Page 1: Intro
For 2004, Mazda stretches the interior of its popular 6 sedan to form the 5-door hatchback. The thought here is to expand the customer base by applying hatchback functionality to an already existing sport sedan. Even further, the assault is double-barreled, as Mazda will also unveil the Sport Wagon version later this year. Three body styles of one model indicate Mazda's confidence in the 6, which was recently voted "2004 Car of the Year", in China.
Sedan and hatchback models are available with two engines - those badged 6i include a base 2.3-liter inline-4 that yields 160 hp. @ 6,000 rpm and 155 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Step up to a 6s, however, and you're rewarded by a 3-liter V6. Output is 220 hp. @ 6,300 rpm and 192 lb.-ft. of torque @5,000 rpm. That V6 includes continuously variable intake valve timing, known as VVT, that provides both smooth running at low rpm and higher output at greater revolution. Between the minimum and maximum levels of adjustment, the timing is infinitely variable, providing enhanced performance at any engine speed. On Sport Wagons, only the six is offered.
A 5-speed manual transmission is included in the standard equipment package, although two different automatics are also offered, depending on the engine choice. Four-bangers will bolt to 4-speed auto gearboxes, while V6s are backed by 5-speed units. Sport Shift manual control is included with both automatics.