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Basic information of my car:
2011 Mazda 6 2.5L Touring Hatchback
Reasons why I bought this car
Disclaimer: I've lived in Australia since 2008 so your experience with the 2011 Mazda 6 may differ a bit. This review should have been written in January 2020 as that was when I finally sold this Mazda (sadly). My first two cars here were a 1999 Honda Integra DC2, followed by a 2008 Ford Focus TDCi (yes, turbodiesel). Both were manual, naturally, the way I preferred it. I once claimed that "if anyone can convince me to buy an auto car, it will be the girl I'll marry". It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The lady who became my wife was the reason I needed to get an automatic car that we can share together. Yes, cars in Australia may be cheaper (new or second hand) but I didn't have a good income then, and we had no need for a second car at all. Yes, she promised me that someday, I can get a manual car again, so stay tuned because I may have a review of that in a year's time.
Car selection process
- I had a budget of: 17500 AUD (RM 55,000)
- Models that I have considered include: Mazda 3, Honda Accord Euro
- Reasons why I chose this car:
The Mazda brand's popularity in Australia since 2005 till today is very different compared to how the brand performed in Malaysia. Until today, I still get the impression that Mazdas in Malaysia hold poor resale value, even though the build quality and spec tends to surpass the more popular brands. Sadly, the brand new prices are also very high in Malaysia, which did make the sales quite low. In Australia, Mazda cars are regarded to be as reliable as Toyotas, but far more fun to drive. Therefore, I wanted something that handled well too, which you can probably guess since the other cars I had before this Mazda 6 was a Honda Integra followed by a Ford Focus.
With the current ride having such a torquey (320 Nm!) turbodiesel engine, I could never go back to any engine that had below 200 Nm, plus the place I worked at back then was in a very hilly area. I initially wanted to get a 2.5L Mazda 3 (not available in most countries outside the US and Australia) but decided for about $2,000 AUD more, I can get a much nicer-specced, larger Mazda 6. Power was 168 hp and torque was 225 Nm but I have to rev relatively high (4000 RPM) to get max torque, compared to 2000 RPM in my previous turbodiesel car. My father-in-law who lives overseas complained: "2.5L!???
Why so big? Wasting petrol! Can't you get the 2.0L one?". So my wife had to explain to her dad, in Australia, you can't even get a 2.0L Mazda 6, that's too underpowered by Aussie standards. The other D-segment car I looked at was the Honda Accord Euro with the almost 200 hp 2.4L VTEC. However, its interior was much more cramped, it was more expensive to maintain, plus used more fuel. It also needed RON95 petrol, which is considered "semi-premium" here, while the Mazda 6 only needed RON91.
- I have already done 52000 km. My average fuel consumption is 10.2L/100km.
When I purchased it in 2017, this was the most spacious and luxurious car I've ever owned. Leather interior, power-adjustable seats with memory function that a colleague of mine (who splurged over $65k AUD on an ex-demo Audi A4) was so jealous of. Auto headlights, auto-wipers, dual-zone climate control. For a car made in 2011, it had all the creature comforts I can ask for, except maybe Android Auto/Apple Carplay and rear aircon vents. Those latter luxuries were very rare back when the car was built anyway. As expected from a Mazda, it handled extremely well despite being a D-segment car with a kerb weight over 1500 kg.
Unfortunately, my father-in-law did have a good point about the fuel consumption, it was quite bad for its segment. I averaged between 10 to 11 L/100km for most of my driving (within Melbourne's suburbs), although a long road trip to Adelaide got me 6.5 L/100km before, which can be explained by how aerodynamic this car is. The engine had only so-so performance for a 2.5L engine, and the torque still can't compare to my old turbodiesel. 168 hp is good enough to overtake easily on highways though. The 5-speed torque converter auto transmission was only acceptable, although it did have a (slow-responding) manual shift function. The plus point of this below-average economy and performance? Because the drivetrain was unsophisticated, it was extremely reliable and affordable to service. I had absolutely no problems with the car during the 3 years I had it.
As you can see in one of my photos, it's a hatchback instead of a sedan like the ones available in Malaysia, so I had nearly the practicality of a wagon, but with a very stylish side profile that almost looks like a taller Audi A5 Sportback. With the seats folded, it can swallow huge amounts of luggage when I moved house. The sound system was average for its segment, as the version I got was the "Touring" trim level, which did not have the Bose sound system, only a standard six speaker type.
Pros of my car:
Good value for money as a second hand car.
Extremely reliable. No mechanical issues at all.
Hatchback design gives it a stylish side profile but also very practical boot (510L capacity).
Handles almost as well as a sports car.
Good rear legroom as it's a D-segment car.
Impressive interior build quality as it's a CBU Japan model.
Poor resale value in Malaysia, but good if you're buying 2nd hand.
High fuel consumption in city/suburb driving (the new SkyActiv ones from 2012 onwards is much better though).
168 hp engine not very powerful despite the 2.5L capacity.
5-speed auto gearbox is not very sporty or responsive.
Louder noise levels on highways compared to many D-segment cars.
Total Score: 4
Quality & Features: 5
Ride Comfort: 4
Price & Cost: 4
As a second hand D-segment car, it was a great ownership experience, if I didn't get a company car in 2020, I'd have kept this Mazda 6 till this day.
One week after I bought this car, a huge screw got into my front right tire so I had to change it at my apartment carpark. The spare tire is full-size, which is nice because I can still use it at highway speeds. However, this was the moment when I realised that full size tires (especially for a D-segment car) are very, very heavy! What a good workout that tire-changing activity was!
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