2005 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring 4dr Sports Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
I've had my 2005 mazda6 s for 10 years (106k miles), bought it used as a 1 year old for $17.6k. I love the car, but it has a real problem for longevity in MI. The car will rust on the rear wheel well lip, typically in the passenger's side. This is not just bad luck with my car, its a defect across most of these cars. If you see a 2003-2005 in the midwest, odds are it will have rust in this exact spot. There are about 6 of these cars in the parking lot where I work, and all but 1 of them have this issue. Aside from that though, this car has been very solid mechanically, with almost no issues outside of routine maintenance. It's fun to drive, I get 19-25 MPG depending on weather (and I'm a somewhat aggressive driver), and I think the interior is laid out well and comfortable. Its a real shame that the body isn't going to hold up long enough to match the drivetrain. Also, it handles terribly in the snow with stock tires, but does quite well with snow tires on.
I have owned my 2005 Mazda 6 for two years and she is an amazing ride, with a great heart (engine) and excellent get up and go. Unfortunately once I hit 160k regular maintanence didn't cut it. $2200 Later: struts, control arm, tires, headlights, tailights, stereo lights are burnt out and the shifter lights are dead. I love this car but the older she gets the more she costs.
This car has been a lot of fun for me, but I feel it is not fully insulated and creates a lot of background noise.
Comfortable to sit in, fairly reliable. The vehicle made a nonstop 4,000 mile trip with out any complications. Gives a sporty feel which is enjoyable.
INTERIOOOORRR, everything breaks. The fact that most of the plastic in the car finds a way to break or crack is disappointing. Like the Man-box above the stereo and the sun visor clip. When hitting bumps during a drive the cd player will glitch. My Thermostat went bad @ around the 100,000 mile marker, $360 fix. I feel Mazda cheeped out on the much needed detail this car needs. But I still love her.
The 2.3L 4-cylinder engine found in the Mazda6 is completely adequate for most people, but when combined with the body of the Mazda6, causes some noticeable deficiencies.
1) The body weighs too much overall.
This leads to mediocre acceleration.
I will say, however, the speed and power available on long uphill grades is above average.
2) The body is low-profile.
This means you can't put standard chains on the front tires.
Only cables or low-profile chains (which are extremely expensive).
3) If you drive much past 90 mph, the downforce winds and centrifugal force on the tires cause the tires to rub against the wheel wells.
The engine is capable of more than the body can take
I love the orange interior lights at night.
Feels like I'm driving the Batmobile.
I've also gotten a few complements on the body style of my Mazda.
1) Raise the vehicle enough to allow chains and eliminate the problem of tires rubbing against the wheel wells.
2) Reduce the overall weight or make the engine bigger to improve acceleration.