Mazda6 Grand Touring
Grand Fun Touring Indeed
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – It is rare, but there are times when you first enter a new car and everything, the driving position, controls and seat comfort are just right.
No need for endless adjustments, or dog earing the owner’s manual to go about various routine operations.
You settle in and the driving position, smaller steering wheel, instruments, etc., send a clear message to the brain that THIS is going to be a fun drive.
And the Mazda6 was just that. (That is not a typo. Mazda does not include a space between the a and the 6.)
All those shoppers who plunked down money for a crossover, SUV or truck are missing out on a great ride.
In addition to strong performance and superb handling, comes good value. Opt for the top of the list Grand Touring trim package and you gain a head up display, navi, 8 way power adjustable driver’s seat, 6 way adjustable passenger seat, trunk lid spoiler, additional safety items, and shift paddles among other goodies.
Add in the new for 2017 GT Premium Package for $2,500 and pick up Nappa Leather trimmed upholstery, heated rear seats and steering wheel, a brake regeneration system that is said to slightly improve gas mileage, grille shutters and a black headliner.
Along with some other minor optional items and including delivery, this Mazda leaves the dealer lot for a more than reasonable $34,530.
Your trip home will be powered by the 2.5-liter four with 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque matched to a six speed automatic. From a standing start a mile-a-minute comes up in about 7.5 seconds. It feels faster from the driver’s seat. A stick shift is available on some models for do it yourselfers.
If you contain yourself, and it’s not easy, 35 mpg is doable on the highway said the EPA with 27 around town for a combined 30. I came in at 30.
“Driving Matters” says Mazda in its advertising, and here is where this sedan stands out from all of the competition.
It just hangs in there on rural, curve laden roads. The engine, transmission, and suspension work in perfect harmony to elicit smiles on the operator’s face. The fun is only enhanced by the new G-Vectoring System that takes various steps, such as reducing torque, to maintain tire contact with the pavement and step up stability.
Yet if a long day looms ahead on boring interstates, you will appreciate the extra sound deadening that Mazda added for 2017.
The exterior style elicited compliments virtually everywhere I went during the week long test. The most often heard comment was, “What is that. That’s pretty.”
A six foot tall adult can be comfortable in the rear seat with a six footer ahead of them.
Placing your favorite satellite channels in the memory bank requires a few too many steps using the console mounted knob and the center dash mounted info screen. Once set, the favorites were easy to access. It should also be easier to move from satellite to FM for instance.
Reliability has been excellent for the 6, now celebrating its 15th year on the market and, from what I have been told, owners love them.
If you like to drive and are looking for a midsize sedan there is only one test drive to take – The Mazda6!