Common Issues: Issues have surfaced with rear differential and axle problems, which could affect the differential bracket, drive axles or even the bolts that hold the whole bit together. Reports of sheared-off bolts aren’t uncommon. On a test-drive, listen for any unwelcomed noises from the rear of the potential Mazdaspeed6—particularly of the grinding, clunking variety, and particularly while going slowly around a corner or as you unload the clutch. A repetitive, cycling ‘clunking’ noise during aggressive acceleration from the rear of the vehicle is also suspect.

Note that aggressive driving or participation in motorsports (sanctioned or otherwise) could aggravate this issue. If your used Mazdaspeed6 candidate was owned at some point by an aspiring parking-lot drift champion, the rear-end issues are more likely to surface. Thankfully, some aftermarket braces are available to beef up the rear end for this sort of driving, and a Mazda dealer will be familiar with the issue, and able to quickly diagnose and repair it, if necessary.

Used Vehicle Review: Mazdaspeed6, 2006–2007 used car reviews mazda Used Vehicle Review: Mazdaspeed6, 2006–2007 used car reviews mazda
Mazdaspeed6, 2006-2007. Click image to enlarge

A mechanic can also check the condition of the vehicle’s tires and brakes—always a good idea in a car that’s likely to have had the heck driven out of it. Don’t assume the seller isn’t trying to stick you with an expensive repair or replacement bill, ensuring the tires and brakes have plenty of meat left on them. If either are chewed up, call it into pricing negotiations. Remember that cars like the Mazdaspeed6 are designed to reliably stand up to sporty, performance driving for years – but that abuse and neglect of its maintenance requirements will reduce reliability and longevity considerably.

Used Vehicle Review: Mazdaspeed6, 2006–2007 used car reviews mazda
Mazdaspeed6, 2006-2007. Click image to enlarge

The transmission should shift smoothly with no grinding or ‘clunking’, which could indicate wear-related issues within the gearbox. Note any clutch slippage while shifting too. A good driver won’t wear the clutch badly, but an abusive driver can take years off of clutch life in a matter of days. Signs of a worn-out clutch include grinding into gear, or a pedal that’s slow to return to its resting position. A consistent grinding sensation or ‘bite back’ from the gearbox while shifting from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 could be a sign of a worn out synchro—which is typically caused by repeated, aggressive gearshifts.

Avoid any used Mazdaspeed6 model with extensive modifications, especially to the turbocharger system. Modifications like these could add power and driving pleasure, but they could also leave shoppers with someone else’s headache. Be sure, in particular, that the turbocharger system hasn’t been modified to run more boost than the factory intended. This is a common upgrade in many boosted cars, because it can unlock free horsepower. Done properly, and with supporting modifications to other components and electronics, it can be reliable. Done improperly (which is more likely), turning up the boost can turn the engine into soup. Avoid a heavily modified Mazdaspeed6 unless you’re familiar with engine tuning. Note that intake and exhaust upgrades are common and largely considered safe, so long as the quality of the parts and installation are good.

Connect with Autos.ca