• Oct 6, 2005


The Mazda6 Sport Wagon that showed up was a little bit of a surprise. First, when the call came that the 6 was coming down, it sparked mixed emotions. After all, Dave Thomas had already spent time with a Mazda6 five door. Furthermore, a wagon would almost certainly be equipped with an automatic. Wagons, while a personal favorite, are not typically the most exciting vehicles around.



2005 Mazda6 Sport Wagon
Wagons have a special place in the heart of this enthusiast. The first wagon that sparked this appeal was a 1986 Ford Taurus Wagon. The space-aged styling, at the time of course, had this strange attraction. Later, wagons gained even more appeal when a Chevrolet Caprice Wagon reared its head with its road trip worthy rear-facing third row seat. Not only did a chance encounter in the formative years of development influence the love of wagons, but later at work a Caprice Classic wagon busted onto the scene as a company-owned treasure. No other vehicle in the fleet would swallow more gear, while making the driver feel like some sort of geek super pimp. Notice none of these memories really have anything to do with performance. Sure, Volvo has done some spicy vehicles based on their wagons. Even Paul Newman had his own ass-chewing V8 monster Volvo wagon built. The Mazda6 Sport Wagon is a different breed of performance wagon.
2005 Mazda6 Sport Wagon
The critically acclaimed Mazda6 has some appeal, but the inevitable slush-boxization carried it own fears. What a relief when the 6 wagon showed up with a five-speed! This was going to be interesting. A family wagon, with sporty intentions, a five-speed, and a peppy 220-hp V6, is a rare thing on American shores. When an automaker offers a wagon, a manual is hardly ever offered in the U.S. market.
Behind the wheel, it?s hard to believe you?re not driving a Japanese sports coupe. You have to keep reminding yourself, ?it?s a wagon, it?s a wagon.? The flexible V6 is certainly more than adequate to power this vehicle. You almost couldn?t imagine what the 274-hp turbo four would be like in the MAZDASPEED6. The V6 provides such smooth, user friendly thrust, anything more seems unnecessary for a daily driver.
2005 Mazda6 Sport Wagon

2005 Mazda6 Sport Wagon
2005 Mazda6 Sport Wagon




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  • 13 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      "The are only a couple of downsides. The car is definitely 1/2 a size smaller than an Accord or a Camry." Hmm, for me, 1/2 a size smaller than Camry/Accord is actually a benefit. But then I'm a single guy, no kids to put in the back, etc. My passengers recall being crammed in my old Jetta's back seat, and know enough to be thankful. I actually rode in my own back seat once when a friend drove, for about a 3 hour round trip. (I'll spare you the short, boring story why.) It was pretty comfy, honestly. (I'm 5'9")
      • 9 Years Ago
      I like wagons and I really like the Mazda6 model, but I question the accuracy of the professional driver's statement in comment #1 that wagons always handle better than sedans. 2/3s of a wagon is essentially a great big box of open space and that diminishes the opportunity to provide the strutural bracing required to increase torsional rigidity, a key handling prerequisite. I'm not saying that all wagons handle badly, I've driven the 6 Wagon and it pretty much covers my handling needs. I'm also not saying it's impossible to make a really rigid wagon(I remember the Audi RS4 too). But all things being equal, a sedan will be inherently more rigid than a wagon, a sedan with non-folding rear seats will be better still, and a coupe with fixed rear seatbacks, tops things out. The less said about my preferred body style, convertibles, the better, except that there is a reason they can be so damn heavy.
      • 9 Years Ago
      As the baby, and later almost-teenager on board a 1990 Taurus wagon, I can't see anything being sparked in an enthusiast by that car. Anyway, Mazda6 wagon doesn't look bad, but the Audis are still so clean, and I'd like to know how this stacks up to a Legacy wagon too.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You can tell the Front/Rear weight balance is better in the wagon.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I nearly bought that exact Mazda6 wagon-- charcoal gray, black leather, v6 with stick. Then while at the dealer, I found how incredibly flexible the Mazda6 5-door (hatch) is, and bought that instead. In charcoal gray, black leather, v6 with stick. That was in April 2004. 22k miles later, I haven't regretted buying this car yet. (Unlike my 1999.5 Jetta GLS VR6...) Highs: Handling; reasonable fuel economy (have hit 29mpg highway, not babying it at all, though city is way lower); exterior styling; reliability; comfy driver seat. Lows: Wish it had more low-end torque. (It's alright, but another 15lb/ft at 3k RPM would be much appreciated.) Some cheaping out on interior appointments. (eg, no auto up and down on both driver and passenger doors? Come on now...) On 5-door, can't get it without all the exterior bling (like spoiler). I think the Wagon would have made me very happy, too. I almost feel I should have bought the wagon with stick, just to show auto companies that there's demand for it...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Why did you even bother with a dealer? I am assuming that was when they were first available. The 6s Sport Wagon can be had right now thru Carsdirect.com loaded for $22K and change which is $2K under invoice, $4K under list. http://www.carsdirect.com/build/options?zipcode=86336&acode=USB50MAC143B0&restore=false
      • 9 Years Ago
      At work, I park next to a '6' wagon like the one you're testing. When you look at my 2000 Audi A6 Avant next to it, you can see what Mazda was looking at when they designed the '6' wagon. Almost identical size and shape.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I love wagons! They are so versatile without being heavy and ponderous like a minivan or SUV. I wish Infiniti would introduce a wagon!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'll be curious to know how the Mazda6 sports wagon drives compared to the Dodge Magnum.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Went to a Mercedes event a few years ago to test drive the newly redesigned E class. I was talking to one of the professional drivers there and he said the wagons always handle better than the sedans. People just don't spend enough time in wagons to know that.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "You almost couldnt imagine what the 274-hp turbo four would be like in the MAZDASPEED6" I would imagine a 4 cylinder turbo pumping out 274 hp to be noisy and very abrupt in the power delivery. Like a big on switch for the 274 hp. Smooth not. Doesn't appeal to me personally. Makes you wonder why they can't seem to get the car to market with that one....
      • 9 Years Ago
      My wife drives an 04 6 wagon and we love it. The V6 is great and delivers respectable, if not great gas mileage. It is the handling that really sets the Mazda apart. It handles better than almost any sedan within $20k of its price tag. It is much more precise than my A4. The are only a couple of downsides. The car is definitely 1/2 a size smaller than an Accord or a Camry. Also, the 17 inch wheels look awesome, but snows (I live in Vermont) ran me $800.
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