2009 Mazda Mazda6 Long-Term Road Test

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2009 Mazda 6: Four Adults? No Problem

November 27, 2009

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Yesterday, four of us, all adults, got into the 2009 Mazda 6 for a 20-minute drive to Thanksgiving dinner. I sat in my preferred driving position (no moving the seat up for people in back) and still there was legroom to spare. It's no wonder, really, now that the (North American-market) Mazda 6 has a nearly 110-inch wheelbase.

Had I been in the first-generation Mazda 6 (2003-2008) that I liked to drive so much, we wouldn't have been nearly as comfortable; its wheelbase was just over 105 inches.

And although I don't find our Mazda 6 especially interesting to drive, I always find satisfaction in its fairly crisp throttle response and solid brake pedal feel -- within the standards used to judge four-cylinder, midsize sedans, mind you.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 20,744 miles

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2009 Mazda 6: The Princess and the Bucket Seat

October 05, 2009

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Ever hear the story of the Princess and the Pea? Prince's mother hides a pea under a mattress, stacks many more mattresses on top, and still the Princess is sooooo delicate, she can feel the pea underneath, bruising her back while she's trying to get her royal beauty sleep?

Yeah, that's not me.

But that's exactly how I feel about our 2009 Mazda 6's seatbacks. I like the shape of the seat, lateral support, bolstering, even the quality of the leather, but for some reason, the feel of the three vertical seams in the seatback annoys me, no matter what I'm wearing.

No, I haven't tried driving with a parka on yet (this is Southern California, folks, I'm not planning on donning one anytime soon), but I'm not wearing a backless evening gown to work, either.

A couple of miles down the road in the Mazda 6, I start fantasizing about sheepskin seatcovers.

Does that make me a Princess, or just a big, ol' whiny baby?

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 18,331 miles

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2009 Mazda 6: Cool as a Cucumber

July 14, 2009

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When I was growing up every car in my household was a Chevy. My Dad had two Chevys, my oldest brother had one, my sister had one, my Aunt who worked for my Dad, had one.

I grew up expecting all cars to have powerful, cold-blasting air conditioners. So, forgive me if I'm a little obsessed with the subject.

After sitting in our company garage all day, the cars get pretty toasty. So, I was very happy last night when I got into the Mazda 6 and found the A/C to be Chevyriffic. It has dual zones so my less heat-stricken passengers can control their own environment, the vents are well placed, the dials are easy to use without needing a degree in environmental science (unlike some other cars in our fleet <cough>Audi</cough>), the air flows strong and quietly, and the system cools the whole cabin quickly.

Happy happy joy joy.

Tell us about the A/C in your car.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 15,396 miles

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2009 Mazda 6: Best Seats Ever? I Didn't Notice

May 05, 2009

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Not noticing certain things is one of the highest compliments you can pay. For example - "Did you notice the sound system at that Broadway play?" "Not really." "Wasn't the editing in that film incredible?" "Didn't really notice." The truth is, if most things like this are noticed it's because they're terrible.

I've been driving the Mazda 6 for a few days and I simply have not noticed the seats. I say that means they are excellent. What do you think, are great seats virtually invisible or are they the kind that instantly WOW you with firm bolstering or a super soft cushion?

Brian Moody @ 10,728 miles

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2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring: Setting the Mood

April 15, 2009

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A couple weeks ago James wrote about how the seating position in our long-term 2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring is tall-guy friendly. Now I'm not exceptionally tall, but after spending another evening with our big red sedan, I think this is a very driver-friendly seating position in general. Specifically, sitting down into the car puts you in the mood to drive, not just commute.

The seats themselves are nothing special: The leather upholstery is only average-quality and Mazda hasn't taken any risks with lateral bolstering (the better to accommodate humans of larger frame). But there's a good range of seat-height adjustment, so I can jack up the seat to see well over the sedan's rising beltline and long nose. It's a great view -- as good as anything in the midsize sedan class. Yet, I still feel like I'm nestled in a real cockpit, rather than sitting on a barstool in some crossover SUV.

Then, there's the steering wheel. It's maybe a tenth of a size smaller than the wheels you usually see in this class and it's a typical, Mazda three-spoke design. It feels good to hold, and as I back out of my parking spot, put the transmission in D and turn the corner in the parking garage, I notice something else: genuine steering feel. This will be a good drive.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 8,813 miles

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2009 Mazda 6i Grand Touring: Tall Guy Friendly

April 03, 2009

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Of all the Japanese manufacturers, Mazda seems to best understand how to make a driving position for tall dudes like myself (6-foot-3). Both our departed long-term CX-9 and our long-term 6i feature power seats that can be adjusted into the full "birthing position," with the cushion front adjusted way far upward providing maximum thigh support. It backs this up with a far-reaching telescoping steering wheel that allows me to comfortably bend my elbows. Even the Mazda 3 when equipped with power seats is a pretty good proposition.

It would be nice if other manufacturers (cough, Toyota, cough) caught onto providing this sort of seat and wheel adjustment. I've never understood why they wouldn't, since they are basically eliminating themselves needlessly from consideration for people of my height. Being comfortable is of utmost importance. I find that in general BMW and Volvo usually fit me the best -- and I'm going to wildly surmise that the latter rubbed off on its corporate cousins Mazda and Ford, because they "fit" remarkably similar.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring: Kid Duty

March 09, 2009

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Threw the Recaro Como kid seat into the back of the Mazda 6 this weekend. Overall the process was fine, though the give in the seat cushion and the texture of the leather made it a little tricky to get a tight cinch the first time. There was a plenty of leg room for my 3-year-old once she was in the seat, even with the front passenger seat adjusted for someone my height (5'7") to be comfortable.

I was particularly grateful that the designers of the 6's two-tone interior wrapped the backs of the front seats in black instead of light leather. When tiny feet do reach the seatbacks and leave their marks, at least it's not a jarring dark smudge on a light background.

And with the child safety seat in an outboard position, I was still able to fit in the center seating position (though I'm dangerously thin) if I put my shoulder behind the wing-like side of the Como. Not great for a road trip, but it would work if you were staying local.

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 7,217 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Mazda Mazda6 in VA is:

$130 per month*
* Explanation
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