Improved for 2006, the Mazda 6 is the sports sedan of front-drive midsize cars. While the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are designed for mass appeal or, stated more cynically, for people who don’t like cars, the Mazda 6 is designed for the driving enthusiast. Mazda6, as the company calls it, is not for everyone, and that’s just fine with Mazda.
The Mazda 6 looks leaner than its competitors and the driving experience backs that up with agile handling and responsive engines. The Mazda 6 feels tighter in corners and holds the road better than Camry, Accord or Nissan Altima. It’s lighter on its feet and stops quicker. In short, it’s a better driver’s car. Four-cylinder and V6 engines are available, each available with five-speed manual gearboxes or five- or six-speed automatics.
Moving up to the 6i Sport sedan adds the front side-impact and side-curtain airbags, the eight-way power driver’s seat, fog lights, bright-tip exhaust outlets, side-sill extensions and a wing-type rear spoiler. Wheels and tires upgrade to P215/50VR17 on 17-inch aluminum rims. The hatchback comes with a rear wiper and washer.
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