Full 2007 Mazda MAZDA6 Review
What's New for 2007
Trim levels are shuffled and changed. The Sport becomes the entry-level model, while the other trims in the 2007 Mazda 6 family are revised, with the new Sport Value Edition, Touring and Grand Touring completing the lineup. Increasing the value proposition is the addition of more safety features across the line, with front side and side curtain airbags now standard on every 6.
Back in 1979, midsize family sedans from Japan were just starting to come about. The Accord sedan had just debuted and from Toyota came the Corona. While those were rather bland, workaday sedans, Mazda took a slightly different tack with its new 626 sedan. With Euro-inspired styling, crisp performance and handling to match, the 626 had a solid identity as the sport sedan of the segment.
Nearly three decades later, the 2007 Mazda 6 (which debuted in 2003 as the 626's replacement) remains true to the 626's original mission -- to provide an entertaining drive while still offering affordable and practical family transport. Stylish design, a buttoned-down suspension and a driver-oriented cockpit characterize the 6. And while other automakers have largely abandoned midsize hatchbacks and station wagons, Mazda offers those two body styles, in addition to the sedan, in the 6 lineup.
On an open road, the 6 shines with its communicative steering and poised chassis. It's while unraveling a twisty road that the 6 distances itself from its less involving and less athletic peers. Yet it's no less affable on the highway, where it delivers as smooth and quiet a ride as anything in its class.
In a few areas, the 6 falls short of its competition, however. Rear-seat hip- and legroom aren't as generous as in most competitors, and both the base four-cylinder and the V6 are down on power. But there's still ample room for the kids back there, and remember, you can get the wagon version if you need more cargo capacity. And the 6's 3.0-liter V6 might not be as muscle-bound as a Camry's, but it's a smooth and willing performer nonetheless.
Even considering the large number of entries in this segment, the 2007 Mazda 6 is an enticing choice that offers more than just the status quo. If the idea of buying a Camry or an Accord doesn't do much for you and a VW Passat seems too expensive, this midsize Mazda could be the perfect alternative.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Mazda 6 is available as a four-door sedan, wagon or hatchback ("five-door"). Sedans and hatchbacks come in either "i" or "s" versions; the wagon comes in s trim only. The i is powered by a four-cylinder engine, while the s employs a V6. The i is offered in four trims: base Sport, Sport VE (Value Edition), Touring and Grand Touring. The Sport comes with 16-inch wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, a CD stereo, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, keyless entry and full power accessories. The Sport VE adds 17-inch alloys, a power driver seat and a six-disc CD changer. Upgrading to the Touring nets you a moonroof, leather seating, heated front seats and heated mirrors. The top-of-the-line Grand Touring adds xenon HID headlamps, foglamps, a rear spoiler, a premium Bose audio system, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink.
If you choose the s, it comes in the upper three trims. Equipment content mirrors the same trims on the i, with the addition of the V6 engine and, on the Grand Touring, 18-inch alloy wheels. The wagon comes just in the s version, and in the same trims as the s sedan and hatchback. With so many trim levels and their variety of equipment levels, options are few besides satellite radio, remote starting and, for the Grand Touring, a navigation system.
Powertrains and Performance
Standard on the i model is a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 156 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. A standard five-speed manual transmission routes power to the front wheels, and a five-speed automatic is optional. The s model upgrades to a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 212 hp and 197 lb-ft. Unlike most V6-powered midsize sedans, this one can be equipped with a five-speed manual, or you can go for the optional six-speed automatic. The Mazda 6 s will run to 60 mph in about 8 seconds flat, a respectable if not blistering performance.
All Mazda 6 models come with antilock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Stability control is not available. In NHTSA crash tests, the 6 scored a perfect five stars in frontal impact testing. In IIHS frontal-offset crash testing, the Mazda earned the top rating of "Good." Side-impact testing was not conducted by either agency for a Mazda 6 with the side airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, the 2007 Mazda 6 has a clean and contemporary design, with solid build quality and easy-to-operate controls. Most materials are attractive, but they're a step or two below in quality compared to what's found in cars like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and VW Passat. The front seats are supportive, but rear hip room and shoulder room are tight. The sedan has a 15.2-cubic-foot trunk capacity, while the hatchback boasts a 22-cubic-foot cargo hold that expands to 59 cubes with the rear seat folded down. Roomiest of all is the wagon, which offers 33.7 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 61 with the seat folded down.
Like most other Mazdas, the 6 is a thrill behind the wheel. Neither engine is exceptionally powerful, especially off the line, though the V6's smooth, quiet power delivery offsets this. The four-cylinder is also smooth, but it gets a little noisy at higher rpm. Communicative steering goes a long way toward making the 6 fun to drive, whether it's on the highway or from corner to corner on back roads. The well-sorted suspension achieves a superb balance between comfortable ride quality and athletic handling.