The Goods Minus Grunt - 2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring Long-Term Road Test

2009 Mazda Mazda6 Long-Term Road Test

2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring: The Goods Minus Grunt

June 08, 2009

2009 Mazda6 beauty 555.jpg

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but I think the opposite may be true for cars. Spend enough time with any machine and you can't help but sense some beauty in its lines. Not that the complex curves of the Mazda 6 are heinous to begin with, but the subtlety of its shape is definitely starting to impress.

It's in some good company as well, as I thought I'd spotted a nearly identically prepped Sangria Red 6 getting a scrub in a neighbor's driveway, and it wasn't until I was close enough to wave that I realized it was a Jaguar XF in a remarkably similar shade. That lucky owner also did a double take as I rolled by, probably drawn in by both cars' high bustle.

The 6 is no XF, but our oddly luxed-out four-cylinder model continues on as a remarkably pleasant daily soldier, and even the normally unappealing arrest-me-red paint scheme continues to look rich and almost peppery. That spicy shade doesn't carry over into thrust, however, but many of us are probably focusing on what a bargain this machine must be with its four-cylinder mill, as there isn't a time I drive it that I'm not impressed by its content. Trying to adjust the front passenger seat from the drivers perch had me fumbling for a lever in front of the seat, then doubtfully reaching for the far side of the seat to be surprised again in finding power adjustments. In a four-cylinder? Wait, what's the sticker on this thing again? $30,340?

OK, scratch that. Our Mazda 6 is a loaded, luxed-out four door that gets sexier looking by the day. But topping $30K, it's got everything you'd expect at this price but motor. Jockeying for an upcoming turn lane, I had to dent the fire-wall to out-hustle a Prius. He was full-bottle too, but it was close. For the sticker, I'd want a little more accelerative breathing room. Though riding on the capable "old" 6 platform and not as slinky, you can tart up a 2010 Fusion SEL pretty well for $30K, including Sync and a 3.0-liter V6.

Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 12,141 miles

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