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Mazda MAZDA6, Wagon
#1266 of 1367 Re: Questions on used wagon purchase [autohound1]
Nov 22, 2006 (5:04 am)
1. I've heard the automatic can dog performance and mpg quite a bit and am leaning toward the 5-speed manual, even though I've heard it's not the smoothest. Are my perceptions correct on the transmission choices?
If you're worried about get-up-and-go, get the 5-speed manual. The automatic in the '04, unfortunately, is a bit of a drag, whether it's the wagon or the sedan. Either way, your gas mileage will definitely go down from your P5. I've heard anything from 16-20 MPG city, 22-25 MPG highway.
2. If the car has leather interior, can I assume it also has heated seats and heated outside mirrors, or were those a separate option in 2004?
Yes. Each of those options were part of a "luxury package" offered on '04 models.
3. How can I tell if the car has the side/curtain airbag option? Is it printed somewhere, like on the headliner or seat or is it easily recognizable in other ways?
There will be labels placed on the top of the A-pillar (near the windshield), the outside sides of the front seats, and in the C-pillar near the top of the back window.
4. Are there any other fairly common problems of that year that I should know of?
The 5-speed manual is a finicky transmission, and it MAY be needing a new clutch sooner than later. There've been problems related to the Throttle Body on some vehicles, but overall, they're very reliable. My '04 sedan has 40K miles and has had one issue, a CEL tripped by a faulty gas cap. Other than that, it's been great.
5. I had considered cloth seats, but after test driving a 2003 model quite some time ago, I felt the cloth was not comfortable (rough) and looked like it would pill after a while. Anyone who has cloth interior, has it held up for you well?
For me, it's okay, but a lot of owners have had problems with the cloth seats wearing out VERY quickly, fading and pilling, and looking like it's 10 years old after only 1 year. If I had the choice, I'd go for the leather, and enjoy the heated seats.
Glad to hear you want to stay with Mazda. My Mazda6 is my first Mazda, and my girlfriend (now wife) had an '82 RX-7 that she inherited from her father when she was in college. She's now looking into a Mazda3 for her next car, and I'd LOVE to get another Mazda if my 6 holds up. Trust me, you'll love the wagon. Great performance with a lot of space...
#1267 of 1367 Re: Questions on used wagon purchase [mz6greyghost]
Nov 24, 2006 (7:54 am)
MZ6greyghost, Thank you for the thorough responses. I went to test drive 2 used wagons, but both places that had them advertised no longer had the cars in stock. So was going to test drive a 2006 wagon, but its battery was dead (no others in stock)! So ended up driving a new CX-7 instead (out of curiosity mostly). I really liked the CX-7, but still want to compare to a wagon driving experience.
Here are my perceptions between the two (if anyone's interested!).
1. Price seems to overlap quite a bit between both models, especially with the incentives dealers offering on each.
2. The cabin is noticeably wider in the CX-7 and in front seems to be more headroom. I had the person I brought along for test drives sit in the 6wagon, and at 5'11" and skinny, he felt shoe-horned in w/ his head on the roof, but I felt great in it (I'm only 5'7"). I noticed no height adjustment on passenger seat of either model (seems strange the up-level models wouldn't have that).
3. 6Wagon seems to have just a bit more rear leg room. My test-drive passenger felt leg-room just a little tight in the CX-7, but felt fine when sitting in back of 6wagon. I felt fine in both of them.
4. Luggage area seems about the same in both, just configured differently. The wagon has a longer bed, but the CX-7's seems a little taller and wider. I think it would be a wash. I need to measure them next time.
5. 6Wagon probably cheaper to own in the long run (better mpg and doesn't require premium).
6. CX-7 accelerates briskly, but you do notice the turbo lag for a split second, but then your head is pressed into the seat right afterwards. As a driver, I don't mind that, but my passengers might get a little motion sickness if I don't learn to control that in driving.
7. CX-7 is very quiet at idle and in general, but you do hear the engine work during hard acceleration (not bothersome though). A very pleasant cabin during driving (My P5 is rather noisy at speed, so that seemed really nice to me to drive in relative solitude for a change).
8. CX-7 is way fun to drive and handles incredibly. It does NOT feel like a big car once you start driving it. Need to compare to a 6Wagon driving experience now.
9. Interiors of both the 2006Wagon and CX-7 are nice, but as an all-new model, the CX-7 just seems more up to date in it's look. Not a big deal for me though. Oh, and the cloth in the CX-7 seems very high quality, both the look and feel of it. I would have no problems getting cloth in that vehicle.
10. Now this is strange to me, but dealers don't seem in a hurry to move their 2006 wagons (maybe because not many are left in stock), but are really pushing the CX-7 w/ better deals now. One dealer never bothered to even mention the $3500 rebate on the wagon, another mentioned it but best he could do on a 2006 leather touring wagon was 25k (msrp=28.5 after dealer's outrageous add-on clear coat job that bumps up msrp by $1300 extra!). However, I could get a base CX-7 (cloth seats), w/ the power seat option for under 20k! In fact, I could get Touring model with sunroof/power/leather for 24k, so it's making it really hard to choose the 6wagon over the CX-7 at this point.
I may try to get some internet pricing on the models. I really was planning to buy a used wagon, but w/ most pricing in the 15-17k range locally, if I can get a new one (of either model) for around 20k, it may be worth going that route and having a full warranty and no miles on it (though never had to use the warranty on my P-5 yet).
What an oddysey this has become. I went into this whole thing with the intentions of buying a used BMW 5-series wagon, but even the '99 models w/ high mileage are $15k plus. And in the $15k price range, I haven't been impressed with the condition of the ones I've driven. Next to used Mazda's and now new Mazda's. Good grief, who knows where this is going to lead.
Nov 25, 2006 (5:13 pm)
I hope this is the right forum to post this. I feel like I'm monopolizing this forum lately, but I'll shut up and buy something soon. I just thought it may help anyone who is deciding between the CX-7 and the 6wagon, as I am. I test drove a base CX-7 at dark one day, and then test drove a base CX-7 and 6wagon Sport (both approx 24-25k msrp) back to back a couple of days later during daylight. Here is how I would differentiate the two (besides the obvious physical differences that everyone can see):
Nicer interior plastics on dash/door trim and places you tend to touch. I didn't notice this during my night time looking/driving. Daylight wasn't as favorable to the base CX-7.
Feels more connected to the ground due to lower center of gravity. Actually feels "heavier" than the CX-7, even though it is not.
Smoother power delivery w/ the v-6, though after driving a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed auto in the wagon, I noticed that the 5-speed manual definitely had more power and it was more readily available. The auto trans seems to take a moment to figure out what gear it wants to downshift to when you step on the accelerator. However, it was still OK.
Back seat has slightly more leg room.
Steering wheel has telescope adjustment. CX-7 does not.
I've got to believe that the 6wagon will be cheaper to own/maintain in the long run, as it has better mpg ratings (19/27 vs 18/24) and uses regular grade gas and no turbo. However, I know driving habits could affect these cars differently, so hard to really tell for sure.
Slightly more cargo room and flatter load floor w/ seats down. This actually surprised me, as I thought this point would be in the CX-7's favor at first. Using my "crude" measurements on both cars, here is what I observed.
--> 6wagon cargo: 42"D x 45"W x 30.5"H (72" w/ seats folded)
--> CX-7 cargo: 40"D x 43"W x 30"H (70" w/ seats folded)
Feels lighter on its feet, more nimble (even though it is heavier). I have no idea how Mazda was able to manage carrying that off!
The power delivery is not as smooth due to the slight (but noticeable) turbo lag, but actually is more exciting after you acclimate to it. And it can be controlled better using the manual feature of the auto transmission. It feels faster than the 6wagon automatic all around (not sure if it actually is, but sure feels it). Feels about the same as the 6wagon 5-speed manual.
Seats seems more comfortable than the wagon (perhaps because they are a little larger overall?), but both are good. I prefer the cloth in the CX-7 over the wagon's cloth.
Higher seating position due to being a CUV and thus easier entry/egress.
Middle seat in rear is NOT comfortable. Very hard and flat. I wouldn't want to sit in that position for very long. The 6wagon middle back seat is somewhat better.
Less road & wind noise on the highway to my ears (tested at 80mph). The 6wagon I tested had a VERY annoying wind rush after 65mph on the driver side only. I couldn't stand it, but I think it was something particular to the wagon I tested, rather than a design flaw w/ all models (I hope).
Though I generally prefer the dash/instrument layout of the CX-7, I have to say the materials are of greater quality in the 6 wagon (look and feel better). I'm thinking the higher-trim, leather CX-7's looked much better, but I didn't test drive one of them, so can't really remember.
As for pricing, I have quotes on CX-7 Touring w/ leather, Bose, and S/R for just under 23k. The top line Grand S port 6wagon is just under 21k, after rebates.
So to make a long story even longer, my emotional side tells me to go for the CX-7 (more exciting driving experience, newer, more modern design, quieter ride, feels more substanial), but my brain tells me to go w/ the 6wagon (still fun to drive and nice looks--more "understated", but w/ better cargo layout and slightly more passenger leg room and better materials, all for less money w/ the discounts available on the 2006's, as well as there being a used-car market available too. Still undecided, but leaning toward the 6wagon. Bottom line is that both cars are great in their own right, which makes deciding all the more difficult. Would love to hear others thoughts on these two cars. If you've read this far, I commend you, and offer my apologies on being so darned long-winded!
#1269 of 1367 Re: 6wagon vs CX-7 [autohound1]
Nov 26, 2006 (4:44 pm)
Was the CX-7 you tested AWD or FWD?
#1270 of 1367 Re: 6wagon vs CX-7 [waygrabow]
Nov 26, 2006 (4:55 pm)
I test drove only the FWD CX-7.
#1271 of 1367 Re: 6wagon vs CX-7 [waygrabow]
Nov 26, 2006 (9:21 pm)
I appreciate reading your write-up and can totally related to feeling long-winded. Buying a car becomes a big decision when you have to take all the pluses and minuses into account. I've test driven a lot of different CUVs and cars/wagon and being a Toyota Matrix owner I was not willing to give up decent cargo space. I also have 2 kids in their teens, so they need leg- and head-room in the back.
The CX-7 is just FUN to drive and that is what ultimately won out for me. Maybe, now being "middle-aged" I've just decided I'm tired of ALWAYS being practical and having to be the one to sacrifice on the car. Hubby gets to drive a sports car and I'm stuck with "the family car"... I wanted one that was at least fun to drive and cool looking. I gave up the ideas of the wagons and boring CUVs/SUVs and pick up my CX-7 this week
Jan 05, 2007 (1:03 pm)
We just picked up according to Mazda, the last new 2006 manual wagon on the west coast. Drove it back from Oregon last Monday and couldn't be happier. Great deal on a terrific car!
#1274 of 1367 Re: How bad MPG for a wagon? [bhw77]
Jan 05, 2007 (4:26 pm)
I have an 04 Sport wagon, Grand Touring with the 5 speed auto. I get about 18 MPG. It is not great gas mileage, but certainly better than a monstrous SUV, and the rest of the car is so unbelievably awesome that I overlook the MPGs. Also, I live at sea level and in a part of the US that is pretty flat with no snow and is warm 95% of the time and do a lot of city/town driving. If I spent more time on I-10 I would probably get better mileage.
#1275 of 1367 Re: Questions on used wagon purchase [autohound1]
Jan 05, 2007 (4:40 pm)
IMHO the manual has a stiff clutch, and can be tiring in stop and go traffic. We bought the 5 spd automatic in our 04 Sport Wagon because of this and resale value is crappy w/ manual trans and it will be hard to sell or trade later on.
My leather interior has the heated seats/mirrors. I think it is std in the GT trim level- mine had it when I bought it.
The wagons should have 8 airbags 2, in the front and the rest are in the wagon's side pillars- 1 pair each. According to some poll by insurance companies, the 6 wagon is the least expensive car of its type to insure.
About cloth vs leather, I can tell you that my daughter's 04 Mazda3i (not 6, but the interior is very similar) does pill and for that reason we put seat covers on it.
I have literally had ZERO problems with my Waggy. All I do is change the oil and keep up the maintenance. We have only had to go tto the dealership once for a key. That's ok because the Mazda dealer in Gulfport, MS sucks. Sorry about the vernacular, but there isn't any other way to describe them.
Personally, I would NEVER buy a used European Car (had a Jag once and learned my lesson), especially a VW/Audi or BMW. Repairs are common, very expensive, and the car will poop out on you when you least expect it. I know this bc I was a manager at a dealership that sold the off-lease Passats and Jettas and you could not GIVE me one of those things!! It seems like they are disposable after 35-40,000 miles. Again we run into service issues- not just anyone can work on one.
Buy the 6 with automatic transmission....you will never regret it. I LOVE mine!!!