A few days of errands really bring out the utility of the Mazda6 5-door's expansive hatch. As you can see from this photo I have a box going to Good Will and a few items from Costco and the space, with seats folded flat, is still not even close to full.
So as a utilitarian vehicle the hatch is definitely impressive. The rear seats fold completely flat with the touch of a button from either the top of the doors or from inside the hatch itself. That way, if you're loading items into the back and need the extra space you don't have to go around to the rear doors and vice versa.
And all this nice utility is terrific. I was more surprised that the car itself doesn't seem any louder on the road than the sedan, a common complaint of open back vehicles. The hatch still has attractive lines and has 59 cubic feet of cargo room compared to 15 in the sedan. Heck even the Mazda6 wagon only has 61 cubic feet of cargo room.
The only things I'm not liking about the car are the automatic transmission and the brakes. My previous experience in the sedan was with a manual transmission, which brought out a lot more sport in the car. Even with an auto-stick feature, the automatic Mazda6 doesn't offer the same thrills. The brakes, I believe, must be shuddering a bit from past journalists behind the wheel. I've driven cars with less miles than this one (under 6,000) with all kinds of similar problems. Sure some of the publications are doing track tests etc., but I can't believe this car went through the rigors of dyno testing. I did not experience any of the inconsistent brake feel on the previous 6. I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the folks at Mazda, this time.