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69k mile review, because 69 is best number
So I have a 2014 Soul Red Mazda 6 Sport with a manual transmission. I figured I'd post my thoughts here since the current version still has exactly the same drive train and maybe it'll help people make a buying decision.
1. After 69k miles, I only have one slight rattle when the temperature outside is near the freezing point. The car has zero rattles for 80% of the year, which is pretty great IMO with this kind of mileage.
2. The driving performance is great. Steering feels awesome, body lean is minimal, grip is awesome (with good tires), and the 17 inch wheels have GREAT tire options.
3. The transmission feels amazing. Its a bit notchy when you get it new and it doesn't like to shift in cold weather, but putting in some Redline MTX solved those problem and now it feels great. Getting into second gear is still a bit notchy because of the massive gearing difference (extra work for synchros I guess) but every other gear is switch is buttery smooth.
4. The engine's power from 2500-3000 is acceptably good, and beyond 3000 it feels quite punchy in 2nd/3rd. More than enough pep for my taste.
5. I average 35mpg with 60/40 city/hwy driving and I drive pretty spiritedly, though I don't "launch" the car or anything like that.
6. Car makes zero noise at idle once warmed up. I once walked off with the car running because I didn't notice I hadn't hit the button hard enough to turn it off so it ran for an hour while I was in a restaurant. Quietest idling car I've ever been in that wasn't a luxury vehicle. Vibration in the cabin is also very low at idle, and non-existent at any speed.
7. The paint has held up well, no issues with it.
8. The tires for this car bulge outward from the wheels and protect them from curb rash, which I have found is great. Maybe it doesn't look as good at first, but after bumping a few curbs, 9. I'm glad it looks that way because my wheels are still pristine!
10. Trunk is deep AF, I was able to fit an entire twin size mattress and disassembled bed into it with the rear seats folded down.
11. Seat cloth and leather accents have held up well. No noticeable wear anywhere in the car.
12. Seats are super comfortable.
13. Oil is so easy to change its ridiculous.
14. Car has been reliable and has had zero major issues requiring the use of my warranty. The only minor issue was with rear door seals popping out of place in one spot.
1. I have the basic radio which I intend to upgrade. It does nothing except get radio signals. I will say that radio reception is kind of crappy, so check that with the newer models to see if its improved.
2. Sup 2500 RPM engine performance is meh. I can see how people with auto transmissions get annoyed by performance. With a manual its definitely peppy enough.
3. Wind noise and tire noise is a bit higher than I'd like, though the car is still pretty quiet. I'm going to do some sound deadening mods to fix this at some point.
4. The car bucks in first gear when trying to toodle along with traffic. Completely impossible to keep it smooth, even with a perfect take off, the gas pedal seems hypersensitive. If you get get up to 10mph, second gear is much easier to control.
5. Clutch grab point isn't perfectly clear. Even after 69k miles of ownership, I only can drive smoothly because I've just memorized how to release the clutch. There's no feeling there.
6. Trunk opening isn't wide, couldn't fit a giant ass miter saw in it. Had to put that in the back seat to move it.
7. Transmission fluid is not quite as easy to change and requires MASSIVE sockets you definitely don't have lying around to get the plugs out. Still, its at most a 1 hour job once you know how to do it.
8. The car does occasionally have this odd behavior where at high throttle and low RPM (1500-2500) it will feel like some of the cylinders just dont fire occasionally. I'm sure this has something to do with eliminating engine knock and all that. The behavior does NOT change significantly on premium fuel, I tried it.
9. Throttle response is a bit slow. Downshift rev-matching is a learned skilled with this vehicle, and is not like previous vehicles I've driven. You have to tap the gas in advance.
Would I buy the car again? Sure, if my budget didn't allow a more expensive car. It's certainly a bargain for what I paid for it (21k+tax).
I'd personally like a sports car, like an MX-5, and probably will get in one the future and keep this as a commuter until the wheels fall off (hopefully 300k+ miles!)
Whelp, thats my list. If you have any questions about something I missed talking about, let me know.