Nov 01, 2006
Reviewed By Paul Duchene
Price as Tested $33,440
Likes

Intuitively fast, with 274-hp, 16-valve, turbo 4-cylinder, all-wheel drive with active torque split, slick 6-speed, huge vented brakes. Simple controls, including navigation, Recaro-style leather, heated seats (8-way power for driver), monster Bose stereo with 7 speakers, 6-CD player. Auto up/down on all windows, decent back seat, sizeable trunk. 2.3-liter engine returned almost 30 mpg highway—5 mpg above EPA estimate.

Dislikes

Quick clutch must be learned, keyless entry card begs to be left someplace. Needs trick color, like Subaru WRX electric blue, Mitsubishi Evo yellow.

Verdict

The latest Mazda 6 redo resulted in sales doubling in Europe; I expect the same here, and this front-line fighter should give BMW 3 owners fits.

Fun to Drive
5.0 rating
Fun to Look at
3.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating
Stats
Horsepower 274-hp