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Roadfly Magazine
Issue 13
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Nissan Maxima
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Issue Thirteen
August 3, 2004
Hybrid Vehicles: Sales on the Rise
Summer BBQ Guide
The Dells Auto Museum
Hot Lap: Top of the Line
2004 Mazda6
2004 Nissan Maxima SE
Coming Next Issue
Chrysler 300C
iPod FM Tuners
Helmet Review

2004 Mazda6
It's Definitely a 10

Mazda 6

Mazda 6 Powertrain

New Mazda6 Interior

New Mazda6 Trunk and Cargo Capacity

Mazda6 Gauges

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Mazda USA
To borrow a line from Mazda's marketing department, the Mazda6 really is "all about the drive." Simply put, the 6 is a blast to pilot, be it to the grocery store, the office, or (as we did) on tight and twisty back roads. And on the right roads, it's quite hard to believe you're driving a "family sedan."

Our tester came outfitted with Mazda's base engine, the 2.3-liter I4 that develops a total of 160 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 155 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. It put power to the ground by way of an optional, 4-speed Sport AT transmission with manumatic controls (via the center console mounted stick lever). While it certainly won't set the world afire with performance, the car drives effortlessly, and thanks to the manual controls, is easy to keep in the heart of the power band.

With our Beltronics GX2 fired-up, we observed 0-60 times of 8.6 seconds, and quarter-mile runs of 16.5 at 87 mph - not bad for a car of this size and weight. Braking distances left a little to be desired, but we place blame on the tires, as the 4-wheel disc brakes had an excellent feel with zero fade and plenty of bite. Our best 60-0 stop came in at 145 feet. Fuel economy during our test averaged just over 26 miles per gallon.

Did we mention how much fun it is to drive the Mazda6? We did? Well, we need to say it again, because it really does remind you what driving should be all about. The suspension inspires bucket loads of confidence as it swallows up road irregularities and provides tremendous grip with oodles of feedback. Body roll is very minimal, but we did detect a hint of under steer, a trait common to almost all front wheel drive cars. Torque steer was completely absent.

Winding the 6 through hilly back roads, snicking the manumatic up and down through the gears, we took delight in the responsiveness of the small engine and the raspy growl that accompanied the revs. Were it not for us pushing the motor hard, we'd never have heard a thing - the cabin is completely quiet at cruising speed (save for some tire noise).

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