The biggest question I have regarding this car is:
Why isn’t there a space between Mazda and 6?
When I write Mazda6 it looks like I’m either screwing up or just too lazy to hit the space bar.
The company, based in Hiroshima, Japan, will celebrate its 100th birthday in late January. Some of us are old enough to remember the advertising emphasis on their rotary-engines.
Those days are gone. Today, they simply make good, reliable, fun cars. You can live with that, right?
The 6 was originally introduced in ’02 and is now in its third generation. It falls into the category known as mid-sized sedans, which – I don’t have to tell you – is a very competitive space.
You’ll find it in five trim levels, beginning with the base model called Sport, all the way up to the version I drove for a week, the fully-loaded Signature.
The introductory models feature a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, while the three upper trims boost that with a turbocharged engine.
My Signature model produced 227 horsepower.
Looks-wise, the styling of the 6 isn’t sexy, and won’t turn heads. But it’s an attractive sedan, especially the Signature’s snazzy front grill.
Quiet and comfortable. I guess there’s not a whole lot more for you to demand in a mid-size sedan, and the 6 delivers admirably.
I found the materials to be first-rate, the Nappa leather seats exceptionally comfortable, and the appearance quite pleasing.
Storage up front is adequate, with a medium-sized center bin. But you also get added space in front of the shifter.
Rear space is very good. Lowering the rear seats provides just under 15 cubic feet of storage. That won’t top many competitors, but it’s more than enough for most sedan owners.
The first thing I should mention about the drive is the fact that my week of test-driving included a decent October snow storm in the Denver area. The Mazda, with its front-wheel drive, handled like a champ.
When the sun came out and things dried out I was able to experience a few normal days of city cruising.
I rate the acceleration quite high. The engine has some good punch to it. Sure, the 0 to 60 times won’t blow your hair back, but they’re competitive in the segment.
Steering and overall handling made the 6 shine. I particularly liked the feel of the wheel. Curvy roads in the foothills were fun, and the car hugged the turns very well.
Mazda delivers a fairly good array of tech toys, especially given the price of the car.
I’ll never be crazy about wheels or trackpads in cars, but at least the control wheel of the 6 is easy enough to figure out and use. The 8-inch touch-screen display was bright and sharp.
Driver aids are plentiful, including rear cross traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, rear-view camera, and front/rear parking sensors. Those were all standard with my Signature model.
The upper trims also include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. My CarPlay performed well, without any glitches.
The Bose system sounded great, too.
There’s an Aux jack and four USB inputs.
The Bottom Line
It’s peppy, attractive, and extremely comfortable. Gas mileage is decent, too, with a combined average of 26. If Mazda would bust out a hybrid version I have a feeling it would be a big hit.
All of this at a reasonable price. My top-of-the-line Signature came in below $37,ooo.
If you’re looking for a snazzy, fun mid-size sedan, make sure the Mazda6 is on your short list to test drive.
6-speed automatic transmission
Fuel economy: 23/31/26 combined
As tested: $36,815
Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by manufacturer