10k: All Grown Up: 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed 6

The Mazdaspeed 6 is a souped up version of the pedestrian Mazda 6 sedan, an attempt by Mazda to create an EVO/STi competitor.  Mazda, however, exercised restraint in the size of the rear wing, use of external pink emblems and silliness to create a much more grown up experience for the boy racer.  It may have been a few tenths slower at the drag strip or on the track, but the Mazdaspeed6 is a surprisingly capable and fun late model that can be picked up for pennies on the original dollar.  Find this 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed 6 offered for $9,900 in Fremont, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The name Mazda Mazdaspeed 6 sounds redundant, but it is technically correct.  The Mazdaspeed lineup of cars was Mazda’s in house version of BMW’s M division or AMG and started in 2003 with a Mazdaspeed Protege.  Soon after you could get a Mazdaspeed version of the MX-5 Miata, but it wasn’t until 2006 when you could get the Mazdaspeed performance package in an all-wheel-drive monster simply called the Mazdaspeed 6.  The magazine pundits always compared the Mazdaspeed 6 to the EVO/STi where it was outclassed in peformance yardsticks, but it would have been more fair to compare it to the Golf R32, Volvo S60R and Audi S4 — where it would have been able to hold its own.

The Mazdaspeed 6 is motivated by a 2.3 liter direct injection turbocharged and intercooled gasoline DOHC inline-4 that puts 274 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs of torque into an all wheel drive system. Inside the Mazdaspeed 6 has a pair of sporty bucket seats and a basic economy sedan feel. However, it does have nice steering feel and weight – something Mazda always does right.

See a better way to live the boy racer life without looking like one? Maybe something with less mileage on the clock… tips@dailyturismo.com