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2009 Mazda 6 - Full Review

The Mazda 6 was completely redesigned for 2009; the new model offers more power options, new transmissions, a more sophisticated design, and extra standard technology. Unlike in past years where hatchback and wagon versions have been available, the 2009 Mazda 6 only comes in a sedan body style.   Inline-four-cylinder (in "i" models) and V-6 ("s" models) engines are available in the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. There's also a bare-bones SV trim level that gets only the four-cylinder. Virtually every dimension inside and out has increased for 2009, making the Mazda 6 closer in size to other sport sedans in its class.  The 2009 Mazda 6 is unique because for the first time in Mazda 6 history, this one has been designed expressly for the North American market and is considerably bigger than the overseas version. The benefits of the Mazda 6 include its attractive design, performance of the V6 engine, responsive steering and handling, and its high quality cabin.  The downsides to the Mazda 6 include its poor gas mileage (compared to others in its class), its poor graphics on the navigation system's, and its noisy four-cylinder engine.  The 2009 Mazda Mazda 6 gets an EPA Fuel Economy of City: 17 - 21 and Highway: 25 - 30, and has a starting MSRP of $18,550 - $28,465.

Power for Mazda 6

For transmissions, a six-speed manual is available for the V4s in the name of Mazda's reputation for performance.  There are also two automatic transmission offerings: the four-cylinder engine can have an optional five-speed automatic transmission.  For 2009, the four-cylinder has been bumped from 2.3 to 2.5 liters, now at 170 hp, right in line with the base engine from Accord, Altima, Camry and Malibu.

Although the Mazda 6 has gained weight with the added dimensions and features, it has also gained power, especially on the V6 models. The Mazda 6 features a front and rear independent suspension and each Mazda 6 model has its own calibrations for the same suspension system. At the top extreme, a V6 on 18-inch wheels has plenty of grip and surprisingly good sharp-impact rejection but it is on the firm side.  Regardless of engine and tire size all Mazda 6 models have natural stability and a good sense of control.

Mazda 6 Design 

The Mazda 6 has now been infused with what designers call a "Japanese aesthetic". The vehicle looks much different than the 2008 model, it now sports a long hood with pronounced front fender flares that flow through the headlamps and mold with the front bumper. Although both Mazda and Acura use a five-sided grille, Mazda's has a deeper V-shape to it and it's all body-colored. Fog lights are set in horizontal openings but the lights themselves are vertically-oriented. The 2009 Mazda 6 is half a foot longer than the 2008 version, with 4.5 inches added to wheelbase and 2.3 inches to width. The last Mazda 6 was small for its class. Mazda knew this was an issue, and has now made the American version different than the rest of the world's Mazda 6 The Mazda 6 is now slightly longer and wider than the Malibu, but is still smaller than the Accord.

Cabin Features

The cabin of the Mazda 6 has also gotten a redesign and update. New rounded instruments and a three-spoke steering wheel integrate nicely into the T-shaped instrument panel. The seats are cloth on the SV and Sport, and have the same support and comfort as the upper trim lines, lacking only the extra degrees of power adjustment. Touring uses cloth cushion and backrest centers with leather outboard. Cargo space is excellent in the Mazda 6; as the 16.6 cubic feet of volume covers the class.  The car's sweeping roofline makes the vertical opening much larger than the depth aspect. The rear seats offer spacious room, a center armrest, and a 60/40 split seatback that's easy to fold.

Mazda 6 Sedan Lineup

The Mazda 6i SV comes with air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio controls, 60/40 folding rear seat, floor and cargo mats, map lights, illuminated vanity mirrors, outside temperature display and Sirius radio-ready. 

Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim packages are available for each model. The Mazda 6 i Sport and Mazda 6 S Sport get an auxiliary audio input jack, cruise control, remote keyless entry and auto-down front windows. 

Mazda 6 i Touring models get a 17-inch tire/wheel combination and fog lights, power driver seat, leather wheel/shifter, center console sliding armrest, electroluminescent gauges with trip computer, antitheft system, and advanced key with pushbutton start. Mazda 6 S Touring models get all these upgrades plus 235/45WR18 tires on alloy wheels.

Grand Touring trim includes everything on Touring plus leather seats (heated in front) with three-position memory, auto-dimming (heated outside) mirrors, blind spot monitor system, auto headlamps, LED tail-lamps, rain-sensing wipers, Xenon headlamps, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, HomeLink, welcome lighting, and a power passenger seat. Mazda 6s Grand Touring adds 18-inch tires.


Safety features for the 2009 Mazda 6 include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control and ABS. The Blind Spot Monitor is standard Grand Touring and available on Touring. For another look, read a Mazda 6 review by JD Power. With the 2009 model, you get nothing but value in the Mazda Mazda 6.

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