Purchased a 2003 Mazda6 s Sport with roughly 40k on the clock, onyx black. Exterior design still excites; truly a great-looking car. Interior design is good, but has a lot of cheap touches that scratch and wear out. 5-speed manual gearbox is a bit notchy and could have shorter throws, but a lot of fun overall. Suspension is nice and firm without being painful, but those looking for a Camry-like soft ride should look elsewhere. Steering is too light at low-speeds, but tightens up nicely as the car picks up speed. V6 lacks low-end power, but once the tach hits 5k the exhaust and the engine open up for some good force. Car understeers predictably; easy to control.
Accurate, communicative steering and road feel. Smooth on highways, but stays flat in corners with little body roll. Exterior styling is terrific and the red gauges are easy on the eyes at night. Interior is nicely appointed and snug; doesn't feel like a domestic land boat.
The suspension top notch, but Mazda cut a lot of corners in the paint which chips easily and needs constant waxing. Clutch is finicky. More road noise than competitors. Reoccurring rattles and cheap plastics on doors that scratch easily. Accelerator pedal too small for heel-and-toe shifting.
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