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.
Better-than-advertised acceleration. Good cornering/braking performance. Outstanding looks. A great buy for an auto enthusiast.
Very sensitive clutch. Key card and keyless start system unnecessary gimmick. I think manufacturers have realized this since there are a plethora of models that still use traditional key. Button on door handle didnt work half the time and the card shaped "keyfob" not ergonamic for traditional keyless entry use. Had to use manual key a few times to start because car did not recognize keycard. Armrest poorly positioned for short drivers. Steering wheel controls (though aesthetically pleasing) were hard to use using thumbs alone requiring use of pointer finger. Shift knob easily scratched by rings. Narrow tires that wear out quickly.
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