The Mazda6 was overhauled in 2009. New engine choices, a restyled body, larger dimensions, a revamped interior and so on. Apparently, the only component the '09 model had in common with its predecessor was the firewall, and for most intents and purposes, this was an all-new car.
One thing that stood out about the revised '09 edition of the 6 was its overall refinement. Mazda kicked things up a notch in terms of ergonomics, fit and finish and build quality. Normally this level of refinement was found on more expensive automobiles.
There were two engine choices for this year: a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and a 3.7-litre V-6. In GT form, the V-6 churned out 272 horsepower, which was significantly up from '08. Depending upon the model, you could choose either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. In V-6 trim, the 6 was a lively performer, but this engine was only available with the automatic gearbox.
Whichever trim level you chose, you got a well-equipped automobile. Standard kit included things like air conditioning, one-touch-down power front windows, cruise control, power door locks, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and tilt-telescoping steering wheel. Safety equipment included a full roster of front and side airbags and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.
Compared to its closest competitor – the Honda Accord – the Mazda6 featured a slightly larger trunk, but otherwise, these two were close, dimensionally. Depending on your point of view, the 6 had the edge in styling.
Unfortunately, Mazda decided to deep-six the hatchback configuration of this mid-sizer. As of 2009, you couldn't get this practical body style, which was a shame. Apparently, it wasn't a big hit with U.S. buyers, who still call the shots in the North American market, and remain stubbornly conservative when it comes to hatchbacks (and small-displacement diesel engines, for that matter). Nor could you get the station wagon version any longer, which was equally unfortunate.
There are two safety recalls from Transport Canada, one of which may be the most unusual I've ever come across. A "certain type" of spider may take up residence inside the fuel system of cars equipped with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, and – well, let Transport Canada tell it – "may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line which may cause a restriction in the line." This in turn could lead to the fuel tank rupturing and cracking under pressure buildup and eventually, leaking. Which could ultimately lead to a fire. Talk about a bug in the system. The second is far less interesting and concerns a possibly faulty door latch that won't lock properly and allows the doors to open by themselves.
To this we can add a potential problem with Thule aftermarket roof racks manufactured from January, 2008, to February, 2009, with model numbers 460 and 460R. These can break and come off the roof due to faulty bolts.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has some 30 technical service bulletins on file for the '09 Mazda6 – these range from condensation inside the headlights, to glitchy heater blower motors, to the air bag warning light flashing randomly, to hot-running engines and poor air conditioning.
Good marks from Consumer Reports right across the board for the '09 Mazda6, though. There are some minor issues with "squeaks and rattles" and exterior paint trim, but otherwise, it's all good, and the magazine gives this vintage of the 6 an "above-average" used-car prediction and a "good bet" designation. Some comments from owners: "The faster you go, the better it drives," "Road noise has ruined my opinion of this vehicle," "This is the best car I've ever owned" and "A better buy than Camry or Accord, in my opinion".
One note here. In its most recent best And worst used-car survey, C.R. lists the Mazda6 V6 GT version as one of the most expensive cars to own and operate over a five-year period. This is factoring in things like depreciation, loan interest, insurance, sales tax and maintenance/repairs. It's in heady company here, which includes the likes of the BMW 750Li, Mercedes C300 and Cadillac Escalade.
From a base price in the mid-$22,000 neighbourhood, a 2009 Mazda6 has dropped to between $15,000 and $19,000. The V-6 version is fetching $2,000-$,3000 more than the four-cylinder, depending upon options and extras, of course, and the GT is the priciest.
Original Base Price: $22,695; Black Book: $15,450-$18,875
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder/3.7-litre V-6
Horsepower/Torque: 170 hp/167 lb-ft for four; 272 hp/269 lb-ft for six
Transmission: Six-speed manual/automatic
Fuel Economy (litres/100 km):12.1 city/8.0 highway (V-6 with automatic); regular gas
Alternatives: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, Dodge Avenger