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Mazda MAZDA6, Sedan
Dec 07, 2004 (2:08 pm)
The Automobile Journalists of Canada have named the Mazda6 Sport as the best new family vehicle in Canada for 2005.
The Mazda6 wagon was named best in the station wagon category.
Last year mazda won every category they entered and the Mazda3 was ultimately named the best new car in Canada by the AJAC. They will name the best car for 2005 at the Canadian International Autoshow held in Toronto in February.
#17140 of 17829 Anybody out there?
Dec 13, 2004 (6:07 pm)
Not much happening around here lately. Everybody doing their holiday shopping?
I turned 2,000 miles on my 04 6s sport the other day. I've had it two months and it's been flawless.
Hope your experiences are the same.
#17142 of 17829 Re: Anybody out there? [ramped]
Dec 17, 2004 (6:00 am)
My holiday shopping is done, including a gift for my 6S!
As an early Christmas gift, I bought a set of 4 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2's on steel wheels (205/60-R16). As everyone else probably knows, the 17" OEM Michelins are worthless in the snow. After 3 weeks with the PA2's, I'm having just as much fun driving in 4" of lake-effect snow as I do clipping the apexes in summer!
I always thought all-season's were fine for winter... not anymore. If you live anywhere where you get a lot of snow, get snow tires and enjoy driving your 6 year-round!
I've just hit 5,000 miles on my '04 6S. Four months, all smiles, and NO problems. For once, I'll actually ENJOY going to my in-laws for the holidays. They're 2 1/2 hours away, and I get to take my car...
#17143 of 17829 Re: Anybody out there? [mz6greyghost]
Dec 17, 2004 (6:25 am)
Have you really noticed a difference? Living in central Ohio, sometimes we get very little snow, sometimes a lot. I'm a little nervous about my new 6 this first winter especially since it replaced a Subaru that was terrific in snow. How expensive are snow tires, and does it matter if most of the time you have very little snow to drive them on? For several years we had a rear wheel drive Toyota Previa that could not be driven at all if it snowed a lot, and we got by, so I'm thinking maybe we don't need to go to the expense of snow tires if the regular ones are at least ok.
#17144 of 17829 Re: Anybody out there? [suydam]
Dec 17, 2004 (9:31 am)
If you're a careful driver, the OEM Michelin's may be tolerable, especially if you don't get a lot of heavy snowfall. Depends on your comfort level, I suppose.
The first test of my new Mazda6 wagon in winter conditions was this week, on a combination of unpacked snow, hard packed snow and ice during a heavy snowfall. Ice was a significant challenge, but the snow wasn't unbearable as long as I stayed on top of things. Traction was worst accelerating from a complete stop, as I really had to feather the clutch and accelerator to get going. I've never had traction assist before so I don't know if this is normal, but there seemed to be too much of a lag for it to really be useful most of the time. I really had to intentionally stomp on the accelerator and spin the tires rapidly before it would even kick in, and the delay was significant. Stopping was ok when I was careful, the ABS only kicked in a couple times. It was fairly easy to wag the tail on the hard packed snow, but the car didn't feel unstable as long as my speed was reasonably low. Traction in turns was so-so, as long as I didn't accelerate or brake excessively through them.
I'd say the Michelins were just below average overall, and the car probably would have tolerated a lot more carelessness during the drive with some higher profile snows. However, bear in mind that it's no Subaru. I doubt that my Mazda6 WITH snow tires could ever compete with my wife's Outback in winter handling, even though she still runs on the OEM all-season Bridgestones. That car tackles some of the worst road conditions with ease.
I nearly ordered snow tires on steel wheels from tirerack.com for my car, but decided to wait since brand new all-seasons aren't usually too bad in winter for the first couple years or so. I also wanted to keep my Mazda alloys nice by storing them for winter, but decided to just keep on top of the frozen brake dust this year by cleaning them frequently with warm water.
The snows I priced in the beginning of Nov. on tirerack.com were $87-$88 per tire for either Michelin X-Ice or Bridgestone Blizzak 205/60R16, plus $44 per steel wheel, and about $89 shipping from their closest warehouse (just over $600 total). You'd probably pay more than that locally. My local Mazda dealer wanted about $730 for the same package, and I don't think the tire shops would have been much cheaper.
#17145 of 17829 Re: Anybody out there? [slickdog]
Dec 17, 2004 (10:33 am)
In all honesty, I'm sure that the OEM Michelins may be tolerable, but based on other reviews, and my firsthand experience during the first snowfall of the season, they weren't going to cut it, especially since I live in upstate NY, where we AVERAGE 150" of snow per year. I also drive 50+ miles per day, on highways, city streets, and rural roads, and since conditions can change from one minute to the next, I decided not to take any chances.
In terms of price, slickdog's estimates are pretty much on target. I picked up my tires and wheels at tirerack.com for about $650 (including shipping). Fortunately, I was able to get the LAST set of Michelin Pilot Alpins PA2's in that size. Tirerack should consider doubling their inventory for next year, because they sold out QUICK! The lowest estimate from a Tire Shop was $750 for the Blizzaks and wheels. IMHO, stick with tirerack. Not only are they much cheaper, but their customer service is second to none.
To me, snow tires are well worth the money. If snowfall is sporadic in your area, and you are very cautious when driving in it, or don't have to drive at all, then snow tires are not worth it. If snow and ice is a daily occurance in your area for 4-5 months a year, or if you travel through ever-changing conditions all the time, then don't wait any longer.
BTW, the debate of 2 versus 4 snow tires, ALWAYS use 4, no matter what you drive. I've driven all kinds of cars and trucks with both 2 and 4 snow tires, front, rear, and AWD. NOTHING beats the peace-of-mind and confidence you get from having 4 snow tires.
Dec 17, 2004 (10:36 am)
Now that was definitely some useful information. Thanks slickdog *edit* and mz6greyghost, I needed that info.
I too got my first taste of snow driving the other day. Just a dusting on the roads with some ice in spots. All in all I was surprised at how well it handled the light snow. Definitely handled better than the '96 Civic it replaced but not as well as our Escape. If we have another winter like last year I think I'm going to have to give in and get the snows though. Snow was everywhere all the time which is actually unusual for this area. We usually see sporadic snow and as mz6grehghost said, snow tires aren't necessarily worth it in those conditions if you're careful.
#17147 of 17829 Re: Anybody out there? [mz6greyghost]
Dec 17, 2004 (11:14 am)
I agree, snow tires are well worth the money and definitely provide peace of mind. Besides, you can always just look at it as investing in your next set of tires, because your all-season or summer tires will last significantly longer by spending the harsh winter months in the garage.
It's funny you mention the tirerack.com inventory, because the biggest reason I didn't get the snows this year is that I wanted to order the Michelin X-Ice (I'm not a big fan of Blizzaks), and by the time I decided to do it they were out of stock and won't get more until next year! The Pilot Alpins must have been completely gone by the time I first went to the site, because I didn't even see those as an option.
#17148 of 17829 Re: Anybody out there? [slickdog]
Dec 17, 2004 (4:01 pm)
The good thing about living in Florida is that after you survive the hurricanes, you don't have to worry about snow tires.
I was flipping through the owner's manual and was surprised that I can't find any information about when (if?) to change the automatic transmission fluid. Did I just miss it?