2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 274 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6

  • With its sharp handling, 274-hp turbo four and under-$30,000 price tag, the Mazdaspeed 6 is an excellent buy for enthusiasts who need a usable backseat. If the standard Mazda 6 isn't fast enough for you, this hot-rod version should do the trick.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Tight chassis and standard all-wheel drive provide outstanding balance and grip through the turns, strong brakes, powerful turbocharged engine.

  • Cons

    Manual transmission's tricky clutch takeup, less rear shoulder room than Altima SE-R and 300C.

  • What's New for 2006

    New for 2006, the Mazdaspeed 6 is a high-performance version of the standard Mazda 6 sedan. Along with expected upgrades like a tightened suspension and bigger wheels, tires and brakes, the Mazdaspeed 6 features a direct-injection, turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.

Full 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Review

What's New for 2006

New for 2006, the Mazdaspeed 6 is a high-performance version of the standard Mazda 6 sedan. Along with expected upgrades like a tightened suspension and bigger wheels, tires and brakes, the Mazdaspeed 6 features a direct-injection, turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.


Although the Mazda 6 has not sold in quite the numbers the company had hoped, positive word of mouth has gradually spread among midsize car buyers. And for good reason: The 6 is a unique vehicle, combining the comfort and room that commuters and families require, with a level of style and handling dynamics rarely found in this class. Sensing a golden opportunity, Mazda has expanded its lineup to include a high-performance version of the 6. Dubbed the Mazdaspeed 6, this sport sedan finds Mazda scaling bold new heights in handling and performance.

The Mazdaspeed 6 gets its juice from a turbocharged, direct-injected 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine, which provides an impressive 274 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Turbo lag is usually an issue when manufacturers wring this much power from a relatively small engine, but the engine's direct-injection technology mostly eliminates this problem. However, power drops off early at the top end, about 1,000 rpm short of the Mazdaspeed 6's seven grand redline. The turbo four is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that routes power through Mazda's new Active Torque-Split All-Wheel-Drive system. The computer-controlled system varies the power split between 100 percent going to the front wheels to a 50/50 front/rear ratio, taking into account steering angle, yaw rate and lateral Gs. It can also choose from Normal, Sports and Snow modes to optimize traction for the road conditions. A limited-slip rear differential borrowed from the Mazda RX-8 is also part of the package. To further enhance handling, the Mazdaspeed 6's chassis is 50-percent more torsionally rigid than the standard 6's. Additionally, suspension settings are stiffer, the brakes are larger, and stability control is standard.

Mazda's latest sedan wears its high-performance ambitions on its sleeve, but it does so discreetly. Compared to the standard 6 it has a domed hood to accommodate the turbocharger and a five-point upper grille section that serves as the air intake, but there's no big hood scoop. Flared side skirts flank unique 18-inch aluminum wheels. In back, you'll find enlarged exhaust outlets and a rear lip spoiler. Inside the cabin, you'll find sport bucket front seats, stainless steel scuff plates and aluminum pedals.

The Mazda 6 is already one of the best handling midsize sedans on the market, so it's no surprise that the Mazdaspeed version delivers enough excitement to keep an enthusiast grinning from ear to ear on back roads, while offering enough room for his kids in the backseat. It should also be of particular interest to buyers put off by the boy-racer styling and more hard-core attitude found on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru WRX STI.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mazdaspeed 6 is available as a sedan only in Sport and Grand Touring trim levels. Standard features on Sport models include a 18-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, sport seats, automatic climate control, a 200-watt Bose audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with satellite audio controls, one-touch power windows and cruise control. Step up to the Grand Touring trim and you get leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and a keyless startup system. Significant options include a DVD-based navigation system and, for the Grand Touring trim, a moonroof.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mazdaspeed 6 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder with direct injection. The engine produces 274 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission is not available. A computer-controlled all-wheel-drive system is standard, and it's capable of delivering up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels to improve handling and grip. Zero to 60 mph takes 6.1 seconds in the Mazdaspeed 6, and the quarter-mile passes by in 14.3 seconds.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are standard; the rotors measure 12.6 inches in front, 12.4 inches in back. Stability control is also standard as are front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front seats. In government crash tests, the standard 6 received a perfect five stars for frontal-impact protection. In side-impact tests, the 6 earned just three stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for rear passengers, but the vehicle tested did not have side airbags. In IIHS frontal-offset crash testing, the Mazda earned the top rating of "Good." In IIHS side-impact testing, it rated "Poor," but again the vehicle tested did not have side airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Mazdaspeed 6's performance mission is reflected in its sport bucket front seats, stainless steel scuff plates and gleaming alloy pedal set. Easy-to-operate controls keep things simple for the driver. Although tall adults may find the backseat a little tight compared to the accommodations in competitors like the Chrysler 300C and Nissan Altima SE-R, there's plenty of room for children. Note that the addition of AWD mechanicals drops the 6's trunk capacity to 12.4 cubic feet and eliminates the rear seat's split-folding capability.

Driving Impressions

The standard Mazda 6 has always been light on torque, but the Mazdaspeed version's direct-injection turbocharged engine puts that concern to rest. There's a slight amount of turbo lag off the line, but acceleration is quite strong thereafter with a midrange that borders on explosive. Until you acclimate, you might find the short-stroke clutch's engagement abrupt, so you'll want to check this out during your test-drive. Handling has always been a strength for the 6, and the Mazdaspeed 6 sedan only increases those thresholds. Its tightened suspension allows very little body roll around corners and its precise steering offers plenty of feedback. Add in a sticky set of 18-inch tires and an all-wheel-drive system to spread the power around and there's no shortage of thrills on twisty back roads.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

A blast to drive

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Grand Touring 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

A tremendous performance bargain! Very, very fun. No problems during my 20K ownership. Excellent handling and acceleration. Lots of recalls, however, one of which (ECU reprogram) seemed to reduce acceleration. Steering feel superb, shifter itself solid (although car has a very touchy clutch from 1st to 2nd; takes some getting used to. Best clutch operation under heavier acceleration. A true sleeper! Astounding good looks but not riddled with badges advertising AWD, turbo, stability control, etc (e.g. subaru). No juvenile wings/vents. Very supportive front seats. Loved the car. It has been a benchmark by which I judged more recent purchases.

Used mazdaspeed 6 gt 85,000

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Grand Touring 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

There is a timing chain problem for the Mazdaspeeds (3 and 6) that Mazda realizes and provides a company fix for free charge. Any smoke from the engine or exhaust that's funny colored is also under their extended warranty. You car has to be under 70,000 miles though. If not timing chain replacement + vvt actuator + timing guides + timing gaskets + cost of labor ~= $800. Sometimes difficult to shift, but a good fix is the rear engine mount for $125. Great car, extremely reliable, even with the timing problem, runs every time.

Mazda drops the ball

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Sport 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I've owned plenty of cars both in Europe and America, and I have to say unequivocally that 'this' car was the absolute worst. I'm not some young guy that abuses automobiles. I replaced the clutch twice, and the transmission once. The first time the transmission went out, it was at 108k (clutch as well). I've had an ongoing problem with the hydraulic clutch for over 20k, until it was finally resolved by replacing the clutch pedal and completely draining the entire hydraulic reservoir. Car nearly stranded me and my family 70 miles from home when the transfer case went out. I must have spent over 5k in repairs, and I only owned the car for 4 yrs. If you see this car, run, don't walk away...

Full sized sport sedan

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Sport 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The mazda speed6 is a great car. I was looking for a full sized sedan than could easily fit my family and still be fun to drive. I looked at the volvo s40 and the vw passat 4motion, but this car was the best value. It has plenty of space to fit four people and still handles like a sports car. The back seat does not fold down which was done on purpose to add rigitity to the car, but I wish it had more cargo space to fit a snowboard (which will fit in the back seat, but not the trunk) or skis.

Amazing mazda to last forever!

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Grand Touring 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Ok, I just bought this lovely vehicle in August of 2010. I am the second owner, and I am glad I bought this car. I stepped up to this car from a 2001 Acura CL-S. This car is absolutely amazing! An AFFORDABLE 4- door sports sedan is hard to find! I looked at the Lexus IS300 and BMW 330i/335i that they had at the lot, and to me, this car blew both of them out of the water after test driving all three. The AWD helps with my judgment, the 6-speed manual is rough but it works! The stereo is weak for a BOSE but the car gets compliments no matter where it goes. People behind me think its just a regular Mazda 6 until they can't see it anymore!

Forget the evo and sti,

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Sport 4dr Sport Sedan AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

This car is a blast to drive. It yearns to be driven fast and handles like a dream. The interior is well designed and standard features make the Sport model well appointed. The pros of this vehicle are the power, handling, styling, lots of standard options, reliability, and practicality. It has a few minor drawbacks that keep it from being nearly perfect. One is the clutch-it is simply tough to adjust to it. It's a bit touchy and even though nearly every vehicle I've ever owned was a standard, I still managed to stall it quite a few times the first few weeks of ownership. The stereo is quite weak for a Bose system. It has a subwoofer that lacks any real punch. Finally, the smallish gas tank!

Talk About The 2006 Mazdaspeed Mazda6

2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Discussions See all Started By

So are you essentially saying that it will have the same engine as the 2006 Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA6?...

Hi Tom . If you were to lease a 2006 Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Sport through Mazda Credit (that's a lot of Mazda's for one sentence :) ) right now for 24 months with 15,000 miles per year, its buy rate leas...

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Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Other Mazdaspeed Mazda6 Years

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