2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring: I Don't Want to Use the Word "Vanilla"
December 01, 2009
In the early years of this century, I never could understand why some people would dismiss all family sedans as vanilla cars. The Altima (2002 --) had just gotten fun; the Passat (1998-2005) and Legacy (2005-2009) were as good as they'd ever been before or since; and the Mazda 6 (2003-2008) was the entertaining new 626 replacement.
In 2009, though, I find myself looking around and wondering where the fun sedans went. The Subaru and the VW bore me now -- they're bigger, heavier and less engaging. I still like the Altima's total package, but it hasn't really moved on dynamically -- it's just quick thanks to its 3.5-liter V6 and CVT.
And the 2009 Mazda 6. I haven't wanted to like this car, because it doesn't do anything particularly interesting. But over the long weekend, I decided it has the best ride quality in the midsize sedan class. It's not the softest ride. But it always, always composed. And it is never, never harsh. I never complain. My passengers never complain.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 21,128 miles
P.S. When I returned to the 6 after four rounds of karting, it felt perfectly natural to start driving the Mazda again. But I did wish the seat heating continued all the way up the seat-back cushion (instead of stopping the lumbar zone) to soothe my bruised back.