|Sport||2.5-liter Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Manual, 6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$20,954||$21,945|
|Touring||2.5-liter Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Manual, 6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$22,858||$24,195|
|Grand Touring||2.5-liter Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$28,991||$30,695|
by John Tallodi
The Mazda6 is a midsize sedan that offers a broad range of strengths to lure shoppers away from rival offerings in what is an extremely competitive segment. For 2017 there has been a reshuffling of the available features and more options are now standard too.
Interior quality in this class has seen a major improvement in the past few years and the Mazda6’s cabin is one of the best. The design of the dashboard and door trim is thoroughly modern and the materials used give this sedan a very upmarket feel.
Occupants will enjoy the comfortable seats and there is no shortage of knee room in the back for taller passengers. The trunk is not up to the cavernous cargo areas offered by some competitors but it should suit most shoppers needs.
Thanks to Mazda’s relentless focus on driving dynamics the Mazda6 negotiates challenging roads with finesse and it is a cut above anything else in its class in this regard. The weighing of the controls and responsiveness from the engine and brakes make for a very capable sedan and you do not have to be travelling at speed to enjoy it either.
The standard 17-inch wheels help the suspension remain composed over rough pavement and not much noise filters through to the cabin at highway speeds. 19-inch alloys on higher trim levels offer a firmer ride but it is still far from uncomfortable.
The Mazda6 is available with a 2.5-liter inline-four which offers 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, power is sent to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
Performance levels are competitive for the class with 60 mph arriving in under 7-seconds. The automatic transmission responds well to enthusiastic calls from the right foot and the Mazda6 feels responsive in most driving conditions.
This performance potential is also complemented by good fuel consumption figures too with up to a claimed 35 mpg in highway driving and 26mpg in the city.
The Mazda6 is available in 3 trim levels, the base Sport trim starts things off with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, rearview camera, 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth compatibility and HD radio. Cruise control, remote keyless entry with pushbutton start and split-folding rear seats are also standard. While there are optional packages available they are limited to the upper two trim levels.
Touring Trim adds 19-inch wheels, advanced keyless entry, power driver seat, automatic wipers and headlights, dual-zone climate control, leatherette interior and safety systems include forward collision mitigation and rear cross-traffic alert. The available Touring Premium Package offers adaptive LED headlights, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Grand Touring Trim includes all of the above as well as the available premium package and adds a navigation system, 11-speaker Bose audio system, rear spoiler, power sunroof and leather interior.
Safety devices add to those available on the Touring trim with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, traffic sign read system and forward collision warning. This trim is also only available paired with the 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Grand Touring Package is reserved for this trim and offers extras such as nappa leather seats with heating in the rear, heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, i-Eloop brake regeneration system and black headliner.
The Mazda6 is a quality offering in the midsize sedan class from a manufacturer that has made a point of adding a bit of driving excitement to all of its current offerings. While the handling and overall performance are commendable in this sedan, it also competes on a more practical level with above average interior space and decent fuel economy too.
Cargo space could be a bit better but the Mazda6’s many strengths such as its top-class interior and generous specification levels set it up well to take on all-comers in this segment.