2014 Mazda6 i Touring Long-Term Update 4
Will It Surf? Will It Breeze Past A Service Interval?
Full disclosure: as the editor this fine magazine, I travel a lot. I also live very close to the office. These two realities make it difficult for me to accrue a lot of miles in a long-term loan vehicle. We like tons of miles for the interesting developments they uncover, so to make sure my Mazda 6 gets its due, I often loan it out to staffers as a support vehicle for road tests and trips.
This explains how I managed to miss the first 7500 mile service recommended by the owner's manual (schedule 1) -- I was out of town and car.
After admitting that I had gone nearly twice as far (14,851 miles) as recommended before the first oil change, South Bay Mazda service advisor Joshua didn't bat an eye. "Actually sir, you missed it by more than that. Southern California is considered a high wear environment with all the stop and go traffic, so we recommend coming in every 5,000 miles [per schedule 2]. But it's no big deal."
Hmmm. Let's hope.
At pick up, turns out Joshua was right. He said nothing was out of the ordinary with the oil level, color, or viscosity and that the standard inspection revealed no other issues. The cost to replace the oil filter and gasket, add 5 quarts of Castrol 0W20 synthetic and rotate the tires was 82.34, with roughly half of that as labor – including a free car wash.
First service aside, my Mazda 6 returns to its regularly scheduled duty as airport taxi, photo and video support, and the official vehicle of dawn patrol. While I wish Mazda would import the swoopy Mazda 6 wagon, the sedan makes for a serviceable surf-mobile. Sure, I could use a roof rack, but loading boards internally is much quicker. With the split 60/40 rear seat folded down, two 7-foot surfboards (in padded bags) can be stored diagonally in the expanded space, along with the requisite wetsuits, towels and jugs of hot water. A single 8-foot board can fit inside as well, but not with a front passenger, since the seat's headrest must be removed and the seat folded back to make way for the nose of the board. There is plenty of room for something longer, but a surfboard more than 10 feet would be a tough fit, unless the nose rests on the dash.
Otherwise, our Mazda 6's ride and ownership experience so far has been as glassy as El Porto (my local break) at dawn.
More on our long-term 2014 Mazda6 i Touring:
|Service life||20,500 mi|
|Average fuel economy||27.7 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.71 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||25/37/29 mpg|
|Energy consumption||123 kW-hr/100mi|
|Maintenance cost||$82.35 (1- oil change, tire rotation, inspection)|