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Car reviews - Mazda - Mazda6 - Classic sedan


Mazda's new 6 sedan could well be the best value mid-sizer available

7 Jan 2003

SOMEWHERE in the 1990s Mazda got lost. The car company long renowned for an independence of thought rare in Japan began to build stodgy, bland, conservative cars that were easy on the development budget but hard to enjoy from behind the wheel. But Mazda is well and truly on the way back and the Mazda6 is the first proof of that to hit local shores. The renamed, revitalised and revved-up replacement for the 626 boasts sexy styling, satisfying performance and a sizeable level of equipment for the price. Mazda6 comes as either a sedan, hatch or wagon - with all versions powered by a brand-new 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine. In this case we are testing one of the volume sellers, the mid-spec Classic sedan in auto form.
Model release date: 1 August 2002 to 1 August 2005

Previous model

Mazda 626

Released: July 1997
Ended: June 2002
Family Tree: Mazda6

The last 626 disappointed on a number of grounds. It looked bland, drove the same way and was not available with a V6 engine - a crucial part of the success of the much-loved previous generations. Instead, standard motive power was provided by a 93kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which suited the rest of the bland package perfectly. Gone and forgotten.

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