This car is great -- I've owned Honda, Mercury, Nissan, Pontiac -- and I can say this car beats them all. It's extremely reliable, with most repairs only due to a car accident in which some idiot slammed into the side of me while he was exiting a gas station. Because of that accident I had to get both front-wheel bearings replaced (and of course the entire door replaced). Outside of that (and general maintenance), I've had to do the following repairs:
• 28,000 miles: new brakes/rotors front-only ($375 for 2) • 49,000 miles: 4 new tires – 18” winter ($1,000) + replace LF wheel bearing (warranty) • 53,000 miles: fix corroded/leaking rear pipe exhaust ($90) • 64,000 miles: RF wheel bearing ($350) • 71,000 miles: replace AC hose ($220) • 78,000 miles: repair muffler flange ($142) • 83,000 miles: new brakes/rotors both front and back ($750 for all 4) • 98,000 miles: replace the CA07-20-370H Vacuum Tube ($180) • 102,000 miles: spark plugs ($330 for the 3.7L engine because they have to remove the block as 1/2 of them are under plenum)
Technically things like brakes, spark plugs, and tires fall under general maintenance, but I thought I’d list them to show how expensive some of the ‘general maintenance’ is! And the wheel bearings needed replacing due to the accident I was in. So if you remove all these items, the true repairs have only been $90 + $220 + $142 + $180 = $632 total over 100,000 miles. And honestly, it rides extremely well even to this day.
You can read about performance and handling in other people’s reviews – I don’t have much new to say about that. I like that it looks sporty, has a bit of punch (with the V6 engine), and drives OK in the snow (with snow tires). But reliability is just as important to me. And the small things add up. Like the fact that I have never had to replace headlights, only replaced the battery once (at 50K – though I’m about to replace it again), only had to replace front brakes twice and rear brakes once, and no other major repairs outside of my accident…it’s seriously night and day when compared to every other vehicle I’ve owned. Those other cars always seemed to have something going wrong with them and were constantly in the shop – especially the Mercury Sable and Pontiac Grand AM.
Bottom line: Great car, some maintenance is very expensive, but overall doesn’t need a lot of repairs even up to 100,000 miles. If you want something that looks nice, handles well, and is reliable at a reasonable price – you won’t go wrong with Mazda.
2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
I purchased this car in October of 2013. I'm a younger guy, so personally I would want something faster, but when I was car shopping, I was in a hurry, I wanted a Mazda, and this popped up infront of me. I've had no problems at all with this car. Over 97,000 miles on it. Engine is fine. Tranny is fine (it's an auto, I wish it were a standard). Everything is fine. I do have a few minor mods to it, and I've had them on for most of the time I've had the car, exhaust, intake, upgraded springs, and it holds them up fine. I do take care of it. I only use top grade maintenance stuff. Full synthetic oil and lube and all that stuff. The only thing I dislike about this car is the weight. I am a person that likes a bigger, heavier sedan, but 170hp and 160trq in a 3,300+lb car is not very appealing at all. Its weight is also the reason why it gets poor fuel economy. I have about a 50/50 mixture of highway and city, and I get 20mpg on the dot. About 360miles per tank. Which, I don't have much of a problem with. My problem is the power. 170hp is fine. Especially for a family sized sedan, but 170hp in a 3,300lb is just stupid and unethical. It is rather quick in the 4cly family sedan category, but in an upper category, its falls very short. However, the handling is amazing. If you want something quick, I wouldn't completely reccomend this car, unless you're gonna shave some weight some how and/or forced induction. However, if you want everything a car can offer, this is the car.
It's also great in the snow.
I also over paid for my car, so don't let that price fool you. Be sure to check KBB and other consumers for a good price.
I completely agree with the other reviewer about how unsupportive the clamshell-shaped front seats are, with no lumbar support whatsoever -ouch! As well as the easily scratched plastic panel under the gearshift, and how the steering wheel blocks the speedo when properly adjusted. I bought it in Aug. 2012 with 47K miles. It now (July '15) has 102K+ miles due to long work commutes (on salted roads during rough Cleveland Winters). Which 2 brake repair shops tell me is the reason why I've had to replace the rear brake rotors/pads no less than 4 times, and the rear calipers no less than 3 times!! Add to this- $885 in 3 separate transmission service/repairs by the Mazda stealership over the past 5 months alone! Same reason given- corrosion from road salt. Combined with the fact that this car is downright scary/dangerous to drive on snow/ice covered roads- even with 4 new Kuhmo KH16 (pure crap) tires. (And I've been driving here since 1982) Other than that, I like it better (and is only slightly less scary driving in Winter than my '07 6i Touring Hatchback with the low profile tires was), but only after replacing the garbage factory door speakers w/ Alpine SPS-517 ones.
2009 Mazda 6 s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (3.7L 6cyl 6A)
I love the car and have no regrets buying it. There have been a few issues with the car. The battery went bad at two years. The rain sensing wipers are irritating. They will go into high speed in light rain. I bought nav but never use it, (I have Google Maps on my smart phone, much easier to use). I got locked in the car when my wife got out with the key and the doors locked when she walked away. I had to lay on the horn to get her to come back and let me out. The dealer had never heard of that. This wasn't a one time deal, it happens every time in the same situation. 63K on it now, replaced the tires and brakes. The power is great and the tranny is super smooth. Would buy again. Update: 93k on it now. Replaced the battery a second time. No other issues to report. Plan to keep the car until things start to break, could be a while. Update: 103k on it now. Drives as strong as it did day one. I was shocked that my trade in value is under $5k. I'm thinking about another new car but I won't be trading this one in. Mazda might be out of the running. Residual value is the only thing I can find wrong with the car.