Used Mazda 6 Saloon 2002 - 2007 review

Category: Family car

It does most things well and almost nothing badly, so it makes a fine second-hand buy

Mazda 6 Saloon (02 - 07)
  • Mazda 6 Saloon (02 - 07)
  • Mazda 6 Saloon (02 - 07)
Used Mazda 6 Saloon 2002 - 2007 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Mazda 6 saloon like?

This is a good-looking family car that delivers on all fronts, and it should stay bullet-proof provided you service it properly (and the previous owner did the same, of course).

Older Mazdas may have had dull bodies and cabins, but this is one handsome beast. The quality of the materials used inside is impressive and the workmanship looks to be among the best.


It does most things well and almost nothing badly, so it makes a fine second-hand buy

  • The 6 is well made, affordable and roomy
  • It's also sweet to drive and good-looking
  • The ride is often over-firm in town and the car can be noisy on the motorway
  • Hatchback is better, too

It's also nicely set up to drive - the steering is direct and it handles tidily. The ride's generally comfortable, too: although it's a bit firm at low speeds, it settles down nicely once the pace picks up. Refinement isn't too bad, either: the cabin is hushed, even on the motorway, although - whatever engine you have - you'll have to put up with some engine noise when you work it hard.

Drivers will also appreciate their seat, which suits all shapes and sizes, and the good view to the front. However, the view to the back is nipped by the high bootline, making reversing tricky.

Last, but not least, the space inside is generous for passengers and luggage alike, and the rear seats drop quickly and simply if you need to extend the already sizeable boot.

Ownership cost

What used Mazda 6 saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Mazda 6 saloon?

Mazda dealers charge plenty for servicing and repairs, but most, at least, will treat you politely and fairly. During the car's early years, it's probably worth staying with a main dealer just to get a set of Mazda stamps on the service records.

Because Mazdas are so dependable, you shouldn't see many unexpected bills until well into the 6's life. Switching to an independent garage should cut your bills, although this may not be as easy to do as it is for Ford and Vauxhall owners, simply because there are fewer Mazda specialists out there.

Insurance groups are low for a car of this size: group 7 for the 1.8 and the 119bhp 2.0 diesel, group 9 for the 2.0 petrol and 140bhp 2.0 diesel, and group 13 for the 2.3.

As you'd guess, the diesels travel furthest per gallon, the 140bhp returning up to 47mpg overall and the 119bhp 43mpg. However, the petrols aren't too bad, the 1.8 managing 36mpg, the 2.0 35mpg and the 2.3 28mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Mazda 6 saloon should I buy?

This is one car where cheap can be cheerful. Equipment levels are high on the most basic models, and even the smallest engine, the 1.8 petrol, does the job pretty well.

There are no poor performers, so the entry-level 1.8 S is an excellent buy. And, handily, there are quite a few for sale, partly because a lot of new car buyers were tempted into it because its list price substantially undercut its main rival's, the Ford Mondeo. But the Ford loses value from new faster than the Mazda, so prices at a year old for the two are similar.

If you need some extra power, you're best off with the 2.0 petrol or either of the 2.0 diesels, with 119bhp or, preferably 140bhp. A 2.3 petrol tops the range, but its running costs will be higher, so give it a miss.

TS is the top-selling trim and includes everything you'd want, so it's the one we'd recommend, but you may also find plusher TS2 and Sport models. However, think carefully before you choose this saloon, as it's nowhere near as practical as the four-door saloon.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Mazda 6 saloon?