QUESTION: I am looking for a price on a Mazda6 Atenza , aluminium exterior, black leather interior. The price I have been offered by the local dealer includes the "benefits" of a fixed price servicing agreement which they claim is not offered to people who buy cars from other dealers. How does this work? I thought you could get a new car serviced by any Mazda dealer for about the same cost. Regards, David.
The Mazda6 Atenza is a great car - one of the best of that class in the market at the moment, for a host of reasons:
- Value - balance of huge standard feature list versus price. (It's a lot of car for $50k.)
- Performance and efficiency from both the petrol and diesel powertrains
- Overall build quality and driving dynamics
- Excellent refinement levels
- More practical for Australian families than many (more expensive) SUVs
(Click to enlarge)
One thing I hate about the Mazda6, and the company's SKYACTIVE system generally, however, is i-Stop. That's the system that automatically shuts down the engine in traffic - when you stop, for example at a red light, the engine shuts down. It re-starts automatically if the battery becomes depleted and when you reduce brake pedal pressure, in the latter case, so that you can start moving again when the traffic moves off. It's awful - the re-start on the diesel is hideous, and the system doesn't save that much fuel. On a 40-degree day with 95 per cent humidity, you don't want the air conditioning compressor to stop.
You can of course turn i-Stop off. There's a button under the front right air vent that you push and hold to deactivate i-Stop. Unfortunately though, the system's default status is 'on' - so every time you get in the car and start it, it's active. You have to turn it off every time, if that's what you want. In my view that's highly presumptuous of Mazda's engineers; thinking they know what you want better than you.
They don't. The cynic in me thinks this is a way of cooking the books in the official fuel tests, in which the car spends a disproportionate amount of time actually stopped. And, obviously, when the engine's not turning, the car's not burning.
The Servicing Offer
The fixed price servicing agreement you've been offered is probably a contract you’ll enter into between you and the dealer - the dealer’s aim is to lock you in for all servicing at that dealership. It sounds like a rip-off to me, and I would be very reluctant to enter into it if I were you. It's in the dealer's interests - not yours - to lock you in to servicing at that dealership. In reality, it's a better deal for you to shop around - at both authorised and independent service centres.
Mazda posts a guide to Mazda6 Atenza servicing costs. Basically there's a relatively expensive major service every 40,000 kilometres or two years. Here's a screen shot of the Mazda-recommended servicing costs (click to enlarge):
Basically you should always shop around for servicing because the charges vary widely. Authorised service centres (dealerships) and non-authorised service centres (independent operations) can service your new car without damaging the warranty. The dealer you purchase the vehicle from obviously wants your servicing business because it is a highly profitable business for them.
Purchasing the vehicle
Let me get Ben Harris from the brokerage to contact you this morning to discuss the purchase. Ben’s very good at securing low prices on new cars, and he’s best placed to help you acquire the car cheaply.
If I can help you out with anything else please let me know.
I hope it goes well. Let me know. If you don’t hear from Ben inside 24 hours, please get back to me. Best regards, John Cadogan