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Old 1st September 2008, 03:27   #1
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Thumbs up Mazda 6 '08 Test drive

Mazda 6 has been compelling car buyers to stop and think before they buy themselves anything else other than it. It emerged a major choice in the mid-car segment competing against the world-known and appreciated and award-winning Ford Mondeo*. And, this time there is a fair competition between the two companies.

The platforms for the earlier Mazda 6 models were taken from their parent company Ford. But, this time they decided to build their own. The result is not quite radical. However, in the respective department, the car is well-balanced and plan to release sedans, hatchbacks and estates. I also disliked Mazdas’ decision to pull-off the all-wheel drive and the sport wagon versions. So, out of the available engine variants, 2, 2.3, 2.5 and 3 litres, we decided to test drive the 2.5 litre as this would be the common variant in almost all countries where Mazda sell cars.

I have been hearing a lot of people bruiting that even this time Mazda have shared components with Ford Mondeo. Honestly, I couldn’t be bothered. So, I decided to explore this car myself. I love the way this car looks. It has (like other current Japanese cars) put on weight, it bears coupe-like roofline and is proportionate. I gather that the design is so taut, it’s so aerodynamic that its’ drag figures beat the Mondeo. The wheel arches, neat bonnet shut-lines, clear headlamps are very neatly finished and still manage to remain oriental.

Depending on the region, Mazda revealed that they increased the 2.3 litre variant to a 2.5 litre and have increased only 5hp but have increased the torque by 14 lb ft. They assure that the fuel consumption has considerably reduced post this decision. It could also be because these current models are lighter than their predecessors – 35kgs lighter.

While you are inside, everything seems just right. The seating position is right, the instrumentation is brilliant, low-slung seats, the tremendous space and the comfort makes it clearly a very good car ideal for comfy city driving. The xenon lamps, paddle-shift gear box of this five speed activematic (auto) transmission further ease the pleasure of driving.

This 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder engine with 170hp and 226NM of torque drives well, is comfortable and a lot quieter than its old model. The car has a free-revving precision tuned VVT which enables the engine to rev as you, the driver desires. I must reveal that if it did not have the tuned VVT, I was considering calling this a slightly under-powered car.

The suspension seems to be fine too as it manages to steer well and be comfortable for the driver. The braking is strong too and if you did not stop on time (very unlikely) there are several air-bags to protect you. It also prompts whether your passengers in the back have fastened their seat belts or not.

At this stage, I would say, it is proving to be as good as its rival – the Ford Mondeo. Let us read how it handles, shall we?

Once the roads get slightly bumpy and rough, the suspension of the car begins to disappoint you. The only consolation is the optional leather interiors that cushion the bumpy “feel” which works – sort of. Despite being 35mm longer (than the older model), it manages to manoeuvre like you want it to. While speeding through curves, the steering still remains well-weighted and it turns sharply and after some time, your back hurts quite sharply. Precisely, on a race track, it feels great but on the way to the track; i.e. in real world conditions, one might find it slightly less comfortable.

While the instrumentation is brilliant, the quality fails to meet expectations. Since, they are made of plastic they produce this annoying plasticky noise giving this crummy feel. Even worse is that it is quite audible since Mazda have successfully eliminated both the wind and road noise (present in older models) from its cabin. The cheap glove-box lid further bothers. You know what else is annoying? The “Zoom, zoom, zoom” jingle that hits in every single time you stick the key in.

Okay, I give up. You must have noticed from the petty complaints above that I am struggling to find something majorly wrong with this car. Ever since one announces oneself as a car journalist, he/she is expected to pick on every car and spot errors. Yes, no car is perfect. But, then it at times is just too hard to report the mistakes because of their outright brilliance.

Therefore, if you are comfortable with using the paddle-gear shifts, this front-wheel drive car easily touches 120kph in 8 seconds and goes up to 205kph. The gas mileage is around 11ks/litre. What’s more? It is the shocking price reduction of these new models. They are sold at an average of 3000 to 4000 AUD lesser than their older models to help more people afford and have a zoom-zoom experience**. And, that is thoughtful of Mazda to do so. In every aspect, this car literally seems and actually is better and cheaper than the comparatively poor Ford Mondeo.

*Ford Mondeo review is coming up soon
**According to Mazda Managing Director – Mr. Doug Dickson
(Images clicked in the Frankfurt Motor Show)
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Old 1st September 2008, 05:12   #2
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Good review, although i think you're supposed to post reviews done by you only(if this is indeed your own review, i apologise, not used to reading reviews of this type/quality on here. While the manner and professionalism is great, a more personal touch would be appreciated), i could be wrong though. It'd be nice if you provided a link crediting the author/source of the article/review.

Last edited by Amien : 1st September 2008 at 05:15. Reason: assumptions=fail
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Old 1st September 2008, 09:51   #3
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Hey there, thanks for reading and appreciating. Yes, we have reviewed it ourselves. Else, we would honestly put up the source we have picked it from.
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:25   #4
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Got it, thanks for the clarification. Since you probably realize, most of the vehicles you have reviewed are not, and for sometime will not be available in this country. Therefore these reviews, while excellent do not hold much value unless they are comparative to what we have available domestically.

On Topic:-
I've always loved mazda's, I honestly believe they are a much under-rated brand. Everything from the mazdaspeed 3, to the legendary RX 7 and the awesome RX8, right down to the more practical 3s and 6s, has brought something special, something extra along with it that, in a subtle way distinguishes it from the competition.
In India, Swaraj-Mazda has had a long running partnership, catering to the needs of buses and trucks. Hopefully sometime in the near future, they will consider India a market for their cars as well.

As promising as the 2008 6 is, taking on the Ford Mondeo that has ruled this area for quite some time will be pushing it a bit. Waiting in anticipation for the Mondeo review.

Last edited by Amien : 1st September 2008 at 14:31. Reason: edits, additions...
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Old 1st September 2008, 15:29   #5
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Hey there,

Yes, we do realise that our car reviews won't help buy them due to their unavailability in your nation. Nevertheless, this is mere info / knowledge for car enthusiasts. But, we hope you readers get a taste of the zoom-zoom effect.

Yea, one of our members is a rotary engine specialist. And, he was annoyed when Mazda announced RX-8 would be the last one of its' type. But, rumours have it that RX-9 shall carry a rotary too. Mazdas have been tossing between being average and above average. It was when the 3 and 6 series began that people actually thought of buying one. Of course, both the RXs were phenomenal but were limited to youth, specifically hoodies' popularity.

Yea, we were discussing about exactly the same thing. The Ford Mondeo enjoyed the top position in the segment for quite some time now. Finally, they have some tight competition.

Yes, the review for the Mondeo shall be up soon.

Again, thanks for appreciating our work.
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Old 1st September 2008, 16:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brosreview View Post
Yes, we do realise that our car reviews won't help buy them due to their unavailability in your nation.
Well, Its gonna help one of them pretty soon .

Request you to please do a review of Lancer CJ. I know it will be pretty tame compared to the Evo X. But Evo is not something I can afford for many more years..

Last edited by spadival : 1st September 2008 at 17:13.
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Old 1st September 2008, 17:24   #7
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Hey there, thanks for reading. We did test drive the variant - Lancer CJ as we tested the Evo X. Could you give us a weeks' time to write our experience on paper?

In the mean time, enjoy reading our review on the Evo X:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...evolution.html (The rEvolution)
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Old 1st September 2008, 17:32   #8
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Thanks for the nice review and stunning pics. The car looks a million bucks. Just a point noted: You mention that 'It has (like other current Japanese cars) put on weight' while at the same time saying that 'these current models are lighter than their predecessors 35kgs lighter'.
Did I miss something?
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Old 1st September 2008, 18:11   #9
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Hey there, Thanks for reading and appreciating.

Umm, when we say the car has grown fat, we mean it "looks" fat. It doesn't necessarily mean it has put on weight. Yes, it is kinda bizarre. But, then that's the way car reviewing terminologies are.

So, concisely, it looks fat but it isn't. God, it sounds gibberish, doesn't it? But, you get our point, don't you?
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