The new 6 is a strong step forward for Mazda.
The design is ambitious, the build technology is advanced, and the features are highly competitive. Even the sport is well-equipped and sturdily built.
The doors feel solid and the trim and dash are constructed of high-quality, low-gloss materials.
My immediate gripes are not having a good place to rest my left elbow (I'm 6'4" so the seat is far back) a gearbox that up shifts too early, and an elevated level of cabin noise on the highway.
I also am skeptical of the mpg claims since my driving so far has produced a 27 mpg average and I've been trying to maximize.
The Diesel engine ought to achieve good numbers, though.
Solid feeling build quality, high-grade interior materials, straightforward controls, easy cruising demeanor, very neutral cornering attitude, playful chassis and steering, ability to enable a 3-blink turning signal, big trunk, comfortable seats.
More sound deadening...premium material feel gets a knock when your car is economy-class loud.
Heated cloth seats would be nice on sport trim even if its a paid option.
Rear view mirrors feel a bit small and detract from otherwise great sight lines.
The rear legroom is also exaggerated.
The claimed 38 inches feels more like 36.
sysadb420: rickallen's review is for the i sport which, I believe, does not have an option for the high-end Bose system (standard on the GT which you test drove). The Bose system has AudioPilot noise compensation. It's possible that this would explain your and rickallen's differing experiences re noise.
I'm surprised by the comment on noise. I took a thorough test of a Grand Touring and actually thought the noise level was the most pleasant surprise. I drove it over thudding truck ruts, small potholes, and freeway expansion strips at 65 mph. The ride was good (despite some magazine criticism of the larger wheels on the GT which I found to be dubious), and the noise level was very good. My conclusion was that it wasn't great regarding any individual trait like steering, handling, ride, noise, acceleration or transmission, but all components were good, making the *sum* of all functions great. I own a 750, so I'm sensitive to ride and noise..
I found the seats in the cheaper trims to be unsat (for me) due to the fact that they are flat and you can't tilt them. The 8-way power driver seat in the GT is much better in this regard.
Thank you for the honest review. I am very interested in the 6 sport model. Is the sound coming from the A pillers (wind) or down lower? Some Dyna-mat could be added under the carpet and in the door panels. We added after market heated seats to the wife's 2011 Sonata 2.0T SE for $400 (did not want to pay for the limited). Please update with your mileage numbers when you can.
Rick, you said the gearbox shifts too early and yet your review is on the 6-speed manual car.
Not sure you would say it shifts early because you would have to be pushing in the clutch to shift it.
Also remember when a car is new it will take some time to break in and will increase in MPG.
You can't tell the true MPG in the first couple of months.
Rick did you get the sunroof? I have never owned a Mazda but when I walked into the showroom was ready to buy it on the spot. However, being only 5'9 when I adjusted the driver seat for entry and driving my hair was touching the roof where the sunroof cutout begins. I measured that if I go bald
it only leaves me 1 inch of room to play with. Test drove the passat
sel tdi and specs had same driver height listed
and no issues.