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Review: Mazda 6 MPS

By Faiming_low on 28 Nov 2015 in Super Sports Cars

Attached Image Launched in early 2006, the Mazda 6 MPS was the first MPS-badged car to arrive on our shores and with the success of its newly-revamped Mazda3 and 6 sedans then, hopes were high on the 6 MPS to deliver more thrills as Mazda tried to shed its boring image.

Attached Image With most of its rivals in its class looking and feeling bland to drive, the 6 MPS caught my attention when it was launched. With the family car being a Mazda6 too, the urge to try and experience the difference between the MPS variant and the plain jane version was great. But as a student back then, i was obviously too poor to afford it. Besides, test drives were limited.

Fast forward to the present, I finally got myself a go in the 6 MPS with a help of a good friend and boy i was excited.

Attached Image At nearly ten-years old, the car still looks as handsome and fresh as it was when it first came out. While some other publications might lament that it looks too tame for its own good, I think it suits the car. Not all Japanese all-wheel drive performance cars must have big spoilers and scoops in my opinion.

Attached Image Anyway enough about the looks. This is a performance car and after all the years, I am glad to report that the car still feels brisk enough considering how hot hatches now have in excess of 300bhp. FYI, the car has 254bhp and 380Nm of torque from its 2.3-litre turbo four when new. Credits to the previous owners, this unit seems well-taken care of and the engine feels as strong as the figures suggest. Throttle response is surprisingly good but turbo lag is evident. The six-speed manual isn't the best manual box around. It feels too notchy and has too long a throw.

Attached Image So does it turn well? It does to a large extend but when the going gets tough, body composure gets slightly too lose for my liking. Rolls quite fair bit too. As for the ride, it is surprisingly pliant and trips up north via their highways should leave you feeling fresh at the end of the journey. The steering is well-weighted and precise with decent amount of feel. Does it feel like it has all-wheel drive when you power out of the corners? Not really. At least not in the dry. But you know the system is working well when full throttle getaways are always clean and fuss-free.

Attached Image In the end, the Mazda 6 MPS wasn't the bruiser I was hoping it would be. While I wasn't disappointed with it, I somehow walked away thinking that the car could have been something more that could stir the soul. That said, with less than an estimated 30 units here on our roads, this car is a rare one. And I wouldn't mind having a good rare car.

mazda, mazda6, mps, mazda mps and 1 more...

Viewed: 3,554 times

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Faiming_low
Written by Faiming_low
Since young, Fai Ming has always centered his life around cars. In fact his first word was 'car' and not 'mum' or 'dad'. Aren't kids cute?



  • 1
Ake109 Nov 29 2015 01:05 PM

Haiz, when I saw your title I thought Mazda came out with a new MPS.

 

After this and the 4th Gen Legacy GT, no more affordable GT type sedans from Japan anymore.

 

I prefer quiet looking performance. 4 doors, no big wings and skirts.

 

IIRC, the 4 wheel drive system on this car is default front. The rears only kick in when the front loses it. That might explain why you felt it didn't have 4wd in the dry, unless your fronts were lit up, the rears were still unpowered.

Spikesman Nov 29 2015 10:19 PM

Nice car!

 

Quote: "MPS 6 is constant AWD except at very low speed and when hand brake is applied."

https://www.youtube....h?v=uOWGq1B8C84

https://www.youtube....h?v=cPtUEnRpURw

Pocus Nov 29 2015 10:30 PM
Excellent review. The MPS is a true gem. Too bad the current line up is based on a different philosophy and Mazda's direction is no long about performance. Still hoping to see the like of The MPS though...
ER-3682 Nov 30 2015 07:16 AM

The new MPS 6 will be out soon,it will use a 2.5 Turbo engine,used the the latest CX-9,but price will be stiff,about $240K...

Faiming_low Nov 30 2015 04:35 PM

Haiz, when I saw your title I thought Mazda came out with a new MPS.

 

After this and the 4th Gen Legacy GT, no more affordable GT type sedans from Japan anymore.

 

I prefer quiet looking performance. 4 doors, no big wings and skirts.

 

IIRC, the 4 wheel drive system on this car is default front. The rears only kick in when the front loses it. That might explain why you felt it didn't have 4wd in the dry, unless your fronts were lit up, the rears were still unpowered.

 

Yes and no. The Legacy 2.5GT was sold till around 2012 or so. Else, the closest you could get would probably be a Toyota Mark X. 

You could be right about the AWD. I didn't push it that hard in the corners.

 

 

Nice car!

 

Quote: "MPS 6 is constant AWD except at very low speed and when hand brake is applied."

https://www.youtube....h?v=uOWGq1B8C84

https://www.youtube....h?v=cPtUEnRpURw

 

Now this is pretty interesting. Maybe more torque needs to go to the rear before the feeling of AWD is obvious.

 

Excellent review. The MPS is a true gem. Too bad the current line up is based on a different philosophy and Mazda's direction is no long about performance. Still hoping to see the like of The MPS though...

 

Thanks the compliments. I beg to disagree. The current line-up is pretty strong in my opinion. While the cars don't have a crazy amount of power nor torque, most of them, including the SUVs, handle very well.

 

 

The new MPS 6 will be out soon,it will use a 2.5 Turbo engine,used the the latest CX-9,but price will be stiff,about $240K...

 

Interesting. I hope it will come true!

Falc Nov 30 2015 10:02 PM

Nice car!

 

Quote: "MPS 6 is constant AWD except at very low speed and when hand brake is applied."

https://www.youtube....h?v=uOWGq1B8C84

https://www.youtube....h?v=cPtUEnRpURw

 

There is this comment left for the first youtube link:

 

"It ISN'T AWD all the time. Not at low speed, not when the parking brake is on, not at low throttle input. When it does engage it doesn't engage 100% instantly, you can see that by the rising voltage reading. It transfers a MAXIMUM of 50% torque to the rear and it takes a moment or two for it to fully lock. Until then, just for a moment, it behaves more FWD than AWD. I wanted the know if anyone has done anything like send the electrically actuated mechanical center diff an electrical signal to engage it fully all the time like a Subaru. This would make the car more predictable under hard driving. If you've driven one of these cars hard you can feel a moment of understeer before the rear drive fully comes in."

Ake109 Dec 01 2015 11:46 AM

The new MPS 6 will be out soon,it will use a 2.5 Turbo engine,used the the latest CX-9,but price will be stiff,about $240K...

 

At $240k, it runs into the M135i. I know which one I would buy. It needs to be $195k to fight with STi.

Ake109 Dec 01 2015 11:48 AM

Yes and no. The Legacy 2.5GT was sold till around 2012 or so. Else, the closest you could get would probably be a Toyota Mark X. 

 

 

Was referring to the 4th Gen. After the 4th Gen, it became too Camry like and the new snail position made it very, uhm, LTA friendly.

 

Mark X, no turbo not talk! If only the beautiful Toyota inline 6 turbo from the Soarer found its way in there.

Ake109 Dec 01 2015 11:53 AM

There is this comment left for the first youtube link:

 

"It ISN'T AWD all the time. Not at low speed, not when the parking brake is on, not at low throttle input. When it does engage it doesn't engage 100% instantly, you can see that by the rising voltage reading. It transfers a MAXIMUM of 50% torque to the rear and it takes a moment or two for it to fully lock. Until then, just for a moment, it behaves more FWD than AWD. I wanted the know if anyone has done anything like send the electrically actuated mechanical center diff an electrical signal to engage it fully all the time like a Subaru. This would make the car more predictable under hard driving. If you've driven one of these cars hard you can feel a moment of understeer before the rear drive fully comes in."

 

That's what I read about when I was shopping between this and the LGT.

 

Advantage Mazda : 6 spd manual, direct injection, more unique, nicer interior

Disadvantage Mazda: hard to mod, heavier by about 150kg, default FWD

 

Advantage Subaru : easier to mod, more common so support easier, 45/55 permanent AWD

Disadvantage Subaru : AUTO, ancient engine tech

Turboflat4 Dec 01 2015 01:36 PM

At $240k, it runs into the M135i. I know which one I would buy. It needs to be $195k to fight with STi.

 

At that price point, there should be absolutely no question which one you should get. Even if it's not a "real M", the M135i would wallop this Mazda into the stratosphere, performance-wise.

Desmogolf Dec 01 2015 05:56 PM

Lovely car, I'd question the aftermarket rims though! Also, I don't think the interior has aged too well. That said really a wonderful left-field choice for those not wanting a STI or an Evo. 

Faiming_low Dec 01 2015 06:33 PM

At that price point, there should be absolutely no question which one you should get. Even if it's not a "real M", the M135i would wallop this Mazda into the stratosphere, performance-wise.

 

I don't doubt you. That engine in the BMW is a gem. That said, this near 10-year 6 MPS can keep most of the current crop of hot hatches with less than 230bhp honest. 

 

 

Lovely car, I'd question the aftermarket rims though! Also, I don't think the interior has aged too well. That said really a wonderful left-field choice for those not wanting a STI or an Evo. 

 

Used to think the rims wasn't the best choice around too. But I must say it kind of grew on me so I am cool with it now. Interestingly, these larger-than-stock 19-inch rims do nothing to spoil the ride. 

Ake109 Dec 01 2015 08:29 PM

 

At that price point, there should be absolutely no question which one you should get. Even if it's not a "real M", the M135i would wallop this Mazda into the stratosphere, performance-wise.

 

You ah! Always advocating the M135i. Heart pain leh, spend quarter million on car.

Turboflat4 Dec 01 2015 08:49 PM

 

 

 

You ah! Always advocating the M135i. Heart pain leh, spend quarter million on car.

 

 

Hey, I put my money where my mouth is, okay?! (you know I owned that car). Besides, it's cheap for what you get. Performance bargain. Go look at what C&C are asking for the A45 AMG in comparison. A similar performer, and so much more money. :D

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