Mazda’s 6 appeared locally in 2002 has enjoyed prolonged success for several reasons. Most obviously because for two decades it has blended conservative design with the attributes of an involving driver’s car.
The 6 is roomy and well-equipped. The original shape was modern without being so trendy it would date rapidly and that ensured strong retained values. Underneath was a front-wheel drive platform (all wheel drive for the MPS turbo) that trod the thin line of compromise between taut handling and compliant ride.
The basic 2.3 engine produced 122kW and ensured that 0-100km/h in an automatic took just 9.8 seconds. The 6 is relatively heavy for its size so fuel consumption from an automatic averaged 12L/100km.Three trim levels were available in the early 6 line-up – Limited, Classic and Luxury. If you can live without leather trim, an electric sunroof, bigger wheels and electric driver’s seat adjustment then the Classic with its six-stack sound, cruise control and trip computer is the version to look for.
The front passenger area is roomy with well-shaped seats. Space in the rear is limited and leg-room a bit cramped to comfortably carry adults for long distances. For more load-space if you can spend a bit more is a post-2006 GG Series wagon. These have a 2.5-litre engine and prices for reasonable examples start at around $5000.
All Mazda 6s score a Four Star ANCAP crash protection rating. They come with dual front air-bags plus side bags and ABS brakes. The 6 with its sophisticated suspension will handle rougher and unsealed roads better than most front-wheel drive cars. Same goes for the power steering which is well-insulated against road-shock. Torque steer which causes the steering wheel to jiggle can be provoked, but only when pushing hard or on wet surface.
Electrical components are expensive so negotiate harder on high kilometre cars that could be due for an alternator, starter motor or air-conditioner overhaul. Mazda quality has for decades been excellent and only mistreated cars will be showing significant interior wear.
As stated earlier, Mazdas hold their values well and finding a good-quality 6 while spending less than $5000 means looking at the private market and for cars that have topped 200,000 kilometres. Make sure the one you buy has a service history so you know which parts are coming due for replacement.
- rough idle and stuttering acceleration due to engine management problems.
- warped brake rotors.
- clattering constant velocity joints in high km cars.
- alternator faults (replacements are expensive).
- water leaking through damaged hatch seal
HOW IT RATES
- Affordability: 6.5/10
- Durability: 8/10
- Running Costs: 7.5/10
- On The Road: 8/10
- Practicality: 8/10
- GUIDE SCORE: 38/50
- YEARS BUILT: 2002-06
- BODY STYLES: four-door sedan
- ENGINE: 2.3-litre overhead camshaft four-cylinder with fuel injection
- TRANSMISSION: five-speed manual or four-speed automatic
- POWER & TORQUE: 122kW @ 6500rpm, 207Nm @ 4000rpm
- SUSPENSION & BRAKES: independent front and rear, disc front/disc rear
- PERFORMANCE & FUEL CONSUMPTION: 0-100km/h – 9.8 seconds, 11.8L/100km
PRICE GUIDE (2002-04 CLASSIC AUTO.)
FAIR: $2200 GOOD: $4200 EXCELLENT: $5500
CARSALES CURRENT EXAMPLE (AVAILABLE AT 22 APRIL 2020)https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/details/2004-mazda-6-classic-gg-series-1-auto-my04/SSE-AD-6504431/?Cr=18