2003 Mazda MAZDA6

  • 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 I Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      160/155
    • ENGINE
      2.3L I4
    • MSRP
      $18,650
  • 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 S Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      27
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      220/192
    • ENGINE
      3.0L V6
    • MSRP
      $21,220
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2003 Mazda MAZDA6 Review

A great choice for a small family while succeeding in bringing back the charisma to the Mazda brand.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 replaces the Mazda 626 sedan. The front-drive sedan has a heavier, taller, and wider build that comes with more power and fresh styling. The base model, also known as the i, makes use of a four-cylinder, 2.3-liter power plant that gives out 160 horses; while the higher trim s, comes with 220 horses from its three-liter, V-6 engine, which is far from the 165-horsepower of its 626 older sibling.

The Range

Body Style: midsize sedan
Engines: 2.3-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual
Models: Mazda MAZDA6 i, Mazda MAZDA6 s

What's New

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 replaces the old Mazda 626. It makes a good impression in the family sedan segment for its sporty styling and potent engine. It's the ""Zoom Zoom"" answer to help the brand perform in the market by replacing the lagging 626 sibling. Engine power is definitely up, and the design will to appeal to the old and the young consumers.

Exterior

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 sports an all new look with a hint of Italian flair. The sedan version was the first to roll out of the Mazda garage, but the overall plan includes a station wagon and a five-door hatchback version. It takes a stance that can be competitive when put side by side with the premium brands from other Japanese car manufacturers. It goes far beyond the sleek design lines and pretty face and has a redesigned chassis that is stiffer than previous brand releases. This allows a sportier calibration for its suspension system without having to worry about instability and twisting. The rigidity also helps a bit to keep the ride quiet. The carmaker even boasts that the quietness of the cabin can match some of the luxury brands of Europe. The setup for the front suspension has an unusual combo. It has a double wishbone setup working with a strut-type damper on each individual wheel. The i rolls on 16-inch rims while the more powerful s makes use of a wider 16-inch wheels.

Interior

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 is not as big as the other sedans from other Japanese car manufacturers. Although the cabin is not as big as the competition’s, the legroom and headroom for the rear portion of the cabin have increased. In front, the legroom was improved by a tad to 42.3 inches, but the headroom in front was decreased. Some consumers might find the cabin a bit cramped but good enough for four adults. The cargo capacity is also less than the competing vehicles, but is good enough at 15.2 cubic feet.

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6's steering wheel houses controls for the audio system and cruise control to ensure that driver is focused on the road even while adjusting volume or jumping to another song or radio station. Standard features include air-conditioning, power windows, power door locks, speed-sensitive steering, power mirrors, and a host of storage provisions. The interior comes in black, beige, or gray.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 benefits well from either engine linked with the five-speed manual gearbox. It can go from zero to 60 mph in a matter of 6.4 seconds and reach 100 mph in 17.7 seconds. It can finish a quarter-mile sprint in 15.1 seconds while zooming at 93 mph. The brake setup can get the car from 70 mph to zero in 178 feet. It has catlike reflexes and good grip on the road, which make it a fun ride for the family or for young drivers. However, road tests reveal that it has a high level of noise in the cabin calling for more sound-deadening elements. The stiff suspension of the vehicle and its low profile made some cracks on the road into a major annoyance, especially for the rear passengers. The steering wheel had a nice feel to it, even during high speed driving on the highway. The knobs on the console are a bit hard to distinguish while consumers try to focus on the road. The overhead camshafts make use of a chain instead of the usual belt, and this means better durability and less maintenance.

Safety

The 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 is equipped with front airbags in combination with a long list of safety provisions. Side impact airbags also come as standard on models. Other safety features include an anti-lock brake system, traction control, emergency trunk release, child safety locks, and anchors for a child seat. The seats have also been designed to provide good anti-whiplash protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda MAZDA6 s: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Mazda MAZDA6 i: 22/29 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Responsive handling
  • Smooth ride
  • Good interior design

You Won't Like

  • Engine noise during hard acceleration
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Engine can be better in order to compete with other brands

Sum Up

A great choice for a small family while succeeding in bringing back the charisma to the Mazda brand.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Audi A4
  • BMW 3-Series
  • Buick Century
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  • Acura TL

See the New 2015 MAZDA6.

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