As of this date I have put 2000 miles on my new MazdaSpeed 6, and am happier every day with the purchase. I got used to the somewhat touchy clutch after a couple of days and suggest one time test drivers not be put off by it. With rebates bringing out-the-door price below $25 K, this sedan is a screaming deal. Tested Subaru Legacy GT spec B, Audi A4, and BMW 3 - the Speed 6 provided by far the best bang for buck.
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!
Coming from another turbo awd sedan, the Audi a4, I felt I wanted another one slightly larger, but not at the Audi A6 price tag. Enter the Mazdaspeed6. On paper it sounding great, 274 hp/280 ft-lb, awd, 6 speed, four doors. But like many things in life, long term ownership tells the truth. 1st the bad: OEM Bridgestones gripped very well, but noisy and wore out by 19k. Clutch pedal offered off/on action, the engine somewhat thirsty for a 4 cylinder even if it has a turbo, interior not very plush. The good: stops better than many cars, excellent road handling in many types of weather conditions, subdued looks, and somewhat comfortable for longer trips. I would buy this car again.
If Mazda had launched even the slightest marketing effort on this car, you would not be able to buy one. As it is, you can name your price. The MS6 is richly appointed and well designed. The interior is comfortable and reasonably quiet. I read a review of the car that was less than complementary. The same magazine recently had the Speed 3 on the cover and the article praised the car. We also have a MS3. There is little difference between the cars. The Speed 6 is a stellar car for the money. It smokes my A4 in almost every category. It is faster, quieter, better appointed, cost a lot less, and is built in Japan. Don't wait for the commercials…buy now.
The acceleration on wet roads is spectacular. With that, the braking ability inspires confidence. Ride is firm but not fatiguing, and the handling is comfortable in all but the tightest turns. DSC is unaggressive and only comes on with major weight shifts. Clutch takes some getting used to, but even in urban driving with hills it is easy to learn. Excellent car for road trips - driver and passengers arrive relaxed. Shifts are a bit heavy, but still smooth. Can outrun the majority of cars on the road - especially in bad weather.