2009 Mazda6: first specs (North America)

2009 Mazda6 N.A.

2009 Mazda6 N.A.

Adapted for the U.S. market that still considers a European mid-size sedan a mere “compact”, the 2009 Mazda6 doesn’t even come close to the sporty and energetic appearance of the European Mazda6, but, having considerably larger body, the North American version has a more powerful engine option as well.

Trying to make the car long to better suit tastes of North American customers while keeping costs at bay, the Japanese brand practically ruined the well-proportioned body of the original vehicle making it look awkward if not plain ugly. With the sporty, flowing curves gone, the body of the vehicle looks like an obese sales manager rather than a world-class athlete.

2009 Mazda6

The interior of the car, too, doesn’t look particularly with lots of cheap plastic and pieces of fake aluminum decorating its doors, steering wheels and dashboard and central tunnel.

Available only as a four-door sedan, the 2009 Mazda6 will be motivated by a 2.5-liter inline four-pot from the European version of the car or a 273hp 3.7-liter V6 engine borrowed from much heavier Mazda CX-9 seven-seater crossover SUV.

The four-cylinder engine will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode. The V6 will come only with the already mentioned automatic gearbox.

The car will come to dealerships near you in August with prices starting just under $20,000.

Photos: Mazda

See also: 2006 Mazda RX-8 PZ by Prodrive