Crapwagon Outtake: 2004 Mazda6 Wagon

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
crapwagon outtake 2004 mazda6 wagon

The internet hivemind is a funny thing. Considering nearly everyone on the earth has an easy way to broadcast their opinions worldwide, one would think there would be a wide variety in those opinions. Often, though, through groupthink or whatever, a solid consensus emerges as an overwhelming favorite.

See bacon. Or cat videos. Or Bernie Sanders (I promise, that is the last political statement I’ll make on these pages).

Car enthusiasts, when asked for an ideal daily driver, respond similarly:

Brown, diesel, manual, all-wheel-drive wagon.

The iconoclasts (some call them hipsters) love the subrosa appeal of an earth tone, oil-burning longroof. We always want what we cannot have. Heck, look at the funky Citroen I posted on our forum the other day. A brown(ish), wagon(ish) French car that would get some serious street cred in Williamsburg bench racing circles.

For me, practicality is the nexus of the appeal of any wagon. All the load carrying capacity of an SUV — or more, considering Mark’s experience with the CX-3 — with nearly the economy and performance of a low-slung family sedan. Here’s a somewhat rare beast: a 2004 Mazda6 wagon, sporting both the 220 horsepower V6 and a five-speed manual. For six thousand dollars. I’d love to fly into Dulles with the family, pick this car up, and haul the kids westward through the Shenandoah Valley twisties. That roofline gives plenty of room for camping gear, or were one so inclined, a large dog or two.

I’ve been trying to convince my wife that her Trailblazer is due for replacement, especially considering the 12 mpg she reports in her daily commute with the thirsty SUV. A Mazda6 wagon — really, any wagon — would be a perfect alternative.

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7 of 77 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Aug 14, 2015

    So you took my idea for Today's Rare Ebay Find, lightly renamed it, and used it yourself on the forum. Cool.

  • Pb35 Pb35 on Aug 15, 2015

    I bought one of these new in 2005 when we moved to Texas from Manhattan. It was the same color as pictured, Squall Blue Pearl. V6, manual combo. The only option it had was the body-color sport grill and I basically named my price for it ($19,500). As a first-time homeowner, it came in very handy and was pretty fun to drive. However, the doors felt paper-thin and the clutch made a clicking noise that the dealer couldn't fix so I dumped it after 2 years. Traded it for a new XC90 Sport that's still in my garage.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion:
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?