While crossovers and SUVs are the top sellers in the automotive market right now, there’s still a market for sedans. In that respect, Mazda has always maintained a good sales record with their established Mazda6 front drive sedan. And that model has gotten better now that a turbo engine was added.
But Mazda didn’t just soup-up the engine. They added important standard safety features like their i-Activesense safety suite that includes Mazda radar cruise with start/stop, advanced smart city brake with pedestrian detection, smart brake support with collision warning, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and collision warning. Standard too is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus system that improves the cars’ handling. The addition offers sporty, athletic prowess that is comparable to considerably more expensive Euro cars.
Mazda6 is a handsome midsize that’s offered in Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels. We tested the latter that was powered by a 2.5T-liter turbo four cylinder that puts out 227-hp and 310 lb/ft of torque. It couples to a smooth and quick shifting 6-speed automatic transmission that is enhanced with paddle shifters. The combination received EPA mileage ratings of 23 city, 31-highway mpg. Its full throttle acceleration sensation is a linear explosion of power. In fact, it’s easy to squeal the tires even from a three-quarter throttle. Mazda6 has been independently 0-60 timed at 6.7 seconds, which is not shabby by any means. And when selecting Sport mode, it tightens things up and increases rpms for higher shift points for livelier performance.
Mazda6’s interior is fashionable and very pleasing to the eyes. The white leather trim and seats in the test car promotes a luxury suite of comfort. An 8-inch display atop the dash is easy to view and offers touchscreen ability until the car travels more than 5 mph. At that time a rotary, console mounted controller takes over the duties. Aside from the displays’ rearview camera with surround view and Mazda infotainment system, the 6 came standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both take some practice in their operation.
The perforated, heated/cooled front seats are sofa soft and supportive. We especially liked that the sides of the console were padded along with the entire dash. You don’t often find that in other cars.
The only quirk we could find with the cockpit was that the forward bin on the console could have been better used as a wireless phone charger. Then the cabin would be complete.
Back seats too are nicely padded with easy ingress/egress thanks to wide opening doors. They can comfortably seat two adults and the seat backs are at a slight backward slant for long trip comfort.
Mazda6 has a fairly spacious trunk that’s rated at 14.7 cubic feet, enough for two large rollie luggage bags or a pair of golf bags when flipping the 60/40 seatbacks.
Mazda6 handling is one of the best in it class, this comes compliments of G-Vectoring Control Plus system that maintains a planted pose in sharp, tight turns. It’s sporty to say the least. Steering feedback sends good road feel to the drivers’ hands and it’s self centering, another feature not always found on some cars.
As for the ride on Falken 19-inch tires, it’s smooth and quiet, just like a luxury sedan.
Price wise, the Signature trim model is a tad on the high side, but it comes with an extremely long list of standard features. In fact, the only options were for a cargo mat ($75), Soul red paint ($595), scuff plates ($125) and delivery ($920) all of which brought the base price of $35,100 to $36,815. Opt for less amenities, and Mazda6 is hard to beat competitive wise.
That aside, the Mazda6 received the governments top safety ratings of five stars for driver Frontal Crash and four for the passenger. Another five stars went for front/rear seat Side Crash; and four for Rollover. All impressive safety numbers.