The Autoblog <a class=Mazda6 5-door" hspace="4" src="" width="400" align="top" vspace="4" border="1" />

Day 1

Today I was reintroduced to the Mazda 6. Since I had already reviewed the sedan last year there wasn't much shock when the Glacier Silver Metallic hatch pulled up. I was kind of hoping for the Blazing Copper color they have in all the advertising but the silver is very classy and different than the standard color found on most makes. The biggest physical difference between the sedan and the hatch is a snubbed effect on the back end of the car. It's a bit more European looking but doesn't differ drastically from the sedan.

Otherwise the 6 hatch has all the Mazda traits we love like crisp handling, decent power and a very upscale feel to the interior. My only negatives include the center stack made of that silver colored plastic that never looks good and is easily scratched, as evidenced in our test vehicle (with just over 5400 miles on it). The plastic on the door panels also doesn't meet up flush with the leather. But as far as sedans go it still outdoes most of the competition in the looks department.

Since the big feature on this model is the hatch I can't really report on its ease of use after only one day. We'll see how much junk…I mean cargo, can fit back there. Otherwise I'll just run down the sticker price and what we're actually driving.

Mazda6 s, 5-Door w/5-speed automatic w/sport shift
Glacier Silver Metallic paint and black leather interior

Standard features include: A/C w/pollen filter, automatic climate control, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, tilt & telescopic steering wheel w/audio and cruise controls, power windows & locks, 17" alloy wheels, dual sport type exhaust outlets, rear spoiler, remote entry, alarm, AM/FM stereo w/6 speakers, fog lights, side sill extensions, ABS & Traction Control System, 4-wheel disc brakes.
Engine: 3.0 liter DOHC 24-Valve VVT V6, 220-horsepower/192 lb-ft torque

All this is $22,895

The options on our test vehicle include:
Side Air Bags & Curtains: $450
5-speed Sport AT: $900
LEV Emissions Equipment: $100
Power Moonroof: $700
Luxury Package (Leather interior, heated front seats, 8-way power driver's seat, electroluminescent gauges): $1,540
Bose Audio Package (6-disc CD Changer, amp & subwoofer, 4 door speakers, 2 tweeters): $635

Total w/$520 destination charge: $27,740

I would forego the automatic transmission and save the $900 but the stereo and moonroof are great comfort features.

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