OUT WITH A BANG

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OUT WITH A BANG

By Reed Berry

I remember seeing a car commercial for the first time featuring the Zoom-Zoom
slogan and wondering why this was used to describe Mazda, rather than something
like “Putt-Putt” or “Hey, wait for me” or possibly “We make cars too, you know”.
But apparently Zoom-Zoom is just a clever way to let us know that Mazda now
produces some seriously interesting vehicles. One such car is the MazdaSpeed6
GT.

This car is perfect for the type of person that has trouble deciding between a
practical mid-sized sedan and something a little sportier than can really get
the adrenaline pumping. Take a Mazda6 sedan, give it some extra power and
personality, and you really do have a vehicle that combines the best of both.

I find myself staring at the car from a distance and I like what I see. Sure,
the four doors are a dead giveaway that this is a glorified sedan, but the
overall styling of the vehicle – from the sleek, chiseled front end to the
spoiler and chrome tailpipes in the rear – makes the MazdaSpeed6 a good looking
car.

Inside, there are some pleasant surprises. A variety of interior features give
the car a sporty look, such as the aluminum foot pedals, leather-wrapped
steering wheel and shift knob, and chrome-trimmed black gauges with red
illumination. The heated, leather-trimmed front bucket seats are a nice touch,
as well. While the car is indeed sporty, rich metal-tone dash and console
accents give the MazdaSpeed6 a luxury car feel.

Whether you prefer to listen to the radio or pop in a CD, you're well taken care
of in this car. The seven-speaker Bose audio system and six-disc CD changer
(both standard) sound great. For added enjoyment, push a button and start
scanning the almost limitless variety of programming on Sirius Satellite Radio,
an available option that I recommend. Howard Stern and Martha Stewart in one
place? Pinch me…it's too good to be true.

As for the “speed” portion of the name MazdaSpeed6, this car can move! A 270-hp
2.3-liter turbocharged engine, combined with a six-speed manual transmission
(sorry, no automatic available on this car), provides enough power to whisk you
from zero to 60 in just under six seconds. Considering the performance, the
mileage estimates are respectable at 19 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.

Handling is equally impressive. As I make my way down Sunset Boulevard from
Beverly Hills to Westwood, taking corners and curves seems to be no problem for
this car. Rack-and-pinion steering and independent suspension with front and
rear stabilizer bars give the MazdaSpeed6 a solid, confident feeling.

So here's the question: Is the MazdaSpeed6, priced at around $30,000, a good
value? Some say that it’s too heavy and bulky for a performance car. After all, it
does weigh in at nearly 3,600 pounds. The MazdaSpeed3, although not quite as
good looking, is smaller, lighter, less expensive and delivers impressive
performance with 263-hp 2.3-liter turbocharged engine.

Personally, I like the MazdaSpeed6 GT because it blends performance with
practicality. But if you want one you better act quickly. Apparently, Mazda
isn't including a Speed6 model in their 2008 product line, but is planning to
introduce a larger, more powerful version of the Mazda6 sedan.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Get it while it's last.

For more information on Mazda products, visit
www.mazdausa.com

SPECIFICATIONS

Name of vehicle:
2007 MAZDASPEED6 GRAND TOURING

Price:
Base MSRP: $29,925
As tested: $31,750

Engine type:
2.3-liter 16-valve all-aluminum turbocharged and intercooled four-in-line

Horsepower:
270 @ 5,500 rpm

Torque:
280 @ 3,000 rpm

EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway:
19 / 25

Drive configuration:
Active Torque Split All Wheel Drive

Transmission type:
Six-speed manual

Steering:
Rack-and-pinion with power assist

Suspension:
Front: Independent, Double-Wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Rear: Independent, multi-link coil springs, stabilizer bar

Wheels and tires:
Wheels:
18-inch alloy wheels
Tires:
215/45R18 Performance Summer Tires

Brakes:
4-wheel ventilated disc; ABS with Traction Control

Overall length:
186.8 inches

Overall width:
70.1 inches

Overall height:
56.3 inches

Curb weight (lbs.):
3,589 lbs.

0-60 mph:
5.4 seconds

One Response to “OUT WITH A BANG”

  1. billy Says:

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