Ask an expert


I am looking at purchasing a Mazda6 station wagon and would like advice on the pros/cons of the available transmission systems, manual, auto and tiptronic.

The vehicles that I am looking at are 2006 models onwards and have 6-speed manual transmissions.

My research to date indicates that in general, manual transmissions will provide better fuel economy, greater power and less need to service than an automatic.

Is this true for Mazda6 transmissions?


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 27 September 2009


Your research is absolutely correct.

In last year's AA Energy Wise Rally economy run, a large number of cars were manuals so the best consumption figures could be achieved and in Europe they are the transmission of choice.

The difference on the new car fleet however is marginal with good driving skills still the best way to achieve low fuel consumption figures.

In NZ automatics clearly outsell manuals where the two options are available and resell would be better and easier in my opinion.

A 2006 Mazda6 automatic which I imagine would have travelled around the 50,000km mark, is going to be a very reliable car and you should not be put off for fear of potential future expensive transmission repair costs.

A high mileage older automatic vehicle has the potential to cost owners more than the cars value if the transmission was to require overhauling, and in this case a manual is a option worth strong consideration.

A tiptronic auto can be a fun way to drive and allows the transmission to be used like a manual with the driver controlling the up and down shifts.

Servicing the transmission is important for any auto but it is only very occasional that the fluid needs to be changed. The most important thing is the use of the recommended Mazda fluid to ensure the best life possible from the transmission.

If you like to 'drive' a car the 6-speed manual is a great transmission, if you prefer to be 'driven' then the automatic is the best option.

Overall the Mazda6 is a great choice, I'm sure you won't be disappointed