2009 Mazda 6 i: Manual Shift Control
February 13, 2009
I've found myself using manual shift control on our automatic-equipped 2009 Mazda 6 more than I typically do in other similarly-configured cars. There are three reasons for this: 1) The shift pattern is pull back for upshifts and push forward for downshifts, which is the way it should be -- end of story; 2) The manual gate is towards the driver, so the shift lever feels comfortable and natural to use (too many car companies don't seem to grasp this concept); 3) While acceleration is adequate with the 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine, keeping the transmission in manual mode gives more control over those ponies and grants the bonus of engine braking, as well.
Even though the new 2009 Mazda 6 lost some "sport" in its move to being bigger and better, something like this shows that Mazda didn't sell its soul completely.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor