho's.
I'm in CA, here it does not snow. Rains only in Jan-Feb. So I don't need all weather tires.

Thanks for your response.
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Old 16th February 2012, 22:42   #15
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Default Re: My Second Car in America: 2007 Mazda 6 (V6 Grand Touring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
...I don't know how old are they. I don't know how to find the date of manufacture. Will Google it.
You might have already googled this (it is also available elsewhere on the forum), but here's the link for your quick reference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
I'm in CA, here it does not snow. Rains only in Jan-Feb. So I don't need all weather tires.
Continental DW (without the 'S' of DWS)is for you then . Continental is about to launch replacement for this tire (or is it already launched). But who knows if the replacement will be as popular as the outgoing one.

I am also not sure if you need tires in the first place. If rains are past you, you can live on the current tires as far as they perform well in dry conditions. And for that occasional rain, you can take that extra care to drive slow.

Sending pictures to me will not help :(. Rather get them inspected at a tire shop - for any uneven wear, if they lose pressure (more than they should normally do), and things like that and take a call. The States define the legal tread requirement. If you recently bought this car (and from the dealer), they would not have sold a car that does not meet the legal tread depth.
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