Excellent niche vehicle, very exclusive and fun.
By IHG on Wednesday, November 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000
overall rating 7 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Good bang for buck and excellent driving dynamics."
Cons: "Engineering lapses leaves room for improvement."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I purchased my 2006 Speed6 new in December 2006 for an excellent price. When these cars were new, they essentially rotted away on dealer lots, as, for one reason or another, Mazda had poor success marketing the car to the public, and couldn't sell them. Those who waited around for the left overs, such as myself, were able to nab these cars new for next to nothing. So, for that reason, I consider it a great value.
The car is alot of fun to drive. The moment I laid on the throttle during that first test drive, it was intoxicating. I had to have it. The car is very swift. It is a heavy car, but still very manageable and predictable when wrung out around corners. My car still has the original finicky clutch, for which Mazda issued a TSB. I always appreciated the on/off, firm feel of the clutch, and never asked Mazda to perform the TSB. The gear 6-speed transaxle is great, and the gearbox is a pleasure to paddle through. Though, in later years, has lost some of its fluidness.
Features a very capable, well designed AWD system. Though, the rear LSD mounts are weak and prone to shearing mounting bolts. This is one of the weakest aspects of the design of this car.
The engine is excellent. It was the recipient of Ward's top engines award for a number of years. It is no slouch, but also very tame and efficient when subdued. The car is capable of very modest mileage on the freeway. However, this engine suffered from several weak design aspects. Certain early builds of this engine, featured in the CX-7, MS6 and MS3, had poor variable valve timing actuator design - imminent and premature freeze pin failure, in addition to a stretching of the timing chain. Mazda's extended warranty, to 7 years, 7,000 miles replaces these parts with a freeze treated pin and a beefier chain. Mazda also extended warranty on another common issue - smoking turbocharger. Also extended to 7/70. The smoking turbo issue is quite heinous. When it smokes, it SMOKES.
There's a few other weak areas in design here and there.
But, overall the car's quality is not bad. Materials are good throughout. Build is good. Though, paint is thin.
Mine, 7 years and 73K miles later still looks new. Thanks in part, of course, to my care, but Mazda also crafted a nice piece of workmanship here, completely capable of fun, speed AND longevity.
As the 7th and final year with the car comes to a close, I have mostly good memories of the car. I am authoring this review as an ode and a last hoorah. The car is up for sale, and expected to sell at the end of the week. It'll be a great addition to the stable for its next owner.
As for myself, I will miss it dearly."
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