Stylish, insightful, and spirited—this design philosophy propelled Mazda to manufacture a car that would not only capture the taste of the North American market, but would also make it a contender in championship races. Categorized under the large family car segment, the Mazda 6 combined smooth handling and speed, making it highly likeable even without adding its curvaceous and polished looks to the formula. Still rolling off the assembly lines as of 2012, the model has survived several alterations in its two generations that endeared it more to the American consumers.
2002 – 2007: Power, good handling, and glitzy style in one
The initial releases of the Mazda 6 included a four-door sport sedan, a five-door hatchback, and a five-door sport wagon. The units’ power was generated from a 3.0-liter Duratec 30-valve V6 engine, which operated with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. With front-wheel directed control, the models benefited from a double wishbone suspension with a rear-installed multi-link system. Also, the units had a unibody structure with a transversely located engine in the nose. In 2006, a supercharged version called the Mazdaspeed6 was introduced. This model boasted a capacity of 270 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It used a direct fuel injection system, a six-speed manual gearbox, and an all-wheel-drive control. The said all-wheel drive used a signature technology called Active Torque Split, which was operated by a computer that routed up to fifty percent of power to the rear wheels when necessary. Sprinting from 0 to 60-mph in 5.4 seconds, this upgraded version of the Mazda 6 had a standard automatic climate control, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, and a seven-speaker Bose stereo system.
2008 – 2012: Larger engine, bigger trunk, and sportier look
Based from a monocoque construction, the second-generation Mazda 6 models had a double wishbone front suspension and an independent multi-link twist blade rear suspension with stabilizer bars. The three body styles were still available. The units basically had a better steering system that was electrically assisted, and in terms of trunk space, they even beat larger rivals by 200 liters with folded-down rear seats. Aside from a larger trunk, the models also had a larger engine and a bigger appearance. Looking sportier with cat’s-eye headlights, the units derived their power either from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 3.7-liter V6. There were six trim levels to choose from, and some of the higher trims had several good features to offer, including Bluetooth connectivity, a sunroof, an audible blind-spot monitoring system, and a dual-zone automatic climate control.