By on July 9, 2016

Driving Matters Mazda6 Times Square Mesh Board South, Image: Mazda USA

Our own Timothy Cain was smitten after spending a week with the midsize Mazda6. It’s a hard vehicle to hate. With its sexy, sculpted sheetmetal, it’s one of those cars you turn back to look at after you park it.

But the Mazda6, even with its willing chassis and sporting demeanor, is still missing many ingredients, one of them power. Call it the Miata Effect, or simply realize that Mazda doesn’t have its own V6 to stuff under the Mazda6’s long hood. Mazda’s midsize sedan isn’t nearly close to the most powerful option in the segment.

That may change though thanks to the Mazda CX-9 and its 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

According to CarAdvice, the new 2.5-liter turbo powerplant, which pumps out 227 horsepower and 310 lbs-ft of torque, fits in models below the CX-9 thanks to clever packaging of the turbocharger and exhaust manifold.

“It fits in a lot of our cars, and where we’re actually going to put it is another question,” David Coleman, Mazda North America’s vehicle development engineer told the Australian outlet.

“It fits in the same package as the diesel fits in, and the same package that the naturally aspirated 2.5-litre fits in. Basically, that big space we used for the bundle of snakes exhaust manifold, the turbo is in that space too. They’re all packaged to occupy the same space,” he said.

And while the same turbocharged engine fits in the Mazda3, don’t get your hopes up.

“The performance vehicles of Mazda3 and other models, we don’t have plans at the moment,” said Mazda global president and CEO Masamichi Kogai in October. “So we have to really have one best model,” he said in reference to a new rotary sports car.

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134 Comments on “More Powerful, Turbocharged Mazda6 Likely, No Speed3...”


  • avatar

    If only cars shaped like that nowadays were as fast as they looked.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      It does look good. But 310 lb-ft of torque through the front wheels should be fun.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Given that your typical Camry can handily outrun cars that were considered super cars just 15 years ago, how fast is “not fast enough?” 227 HP with 310 torques running through a manual gearbox and being transferred to the front wheels ought to be plenty entertaining…

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      BigTrucks,
      They are. Your comment appears to be designed to solicit responses.

      Cars are a lot quicker this day and age on average than they have ever been.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Are they yet able to hydroform entire bodies like that the way they did my stainless water bottles that have heavier gauge steel?

    • 0 avatar

      To date, the biggest body panel I’ve heard an automaker hydroforming is the clamshell-style tailgate on the Lincoln MKC. I might be wrong though. That was a couple of years ago now.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Thanks, interesting stuff. Probably a cost thing that old fashioned stamping is still superior for.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          hydroforming is useful when you want to form a piece of sheetmetal in a way you *can’t* do it with stamping. might be just due to the complexity of the shape. Even with hydroforming, though, there’s a maximum amount you can “draw” a piece of steel before it’ll rip.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            As I mentioned in mpost question to Mark, the Trailblazer marketing spoke of the hydroforming of its chassis sections as a means of shaping without losing strength.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Mark, do you have any idea who is using the hydroforming on parts of chassis?
        If I remember correctly, the early press release on the 2002 Chev Trailblazer was talking about the hydroforming advances used on its chassis or frame sections.
        I am guessing this is the same or similar procedure you are talking about here.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Mark,
        I read an article where the Europeans are hydroforming a complete chassis.

        The article was in relation to how the Chinese vehicle industry couldn’t hydroform a chassis. There chassis were being made in two pieces.

        This was in 2013, I’d say the Chinese would have this technology now.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The Mazda 3 is too heavy for the 2.5L N/A, it desperately needs either the 2.5T or a V6. The 2.5 w/ 6Speed Manual is an adequate arrangement but it isn’t anything that’s going to excite.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      It’s running 0-60 in the low 7s and high 6s. It may not be breaking necks but that’s pretty darn quick. There’s a lot of more expensive more upscale cars that are slower.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Yes, sub-7 second 0-60 time is commonplace these days. How engaging is the car to drive? What’s the quality of build materials? How comfortable? Pleasing to the eye and in a tactile sense? I haven’t driven the current version but have sons and friends that have and their takes have been extremely positive.

        This daddy like!

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          It’s fun to drive, it’s at home in the mountains, taking it through back roads around sharp turns is a blast. The build quality is alright, it’s had a couple issues but none of them major by any means. The driver seat has a big rip at the stiching on the back cushion, shifter knob fell apart, it would take me a while to recall all of the problems since it’s my dad’s car and I usually hear it through him if I don’t see it. Over 180k miles now on the 2010 (so not exactly the most current version). In the mountains the power is more acceptable since your more concerned with going in and out of turns in a range that is more appropriate for the gearing. Back east It’s running 3,250 RPM at 80MPH which is normal speeds the car sees, but that RPM kills fuel economy.

          No Rust anywhere, original brake pads with plenty of life left and original clutch.

        • 0 avatar
          Der_Kommissar

          As an owner, I agree with GeneralMalaise- its plenty quick for what it is, but it’s not quite quick enough to live with the NVH in some use cases. On the highway, it rides like a WRX without the power. It’s great around town.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve come to the conclusion that NVH is engineered IN….meaning that the small car could be a lot quieter, but much like Detroit in the 60’s.

            Small cars were what you got before you could afford a big car. Same game now, but small is cheap and big is lux or near lux.

            My TDi, no matter the other faults, was super quiet…amazingly so.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        tjh, yes it is pretty quick, but who would expect a Mazda 3 to be slower than a base Taurus?

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @Hummer – It may be a Mazda but it’s still a C segment car. That’s impressively quick for that segment (where plenty of competitors languish in the 8+ second range). Aside from the Mazdaspeed 3 and 6, Mazdas, including the RX’s, have never been 0-60 speed demons.

          @Brn – it’s not slower than a base Ford Taurus. It’s 0-60 times overlap the Ford with the Mazda trending quicker. Also, I’d probably expect the Taurus to be quicker. It is a far more expensive and upscale car. Considering its typical buyers and the vehicle it replaced, torquey relaxed effortless acceleration is what I would expect to be its defining trait.

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            tjh, the Mazda 3 is promoted as a sporty vehicle. The Taurus is not. It’s a 4000lb cruiser. I’m not sure where you’re getting your 0-60 data from, but everywhere I look, the Taurus is quicker.

            I grant that the 3 isn’t slow (very few cars are nowadays) and is much more nimble.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @brn – I’m getting my acceleration numbers from Car and Driver. The Taurus’s they’ve tested, wether V-6 or 2.0t, have run 7-7.5 seconds 0-60. As said earlier, 2.5L 3’s run high sixs to low 7s. Your expectations are your expectations, but I think they’re a little unrealistic. The 3 is a sporty economy car, and it’s one of the quickest you can buy. It’s not a GTi or Focus ST competitor.

            The Taurus is actually among the slowest in its class, with the 4 cylinder Impala being the only one slower. Everything else in its category (the Avalon, Maxima, Azera, Cadenza, Charger, V-6 Impala) run 0-60 in 6-6.5 seconds with some Maximas dipping into the upper 5s), so if anything, the Taurus should be the one in for criticism. It’s at the far back of it’s pack while the Mazda is at the front of it’s. Not sure why you expect a 4 cylinder FWD economy car, even a sporty one, to be quicker than six cylinder premium cars.

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            tjh, The base Taurus is FWD with a 3.5L V6. It gets to 60 in the mid 6’s, depending on which review you read.

            I believe the one you’re referencing is AWD with the turbo 4. You get to pay more for a slower car.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @ BRN – Nope I’m looking at V-6s. They tested 2 2010 FWD V-6s. One did 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, one was 6.9 seconds. A 2013 AWD V-6 did 7.0. Even if it was mid 6s, that’s still average for its class, so in line with what I would expect for that sort of car, whereas the Mazda is one of the quicker ones in its class, so better than one would expect for that sort of car.

            I did some more searching and Motor Trend had one do a 6.6. All the others are about 7 seconds.

            https://www.0-60specs.com/ford-taurus-0-60-times/

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I much preferred the 2.0 in the Mazda 3 when I drove both…..

      Less nose heavy, quicker revving and less gruff at higher revs…

    • 0 avatar

      I owned a Mazda 3 2.3L 2006 and a 2011 with the 2.5, both hatch, I admit, I loved these cars but that was until I tested the 2014, same amount of noise and the 2.5L sounded very rough. I tested the Mazda 6, great car but again, too much noise. I turn to Honda, leased a 2014 Accord sport, a much bigger car with better acceleration then the 3, after 2 years, replaced it with a 2016 Accord EX, much softer, not as sharp as the Sport, very quiet and very quick, both Accords are much more efficient then the 3 in terms of MPG even though it’s a bigger car.
      I think Mazda is not doing well in the US is due to it’s network of dealers, another reason, most people don’t care about driving, see how many get a Corolla that cost the same as a much better Mazda 3 or the new Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Since no one else mentioned it, the 2.5L Mazda3 not only hits 60 mph in ~7 sec, it also delivers real world combined 30+ mpg.

      It’s a great combination.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Is mazda even a relevant brand anymore? I owned two some time ago. THe 929 was a really nice car but the mvp van was a real disappointment. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Didn’t own it that long. After that I lost interest in Mazda. There are just too many other good choices.

    • 0 avatar
      stodge

      Is Toyota relevant anymore? I have a 2012 Camry and it’s a really nice car but it’s a real disappointment. Lots of squeaks and rattles. I’ve lost interest in Toyota. There are just too many other good choices.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Yeah, I once drove an ’89 Civic and it was noisy and small. Guess we can write Honda off, too.

        • 0 avatar
          b534202

          Cars are not relevant anymore. Its all about crossovers.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Or Iphones, for those under 40.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Driving Matters”

            Until cured of that delusion, Mazda’s leadership is hopeless, even with a bigger bank behind them.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @Kenmore – that’s cold, even for a refrigerator. :)

            I do believe a previous generation of the Mazda6 (pre 2010?) tried to imitate the Accord and Camry, with little success. Hyundai, however, seems to have copied Honda with better results.

            Regardless, I am glad Mazda is true to its niche. The car world is much better for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Wheel,
            I don’t know, I guess what I said about Mazda is on a par with having to autopsy a 400 lb. diabetic who got shot while dying of a massive heart attack caused by a stroke that because one of his feet was prosthetic toppled him into the wrong guy in a bar.

            “Zoom zoom”, like the meth the guy did last night, probably wasn’t any help.

        • 0 avatar
          Acd

          Exactly. My 1962 Ford Falcon was slow so all Fords made today are slow.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Rday, last century I owned both a used 626 and a used 929 equipped with a V6 and they were waaaaaaay better than anything Mazda cranks out today with a 4-banger.

      Two of my kids used these old Mazdas as daily drivers all through High School and then four years of college.

      Putting a heavy breathing squirrel in the Mazda6 isn’t going to do diddly schit. Putting a 3.5L V6 in the Mazda6 would do wonders.

      But that ain’t gonna happen in this day and age.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        My family owns to “Mk I” MPV vans, the old 929/Mazda Truck based vans (one ’89 RWD, the other a ’98 with selectable full/4wd). Aside from the poor rust-proofing which sort of continued on for another 2 decades, I really miss the old Mazda style of design and engineering. Don’t get so obsessed with sporty handling that everything else goes out the window. Those MPV vans had sublime steering, but soft enough and fairly durable suspensions (brother’s van with 235k still has tight original balljoints), and decent NVH characteristics as well as good interior packaging. Yes they looked somewhat staid compared to all the crazy ‘Kodo” or whatever design language they’re on now, and that was fine. They’ve completely lost our family as customers, we’ve moved on to Toyotas as the go-to solution for practical/reliable cars.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          gtemnykh, to me it seems that the old Japanese-built cars just ran forever. Not so with the newer “transplant” built-overhere stuff.

          I still drive a 1989 Camry V6, bought from my best friend after he bought a 2015 Avalon to replace it. That little Camry still runs great after 27 years.

          My kids that got the used 626 and used 929 as their daily drivers way back when, also have, like you, moved on to Toyota and Honda vehicles in the here and now.

          My best friend tried to buy a 2016 Mazda6 with the manual transmission in May 2015 but the dealer would not discount it, instead offering to sell him a 2015 Accord with a manual tranny instead, because the dealer could discount it more.

          So Mazda cannot price their cars competitively against Honda or Toyota, or even Nissan.

          And that’s too bad.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Many consumers believe that the same cars (e.g., a Camry) built in Japan vs. the US are more reliable. There is no evidence for this.

            More likely, people recall that cars built in Japan 30 years ago were far more reliable than their domestic counterparts. That certainly was true. Today, most Japanese cars sold in the US are built in North America. The quality difference between a Toyota/Honda vs. GM/Ford car is much smaller today, regardless of country of manufacture.

            Some people surmise that Japanese brand cars built today (which tend to be built in North America) are not reliable like in the olden times when they were built in Japan. But that is not what the data shows.

            Summary: To say that the country of manufacture (i.e., the nationality of the factory workers) determines the quality of the vehicle reveals only the biases of the poster.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            VoGo, there are some nuances at play as well. The same model car (let’s take a Toyota Camry for instance), is built to different trim/specifications for different markets. A US-built Camry where a midsize car is seen as a pretty plain-jane everyday family car and competes heavily on price (you can buy an LE for $18k without haggling). The interior on our US cars is pretty cost cut with manual HVAC on most trim levels, hard plastics where they think they can get away with it, etc. Look at an overseas (Euro-market) Camry where a D-class sedan is considered inherently “business class” and over there is is arguably closer to its roots with more features and higher-spec interior materials. There is no “LE” trim there, everything starts at an XLE level with climate control and no cheap HVAC knobs, higher quality trim all around. They actually assemble Camrys (from existing parts) in Russia and Russian consumers unequivocally prefer the Japanese built cars. Locally built cars seem to in general have more rattles and not quite the same attention to detail.

            HDC, for what it’s worth, your Camry may very well have been built in Kentucky! I’d say overall US built Toyotas from the 90s were every bit as good in terms of overall reliability and quality as the imported from Japan stuff. It’s more so once they started honing in on the cost cutting for our market that people started to notice a slip in that feeling of “initial quality” (soft materials and making things really nice even where you don’t look). I’m confident that my fiance’s ’12 Camry SE with 60k miles will last and last just fine, but the interior feels like a far cry from the ’92-’96 “fat” years or hell even a ’02-’06 generation car.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      We bought one of the last Mazda5s after our Prius was totaled, and it’s a great one-of-a-kind vehicle.

      My wife calls the Mazda5 “a 90s car done right”, and that’s a really good description of it. It’s got everything we nerd, and nothing we don’t. Our Sienna could easily beat the Mazda5 on the drag strip, but I don’t care – the Mazda is nicer to drive.

      If it weren’t for the EVs coming down the pike, I’d be Mazda devotee.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “If it weren’t for the EVs coming down the pike, I’d be Mazda devotee.”

        You don’t need to be one or the other. It’s acceptable, at least to me, to be both.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Yes, absolutely relevant and viable brand. They have filled the niche for people who want to have an affordable and a more fun to drive car than a Corolla or Camry.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So I was messing around on Cargurus and AutoTrader and right now a Mazda dealer would rather sell you a Mazda 6 Touring with 2.5 and manual trans for the same price as a Mazda 3 with 2.5 and manual trans. That would indicate that the 6 is a relatively slow seller compared to the 3.

    The 6 with a turbo and manual trans becomes appealing to me in that segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Der_Kommissar

      True, except that the 3s Touring has much more equipment (sunroof, nav, heated seats, upgraded stereo, automatic headlights & wipers, ect.) than the 6i Touring. You can add the sunroof and upgraded stereo for another $1500 or so, and others for another $2000 in the tech package, but some you can’t add at all until you are in the GT. But the 6 does have some upgraded interior parts for the same price, like having all four windows be automatic up/down, and its a bit quieter I think. I bought the 3 over the 6 because I wanted those things, plus the fact that the 2.5 4 cyl moves the 3 much better than it moves the 6.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Although I realize that Mazda is a Japanese company and sells very engaging to drive cars (that’s why they stay on my radar) I think American enthusiasts expect to be able to purchase a midsize that is at least as fast or faster than the compact positioned below it. That’s why I see the lack of something more powerful than the current naturally aspirated 2.5 in the Mazda 6 as a problem.

        If the engine line up stays the way it is I would certainly be more interested in a 2.5 Mazda 3 to be able to move with the greater authority that you speak of.

        I’d also like to see a little more standardization of trims by Mazda. If you can buy a Grand Touring 3 with manual trans, why can’t you buy a Grand Touring 6 with manual trans? The manual trans take rate on Mazdas must be higher than the industry average because the dealers actually have them in stock, even here in hilly/mountainous NM.

        • 0 avatar
          Der_Kommissar

          Agreed on both fronts. I honestly think they expected their 2.2 diesel to be the bigger engine and were never able to bring it over here. As for content, they throw a lot more at at the 3 at each trim level, for some reason, leading to lots of differences with other models. When I was shopping, you could not get heated seats on a CX-5 until you went to the GT level. They added that to the Touring as a mid year update along with the Nav that was standard on the 3. I think they end up with a lot of confusion and competition between their own models which can’t help sales.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Amortize amortize amortize! They should offer that engine in everything from the 3 up. They don’t even have to do the full Mazdaspeed treatment… just offer the upgrades as a package.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Agreed. The 2.5T should just be a regular engine upgrade for the 3, if they want to do a Mazdaspeed 3 just figure out how to twin turbo the 2.5.

    • 0 avatar
      Der_Kommissar

      I’m sure you’ll see it in the 6- note how all current trim levels are i, and not s. They’ve clearly left room for an upgraded engine. They just thought it would be diesel at first.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      This. In addition to the CX-5, they could bring the CX-4 over with the turbo/awd.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I’m surprised Mazda makes their own engine.

      I now own a Mazda5 (after the ubfortunate demise of our Prius), and we like the car a lot.

      But, I can’t figure out why the engine isn’t just another thing sourced from a supplier.

      Honda’s 1.5L turbo would be just as nice in this car as Mazda’s special sauce. And a Prius front-end welded to the Mazda5 passenger section would be the perfect “waiting for an EV” car for us.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        “But, I can’t figure out why the engine isn’t just another thing sourced from a supplier.”

        Mazda’s SkyActiv engine is part of their secret sauce. Mazda is an engineering company and other companies actually source from Mazda: the Toyota / Scion IA and the Ford duratech engine (pre 2010 when Ford owned part of Mazda).

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Wow, a whole 227 HP ready for delivery in 2017. I can’t figure out why Mazda rarely sells cars.

    In 2011 couldn’t you rent a W body impala with 300 HP?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Most of the top selling cars do not have 227 HP, so I’m not sure why that’s a metric.

      If HP/$ were meaningful to anyone outside of teenagers on the internet, that 300HP W body would not be a rental lot special.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      You must have missed the part where it has diesel-like torque numbers at 310 lb-ft.

      It’s just a tuning and turbo choice decision. A more power-oriented different trim and cam would have it at a more even split around the 260-270 range. The engine is certainly capable of it, and the Mazdaspeed3 was doing it with a 2.3.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      227 hp with regular; 250 hp with premium.

      But still, 300+ lb-ft torque.

  • avatar
    George B

    The Mazda6 would be a much more desirable car with the option buying it with the turbocharged CX-9 engine and the transmission designed to handle the extra torque. Should be able to sell more than enough to cover the EPA certification costs. A little tougher to cover the cost of the turbocharged engine with manual transmission combination, but it would be a good start toward making a “Mazdaspeed” version.

  • avatar
    bertvl

    FCA should do a deal with Mazda and rebadge this car as the new Chrysler 200.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Will CAFE regulations even allow Mazda to put a “gas guzzling” 2.5l turbo engine on their sedan?

    It’s getting to the point where I can’t see anything except hybrids reaching those upcoming mileage goals.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I’m more surprised about the last line: “upcoming rotary sports car….”

      Now that…. Is actually exciting! In a way no slushtrannied petrodiesel will ever be.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        so long as it’s not “upcoming” in the manner of the SkyActiv-D…

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Just the fact that Mazda still have enough faith, and reasons to keep that faith, to keep developing a rotary, surprises me.

          I was under the impression rotary engines, even at Mazda, had gone the way of the wagon, with the SkyActiv efficiency focus.

          If they build it, it will be reasonably efficient as well. At least possible to drive in an efficient manner for day to day use, if so desired. SkyActiv-R, or something, even if with a slight bias towards the Activ part, in this case.

  • avatar
    colin42

    Can we get it in wagon form?

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Just went to a test drive event at the local Mazda dealer here. Test drove a CX-9. First of all I love the interior, and the overall quality of the interior is first-rate. Concerning the engine. It has good low-end torque and is quite livable and is 0 – 50 Department. However I did notice that once I got to about 85 miles an hour that when I needed to go a little faster to get out of the way of a big rig and I forwarded it took awhile to get to 95 miles per hour in order to get over. Also it would take a lot for me to be able to get used to the sound of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. I had one many years ago and a 1989 Volvo 760 Turbo. All I can really say is that even though it’s quiet overall I prefer the sound of a 6 or an 8 cylinder engine

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      “once I got to about 85 miles an hour that when I needed to go a little faster to get out of the way of a big rig ”

      What in hell speed was the big rig going at!?

      Thinkin the 95 percent of the urban driving these cars do will be fantastic with that ridiculous low end power. However, I admit that my need for power while driving at 60/65 and up a mountain road I often call for some power. I just don’t know if the turbo will be enough here as I never tested this car in that way.

      I do a ton of mountain driving and am particularly sensitive to the uphill power need.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Most commercial big rigs are governored at 73mph. However independent truckers do not have those constraints and can easily cruise at 85mph on the Interstates.

        See how fast some of these rigs can go on I-10 between Wilcox and Lordsburg, and on I-80 West out of SLC.

        That’s putting the pedal to the metal.

      • 0 avatar
        Chocolatedeath

        I live in North Florida and I was on I-95 test driving the CX-9 this morning. I had someone beside me it was going about 83 or 84 miles an hour and I was going 85 in the fast lane. A semi with no trailer came roaring up behind me and I had no choice but to stomp on the gas to get over

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    If Mazda’s serious about competing with the Subaru Forester XT, they should drop that turbo engine into the CX-5 along with chassis and other enhancements that make the most of it.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Just went to a test drive event at the local Mazda dealer here. Test drove a CX-9. First of all I love the interior, and the overall quality of the interior is first-rate. Concerning the engine. It has good low-end torque and is quite livable and is 0 – 50 Department. However I did notice that once I got to about 85 miles an hour that when I needed to go a little faster to get out of the way of a big rig and I forwarded it took awhile to get to 95 miles per hour in order to get over. Also it would take a lot for me to be able to get used to the sound of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. I had one many years ago and a 1989 Volvo 760 Turbo. All I can really say is that even though it’s quiet overall I prefer the sound of a 6 or an 8 cylinder engine.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    Irreverent. Fusion, accord, optima, malibu, Camry, theyve all had high powered engines forever now. If Mazda wants people to go with the 6 it needs a bigger interior and better sound insulation. As is it feels like an upper trim level 3 (which its based on) and feels the same size inside.

    Nobody who buys a midsize wants a cramped noisy choppy ride and that’s what the 6 is. Want a fun to drive midsize that isn’t a cramped noisy choppy ride? Get a fusion accord or optima. The 6 rides like a mid 90s GM n-body, loud and choppy and with a harsh ride. All the 6 fans praise it but don’t buy it for that reason or they don’t want a midsize period.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Most of the are sold with the 4 cylinder though. I guarantee you I see 8-9 I4 camcords for every V6 out on the road. I can’t even tell you the last time I saw a Kia or Hyundai with the turbo-4 either in real life.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        I think that was his point. Other models have upgraded engines, but they still make up a small minority of purchases. If Mazda wants to get serious about raising their sales the more powerful engine won’t help- they need to put more focus on their car’s NVH (a common Mazda weak point).

        Granted if the engine easily plops into the Mazda6 engine bay it is a no brainer to at least offer it to consumers.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I think you meant “irrelevant”. I mostly agree though. Mazdas are good, but not the “slime your underoos” awesome the media makes them out to be. They drive like Volkswagens with much less TQ/HP. What I will say though is they definitely have the best interior designs in the business, to the point that the less than luxury materials don’t matter. They just need the oomph to go with the looks.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I did not get the whole this car is too small a thing. This is not a Chrysler 200. I have personally Driven this car several times as a loaner. I’ve realized that it is not Honda Accord spacious. However I am of average height at 6-1 and above average weight of 250 pounds I have no problem sitting behind myself in the back of this car with several inches of legroom to spare. I see no reason why fou
      r people of my size could not get this car or three kids. Yes there is an issue with Headroom however even at my height my head does not touch the roof.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The Optima may do plenty of things right, but fun to drive is not one of them, unless the current generation is a miraculously improved car. I got to drive one with the turbo along with most of the competition (including what you’ve mentioned) at a Mazda event. All of them were some degree of fun/competent when pushed, except for the Kia which was hot garbage that just had no interest in being driven with any verve. Granted, this is a pretty irrelevant metric for 99% of the market, so it’s suited to real buyers, but still.

    • 0 avatar
      JD23

      “Mazda wants people to go with the 6 it needs a bigger interior..”

      The Mazda6 interior is not overly spacious, but it is definitely not cramped, unless you are over 6’6″ or obese.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I never got Mazda myself, people seem eager to overlook their issues (mediocre power, poor egornomics, cheap materials in some places) just because “they’re fun to drive”, even though there are better “fun” cars out there.

      They are just just heavy FF sedans (or cramped CUVs) in the end.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        “They are just just heavy FF sedans…”

        Huh? The 6 is 3250 lb. in its heaviest form and is among the lightest midsize sedans. The 6’s interior materials are also among the best in its class, roughly on par with those of the Accord and certainly better than those of the Camry; I have an A4, and the interior materials in the 6 Grand Touring are not dramatically lower quality for over $15k less. Do you have much personal experience in the current 6 or are you just repeating FUD you read on the internet?

        The criticism of the 6’s lack of power is completely justified, but I don’t understand how people consider it overweight or can complain about its interior design or materials.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Different strokes different folks, note that I specifed “in some places” like a lack of much insulation. Its little details

          It is probably nicer than whatever gets thrown into the latest Camry, I will admit Toyotas become a joke. Fat ugly outdated cars with well known safety defects (which Toyota ignores). On top of thst they command a higher price.

          My idea of a “fun” FF has always been stuff like Fits, Fiestas, Mazda 2s (before Mazda canned it). I fail to see what makes a Mazda 6 that much more fun over a Honda Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            Fits, Fiestas, and Mazda2s barely sell in the US compared to the midsize sedans and CUVs.

            The Accord actually drives well for a midsize sedan, but Mazdas generally have best-in-class steering feel and sporty suspension tuning, at the expense of a reduced level of isolation from the road. Is your argument that Mazda should not be selling the 6 and should be focusing its resources on the slow-selling 2, or that it is impossible for a FWD car larger than a 2 to be fun?

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          My argument was and will always be I dont get what makes the 6 so great, period.

          A car like the 3 or a Protege? Yes those can be fun, a FWDfamily sedan? Maybe if you turn it into a touring car, but then it’d be unpleasant for family drives.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            When the 6 is considered fun, it is relative to its mainstream midsize sedan competition. I think it accomplishes its task quite well. Yes, it is not nearly as fun to drive as the Miata.

            I am not sure that anyone has claimed that the 6 is “so great”, only that it is a strong competitor among midsize sedans and may be the preferred choice for those who prioritize steering and handling over comfort and straight line speed.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    How about a twin turbo rotary?!?!

  • avatar
    Joss

    More attractive less powerful Maxima with similar sales prospects.

    If it were Cadillac DW would be all over it.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s not happening dreamers. The current 6 and 3 are too far along in their lifecycle to bother with a new motor now. For the next generation it is obvious that Mazda should have this motor in both cars. I’d expect it to get retuned for the cars with higher peak HP and less torque.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Ford just put the 2.7T V6 in the Fusion, which is even older than the 6. The Mark Z is getting new engines as well. If the 2.5T is ready to go, what’s holding them back?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Well Ford does tend to use carry over engines in new vehicles and introduce new engines mid cycle. So they plan for that new engine when they design the car and immediately use them as real world test mules for the new engine’s final development testing. That is just their MO and it makes a lot of sense. Now if the car wasn’t developed with that new engine in mind there may be fitment issues that can make it difficult and/or too expensive to make sense for an end of life cycle product.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    I hope they drop it in the 6. Beautiful but gutless. Would be such a sweet ride with more punch.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    Probably too little too late.

    It would still be FWD… if they chucked in the Mazdaspeed 4wd drivetrain it might be a different story.

    Also the price is starting to climb into the category of RWD cars here with 6.0 v8s and turbocharged 4.0 litre sixes and supercharged 5.0 v8s…

  • avatar
    shaker

    Fuel must be too cheap – all this talk of having to outrun semi trucks that are going 85 mph makes me glad I drive so little these days.

    The only (ground) delivery modality that should be going 85 mph is a freight train.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Passenger train. Nobody runs freight at 85 mph in North America. Most locomotives aren’t even geared that high.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        No gears bumpy ii.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          ?

          Diesel-electric locomotives (almost) universally have a fixed gear ratio between the electric motor and the drive axle. GE used a 83:20 gearset on the ES44AC, for a max of 70 mph.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            bumpy ii, yes, there a reduction-gear set to transmit the twist of the motor to the wheels of the truck. But motor revolutions are a direct result of electric power applied.

            On the stretch of rail running north/south to/from El Paso, TX, I matched the speed of the freights along US54 at 75mph, with three locomotives pulling and two pushing.

            One of my neighbors and former fiddle-player in my band is a freight engineer. He took me to the marshalling yard and fueling/maintenance depot in El Paso, TX.

            Interesting stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Shaker, don’t know where you live but 85mph is normal cruising speed on the roads where I live. Speedlimit is 75mph on fourlane highways and Interstates and most drivers will blast 10 over.

      Cops easily cruise at 90 and above in the left lane looking to bag someone going faster in the opposite direction.

      Freight trains don’t go that fast in my area because many of them are mile-long or more and have to use 4 or 5 engines to keep all that mass moving. I’d say 70mph on the downhill slope west of the continental divide and maybe 55mph tops, going up the slope. Watching them head East out of the Los Angeles basin adjacent to I-10 is quite a sight.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I live in Western PA – the state just raised the highway speed limits to 70mph across the board (even around Pittsburgh – where it was 55mph due to federal EPA mandates).

      The PA Turnpike (Interstate 76) in Western PA is very narrow and curved in spots (though they are widening it in several areas), and negotiating those curves with semi-trailers is a bit stressful. Especially when you know that trucking companies are scraping the bottom of the barrel for drivers and maintenance items to squeeze every last dime. If it weren’t for federal regulations, it would probably be worse – but there are still plenty of accidents precipitated by drowsy truck drivers, and tight schedules that press drivers to drive too fast for conditions.
      Bumpyii:
      See what I mean? Even freight trains don’t go 85, yet a woman and her kids in a Mazda 5 going 70 may have to fight with a semi-truck for “real estate” in a rainstorm.

      Which, if you really think about it, is nuts.

      But, compared to the “wagon-train” days, yes we’re quite safe and shouldn’t act like pn$$ies, because AMERICA, ya know.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The traffic is not very dense in the Great American Southwest. Not like I-95 and I-5.

        What has worried the public in my area has been the huge influx of Mexican Semi Tractor-Trailer drivers who now are increasing in numbers on our highways and byways to haul freight to/from Mexico. Santa Teresa, NM is a major gateway for truck and rail.

        I got my CDL in 1985 in Phoenix, AZ, at the school there, but I don’t believe that the Mexican drivers on our roads today had the same schooling requirements that the US mandates. They always seem to be in a hurry, since they get paid by mileage, not time.

        I’m not saying that their rigs are not safe, but many of those rigs would have been retired many years ago if they had to be registered and tagged in the US.

        And those drivers are expanding their routes across the US. I saw quite a number of them on the road in KC, Kansas, Hastings, Nebraska and Dalhart, TX, a couple of years ago when I drove to haul cattle for my son’s cattle business.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Ahh, may as well toss another spanner into the works…

    All of these turbo’d cars are a big deception (EPA rating be damned) that will drop the average “real-world” fuel economy of the entire fleet – especially if we have to drive like maniacs to keep out in front of semi-trailers.

    At 80mph, that 1.5/2.5 liter with a snail on it is probably sucking gas like a 3-5 liter, especially on a mild grade.

    This is going to sneak up on a lot of people.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Makes me wonder how many people will idle to cool them off, or keep an eye on the oil. Mass producing turbos always kinda worried me (in the 80s they were just a gimmick).

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        It’s somewhat amazing to hear and read the opinions of so many folks who maintain that cooling off is not needed these days. I don’t buy that and always cool my Abarth and even our E-class BlueTec down without exception. Just makes sense to do that.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Off-the-shelf diesels don’t generate high enough exhaust temperatures to need a cooldown. Many newer gas turbos have water cooling, so they don’t rely on the oil for temperature control.

          • 0 avatar
            sfvarholy

            A bumpy said, modern gas turbos are water cooled. They are also engineered to either continue to circulate the water passively after engine shut-off (hydro-siphon) or have a thermostatically controlled electric pump that cuts on to circulate the coolant.

            My 2006 Audi A3 2.0T had an electric pump that circulated the coolant in reverse through the system to cool the turbo. You could hear it running most of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Yeah, the Abarth has the water pump cooling and I’ve been told the BlueTec doesn’t need the cool down either, but I’m a cautious guy with my cars. I like to hang on to those I really like. Call it a quirk.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I find it amazing turbos keep working, given the typical maintenence the average joe will do on a car.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    It’s all Johann’ and Melody’s fault that Cadillac doesn’t sculpt sheetmetal like Mazda does. Mazda was smart by getting rid of Ford, the second most evil car company on earth after Cadillac, all Ford did was consistently rip off Mazda designs and force poor Mazda to sell Ford designs that Ford couldn’t sell themselves. See the Mazda B2000 as a horrible badge engineered Ford Ranger for an example. The whole wide world and the internet knows beyond a doubt that ANY repeat ANY Dodge Durango has is better than the CX-9 and the Durango’s build quality is leap years ahead of any Mazda. Sighs, there are days I miss his incoherent rants.

  • avatar

    Mark–I love you guys, but this article seems like rote speculation. As does the CarAdvice article it links too. I’m the first to tell you I’ve been baffled by how long it’s taken Mazda to get on game with more power for the 6, but there’s nothing here to suggest there isn’t anything going on other than wishful thinking. So the engine will fit. So?

  • avatar

    How long before Mazda folds or is bought?

  • avatar

    The other thing to consider is that you can get out the door for under $20k on a Sport w/manual. There isn’t anything else in the segment that can touch that price and options. I bought a manual Touring and I couldn’t be happier. You can rev the hell out of it and it’s fun to drive.

    The dealer I bought from sold Kia and Ford as well. The Kia Cadenza parked opposite the row of 6’s were nearly $10k more than the sticker on the 6. And before agreeing to look for a touring the salesman tried hard to come low enough to sell me the sport so they could get rid of another manual. The Accord I looked at was nice, but to get the manual you couldn’t get leather (or at least fake leather) or the options that came on the touring plus the dealer wouldn’t budge and it cost more if you could even find one.

    So is the 6 perfect? No, but for the price and options, if you like driving there isn’t anything comparable for the price.

    • 0 avatar
      ijbrekke

      Great point. It’s baffling to me that the 2.5 is thousands of dollars cheaper in the 6 than it is in the 3. The sport trim, by market standards, is excellent value.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        The 2.5L in the 3 is only available with all the bells & whistles that the lower end 6 doesn’t have. Compare models with like features and the 6 certainly is more expensive.

  • avatar
    redav

    It doesn’t look like anyone else mentioned this, so here goes:

    The 6 was designed to use the 300+ lb-ft diesel engine. This turbo engine is in the exact same wheelhouse. It fits. And the diesel isn’t coming any time soon. This is the upgrade engine the 6 needs. It’s not the same as what Mazda planned, but it’s dumb to not drop it in there as soon as the marketing push behind the CX-9 wears down.

    Having an engine unique to one model is not cost effective. Spreading costs over multiple models is exactly what Mazda needs, and it’s not like the 6 needs much development to make it work. If the diesel suddenly passed US emissions, they’d use it, so what’s different about this engine?

    Mazda wants to move upmarket. The Signature trim on the CX-9 proves that. Well, they could do the same with the 6. Add some sound insulation, the same interior materials, & this engine, and I think a 6 Signature would get attention.

  • avatar
    Elusivellama

    No plans for any performance vehicles? Guess I’ll hold onto this speed 3 a little while longer than I thought, at least until the next gen STi comes out.

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