2009 Mazda 6: Keyless Ignition
February 09, 2009
Keyless ignition/entry is a great modern convenience, and our long-term 2009 Mazda 6 Grand Touring has it (it's included on the Touring or Grand Touring trim levels). Like some other cars in our fleet (BMW X5, for instance), the 6's lock/unlock operation utilizes a sensor in the door handle. If the 6 is locked and you approach the car with the fob and lightly touch the back side of the exterior handle, the door will unlock. Pushing the black button locks the door.
Our 6's system can be a bit finicky, though, and the interior integration isn't perfect.
The finicky bit: If you touch the handle and pull too quickly, the car will beep but won't actually unlock the door. Further touching and pulling does nothing. So you either have to push the button to lock the door and try again, or just use the buttons on the key fob.
Interior: The integration of the push-button starter isn't as cleanly done as in other cars. Almost all Nissan Altimas, for instance, come with keyless ignition/entry, so the starter button has been nicely integrated on the dash. The Mazda 6's button, however, is lower down on the center stack, and the normal ignition cylinder has been blanked off. The faceplate that houses the button and seat heater switches looks a bit JC Whitney, and it covers what would otherwise be a small (though useful) storage cubby on non-Touring Mazda 6s.
Even so, these are just quibbles. Overall, having keyless ignition on our 6 is pretty cool.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,331 miles