I have owned 13 cars and this is by far the best car I have ever owned. I purchased it last year with 200,000 miles on it as a temporary car. However, I fell in love with my 03 Mazda 6 s. It handles great and I have put 36,000 miles on it myself. I have driven it on family vacations because it's comfortable and reliable. When the battery started to go bad, it never left me anywhere. It made sure I made it to the auto parts store and now it's just like new. People seem to complain if they get a lemon. That is a possibility with any car you buy. If I had to take a cross country trip tomorrow best believe I would hop in my 6 and zoom zoom with no hesitation.
My V6 manual has been the best car I have ever owned. I purchased my 2003 Mazda 6 new in April 2004 and still drive it today (8/14/2014). The only thing that has gone wrong with this car in over 10 years is the water pump once went out and I had to replace a sagging headliner. I have over 150,000 miles on it and it drives as well today as the day I bought it. The paint, interior, and mechanical components have held up well. I read many of the reviews prior to writing this one which stated problems starting around the 50,000 mile mark. I am sure glad that has not been my experience. The car has been a pleasure to drive and almost like part of the family after so many years.
got my 03 with only 19k miles on it, put a couple more thousand on it and the transmission went out. I went to 4 shops trying to find out why it slams into gear and they all say it's in perfect condition. the car has amazing looks and driving like a dream (when the transmission wants to work with you), but unless they fix the trannys i would not recommend. and my SUV gets better gas mileage in town
I had Mazda 6 and it was doing well till it hit the 50 k mark and then it became a problem. Once it had 65K and it became beyond repair. If you are looking for a durable car for sure this is not for you.
I bought my 2003 Mazda 6S brand new. For starters, I had to get new rotors every 5K miles. They warped constantly. At 45K, I had a total of 8 new sets of rotors! They finally checked my calipers and found out I had a stuck caliper that was causing it. My transmission had to be replaced at 48K, as well as the transmission controller. The transmission started slamming from about 8K between 2nd & 3rd gear. This car has been nothing but a LEMON! I would NEVER buy another Mazda product. The dealership accused me of driving the car hard! I am not hard on a car. They could not figure it out so they tried to blame me.
After noticing that the 6's engine is a bit soft at low rpm, we tried brake-torquing the engine to 2,000 and instantly shaved almost seven-tenths off the zero-to-60 time. From 2,000 to 5,000 rpm the engine builds power in a linear fashion before catching a second wind and additional thrust somewhere around 5,100 rpm, with an associated engine growl that is quite pleasant to the enthusiast ear. A manually-shifted 6 "kept on the boil" would likely accelerate much quicker. We did notice a lag between the instant we manually upshifted the automatic and when it actually shifted up, but downshifts came fast and smooth when the shifter was placed in manual mode.
With less than one foot in variation during our three braking runs it would seem the Mazda 6 is both a capable and consistent stopper. Pedal feel is firm and easy to modulate, but under maximum braking the ABS seems to cycle rather slowly. This creates a bit more tire chatter than in cars like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, but at 120 feet, consistently, from 60 to zero mph, we're not going to complain.
You have to give up some things in the Mazda 6 (rear seat room, one-touch up driver's window, torque) in trade for this car's handling ability, but it does handle wonderfully. Steering feel is as good as any front driver and overall nimbleness beats the Accord, Camry, Altima and Passat. The car has rapid turn in and a balanced chassis with controlled body roll. This is a good thing because the engine's lack of torque made accelerating in the slalom a lost cause. The car was hitting redline in second gear but was too low in its rev band in third to create any thrust. The workaround? Carry all the speed you need from the first cone to the last, because any speed you lose you'll never get back. Thankfully, the Mazda's cat-like grace allowed this strategy to work. Karl Brauer