Used 2008 Mazda 6 Hatchback

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2008 Mazda 6
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2008 Mazda 6

Pros

  • Fun to drive, smooth power delivery, attractive design inside and out, availability of versatile hatchback body style.

Cons

  • Engines are less powerful and fuel efficient than competitors, tight rear seat accommodations, stability control not available.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

In its twilight hours, the 2008 Mazda 6 midsize sedan still offers a choice of body styles and an extra shot of driving excitement to a segment typically known for blandness. However, newer rivals have upped the fun factor, while providing more space, more power and more miles per gallon.

vehicle overview

Since it debuted five years ago, the Mazda 6 has been the sports car of the midsize sedan segment. Taught, communicative steering and a poised chassis are hallmarks of a car that begs to be driven with enthusiasm -- even if the destination is the local Wal-Mart. Its stylish design and driver-oriented cockpit exude a visual excitement that others in this staid segment shy away from for fear of turning off more conservative buyers. The 2008 Mazda 6 still happily boasts a sporty personality, yet provides plenty of family-friendly practicality.

For 2008, the 6 provides a little less of that practicality, however. The Sport Wagon has been killed off, the latest casualty in the American purge of the dreaded wagon species. Nevertheless, the unique "five-door" hatchback model remains. This body style is popular in Europe, but rare in America where even the slightest whiff of a hatchback makes consumers go "yuck." Still, the hatchback maintains a very sedanlike profile and to some eyes, its fastback profile is more attractive than the traditional four-door sedan. Plus, its 22 cubic feet of cargo space is the largest available in the family sedan market -- topping even the full-size Ford Taurus.

With so much versatility and driving fun, why not pick a 6? The four- and six-cylinder engines have never been particularly powerful in this class, and newer competitors have made these modest motors seem like Calista Flockhart duking it out on "American Gladiators." The Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry all offer at least 270-horsepower V6 engines, while at the same time bettering the 212-hp Mazda's fuel economy. The base four-cylinder is pretty much the same story, although the power gap isn't as significant. In this era of gas mileage awareness, less power and higher consumption is a tough sell.

An all-new Mazda 6 will debut next year that will hopefully address the power, fuel economy and rear seat space issues. In the meantime, though, if you can look past the current model's downsides, the 2008 Mazda 6 is still an attractive choice. If buying something other than the Camry-Accord-Altima status quo is appealing, then the 6 should definitely be considered -- especially if a "fun to drive" demeanor is a top priority.

2008 Mazda 6 configurations

The 2008 Mazda 6 is a midsize car available as a four-door sedan and a "five-door" sedan with a hatchback. Both are available in "i" and "s" versions, which denote the four- and six-cylinder engines respectively. The versions are further broken down into Sport (four-door only), Sport Value Edition, Touring and Grand Touring. The Sport comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player.

The Sport Value Edition adds an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an in-dash six-CD changer. The Touring adds heated mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a seven-speaker Bose stereo. The Grand Touring adds xenon headlights, foglamps, a sunroof, electroluminescent gauges, automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The s Grand Touring model differs by including 18-inch wheels.

The only factory options are a sunroof on the Sport Value Edition and Touring, and a navigation system on the Grand Touring. Satellite radio is a dealer-installed option on all Mazda 6 models.

2008 Highlights

The Mazda 6 is mostly unchanged for 2008. The Sport Wagon model has been discontinued, leaving only two body styles, and the Touring and Grand Touring can now only be equipped with the six-speed automatic. Minor feature adjustments, such as larger wheels for the Sport trim and a standard Bose audio system for the Touring, round out the changes.

Performance & mpg

All 2008 Mazda 6 models are front-wheel drive. Standard on the i model is a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 156 hp and 154 pound-feet of torque. The s model upgrades to a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 212 hp and 197 lb-ft. The Sport trim level comes only with a five-speed manual, while the Sport Value Edition offers a five-speed automatic. The Touring and Grand Touring trims are only available with a six-speed automatic. The Mazda 6 s will run to 60 mph in about 8 seconds flat, which is respectable, but at least a second off the pace of the segment speedsters.

Revised 2008 fuel economy figures for the four-cylinder i model are 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with the automatic transmission. The six-cylinder s model rates 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with the automatic. The Sport trim's manual transmission has a negligible effect on fuel mileage.

Safety

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 government crash tests, the 6 scored a perfect five stars in frontal impact testing and four stars in side impact testing. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the Mazda earned the top rating of "Good."

Driving

Like most other Mazdas, the 6 is a thrill behind the wheel and is the sports car of its class. 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.

Interior

Inside, the 2008 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 below in quality compared to what's found in the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. The front seats are supportive, but rear hiproom and shoulder room are tight. The sedan has a 15.2-cubic-foot trunk capacity, while the hatchback boasts a very impressive 22-cubic-foot cargo hold that expands to 59 cubes with the rear seat folded down.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Mazda 6.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best Car EVER! BMW is only other car I can compare to!
npalafax,12/05/2012
Bought used at 70k Base i hatchback with sport package same car as the photo above. I really loved the hatch vs one with a trunk. It came in handy more than I ever thought. And still wish I had it. The only other car that I can say drove anything like this was a BMW which I now own. Ironically, the previous owner I bought it from sold it because she bought a new BMW. The only issues I ever had were: 1.Thermostat at 83k common problem threw a engine light so never over heated. 2.All the motor mounts failed at the same time. This car was defiantly well loved and cared for. Sadly was totaled at 98K in a garage fire in my building otherwise I would still have it. BUY A 4cyl v6 has a lot of probs
Fun little car to drive
Padre52,06/07/2008
Love the mileage & performance of my new mazda 6 with the 2.3 4cyl. Very comfortable to drive, I drive nearly 200 miles per day. My one complaint is the red lighting and location of clock, radio station info, if the sun is shining through the windshield you can't see any of the information. Miss the automatic door-locks and headlights from my previous vehicle.
WOW!!!
Jim,08/14/2008
....and I thought you had to buy a GM car to get such a soft ride. Superb handling. Smooth acceleration with the V6. Now I get the Zoom Zoom thing. Great driving experience. Not one rattle so far. What a car!!
Sports car handling with a pratical side
KF,01/14/2009
If you're looking for something with great visual appeal and that's more fun-to-drive than any other mid-sized sedan in this segment, this is your car. Best of all, the hatchback design looks great while offering more cargo space than any other vehicle in this class. I've driven this vehicle over 10,000 miles since new and have had no mechanical problems (though the roof liner sagged slightly on driver's side, but was replaced at no charge). Really a driver's car; some might find the seating a bit tight, esp. in the back (compared to other sedans), but not a problem for me. I still look for any excuse to drive this car!
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
156 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
212 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
156 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
212 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2008 Mazda 6 Hatchback features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 Mazda 6
Used 2008 Mazda 6 Hatchback Overview

The Used 2008 Mazda 6 Hatchback is offered in the following styles: i Sport Value Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A), s Sport Value Edition 4dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 6A), i Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A), s Touring 4dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 6A), s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 6A), i Sport Value Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M), s Sport Value Edition 4dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 5M), and i Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Mazda 6?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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