November 27, 2009
Yesterday, four of us, all adults, got into the 2009 Mazda 6 for a 20-minute drive to Thanksgiving dinner. I sat in my preferred driving position (no moving the seat up for people in back) and still there was legroom to spare. It's no wonder, really, now that the (North American-market) Mazda 6 has a nearly 110-inch wheelbase.
Had I been in the first-generation Mazda 6 (2003-2008) that I liked to drive so much, we wouldn't have been nearly as comfortable; its wheelbase was just over 105 inches.
And although I don't find our Mazda 6 especially interesting to drive, I always find satisfaction in its fairly crisp throttle response and solid brake pedal feel -- within the standards used to judge four-cylinder, midsize sedans, mind you.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 20,744 miles
November 24, 2009
You asked how the leather is holding up. The answer is: pretty well.
Here is a pictural tour of the leather in our 2009 Mazda 6.
This is the driver backrest. The leather is unstained and the seats have maintained their shape. That semicircle you see toward the bottom is sun glare.
More pictures after the jump...
Despite its light color, you can see in this closer look at the perforated leather, there is no discoloration.
November 10, 2009
So he tells me that now that they have this new family, she's looking at her Toyota 4Runner and thinking it should be some kind of family-friendly crossover. You can't blame them really, as there's a whole commercial culture built on accessories for your newborn, so you find yourself extending the same outlook to your transportation needs. It's as if you get a big stamp on your forehead that says, "Must have room for stroller."
And there's something to be said for a utility-style cargo area. That nice, flat loading floor makes it easy to scoot things in and out, and almost everything has some kind of split-back folding seat so you can expand the space. Of course, it also quickly assumes the appearance of an overcrowded kitchen drawer, with stuff sliding around. And the truth is, the volume isn't that great, because you can only stack stuff to the height of the rear seatback for fear of something being catapulted forward in a sudden stop.
So why not a car instead? As the Mazda 6 illustrates, the modern trunk is a miracle of modern convenience. This one measures 16.6 cubic feet, and the whole split-back seat thing applies. The liftover height is actually lower than most any crossover. And everything is secured in a nice container, so it won't try to hit you in the head in an accident. It's not like the trunk of the modern car is shaped like a well, which is what used to make the trunk of a sedan so inconvenient. I'll show him this picture, since I think hardly anybody really gets the way rear seats flop and fold these days.
So I'll suggest the Mazda 6 to him. But they'll probably get a Mazda CX-7 instead.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 20,165 miles
October 05, 2009
Ever hear the story of the Princess and the Pea? Prince's mother hides a pea under a mattress, stacks many more mattresses on top, and still the Princess is sooooo delicate, she can feel the pea underneath, bruising her back while she's trying to get her royal beauty sleep?
Yeah, that's not me.
But that's exactly how I feel about our 2009 Mazda 6's seatbacks. I like the shape of the seat, lateral support, bolstering, even the quality of the leather, but for some reason, the feel of the three vertical seams in the seatback annoys me, no matter what I'm wearing.
No, I haven't tried driving with a parka on yet (this is Southern California, folks, I'm not planning on donning one anytime soon), but I'm not wearing a backless evening gown to work, either.
A couple of miles down the road in the Mazda 6, I start fantasizing about sheepskin seatcovers.
Does that make me a Princess, or just a big, ol' whiny baby?
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 18,331 miles
September 16, 2009
In the daytime, the dash lights on the Mazda 6 glow a subtle red. But in the evening, they let their hair down and rock out.
The blue and red combo makes my eyes think they see purple.
I don't mind the look. Purple is my favorite color. But I think if I were on a long road trip, my eyes would tire of the neon-ish glow.
What color are the lights on your speedometer?
September 15, 2009
Although some people still pine for the smaller, more nimble previous-generation Mazda 6, that car's tight rear seat was no doubt an issue for many family sedan buyers. To see how the upsized new Mazda 6 fares, I sat in back of our long-termer for about an hour-long trip.
There's plenty of legroom and decent thigh support. Toe room should be fine as long as you're not wearing hiking boots or something bulky like that. Headroom was suitable for me (5-feet, 10-inches), though I could imagine someone of taller stature having more of an issue with this. There a suitable rake to the seatback, making it a little easier to relax.
The only thing I didn't like was that the door's armrest seemed too far away -- I couldn't easily rest my forearm on it. Overall, though, the new 6 is very competitive in terms of rear-seat comfort.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 17,160 miles
July 17, 2009
I opened up the center console of our Mazda 6 this morning. It was really easy to open. And when I saw the missing latch I understood why. I can't tell you how it happened.
July 14, 2009
When I was growing up every car in my household was a Chevy. My Dad had two Chevys, my oldest brother had one, my sister had one, my Aunt who worked for my Dad, had one.
I grew up expecting all cars to have powerful, cold-blasting air conditioners. So, forgive me if I'm a little obsessed with the subject.
After sitting in our company garage all day, the cars get pretty toasty. So, I was very happy last night when I got into the Mazda 6 and found the A/C to be Chevyriffic. It has dual zones so my less heat-stricken passengers can control their own environment, the vents are well placed, the dials are easy to use without needing a degree in environmental science (unlike some other cars in our fleet <cough>Audi</cough>), the air flows strong and quietly, and the system cools the whole cabin quickly.
Happy happy joy joy.
Tell us about the A/C in your car.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 15,396 miles
July 06, 2009
After 900 miles -- the round-trip mileage to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (sheesh, I just said it again) -- I've become intimate with the 6's seats, which left both the wife and I with some serious road ass.
June 02, 2009
Our Sangria Red Mazda 6 came with a beige leather interior. The beige leather interior came with this odd, wavy-lined/matte metallic faux bamboo ("shamboo"?) trim material on the center console. Whenever I get into the Mazda 6, I think, "This is a nice-looking interior" -- and then I happen to look down at the cupholder cover and go, "Ugh, except for that." I can appreciate that designers like to throw in something a little different, a little something to catch your eye, but this pattern is going to look really dated really quickly.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 11,923 miles
May 25, 2009
I've been reading a lot of blog, forum and YouTube comments that have a similar theme.
They basically go like this (w/ some variation): "I'm waaaay too busy apexing corners, out gunning 911s and just being awesome in general to worry about an iPod connection. After a day of super incredible driving, I'd rather watch a bronco busting buddy film, slap high fives then down a Bud rather than worry about downloading music or whatever."
I call bull on that. Having an iPod connection is becoming a make or break proposition for many new car buyers. Mazda kinda gets it - they put a power point and the AUX jack together inside the center console storage box. iPod on > music > songs > shuffle. Set it and forget it. I get 16 gigs of music and I never have to worry about running out of juice or dealing with ugly cords. Sure, I'd rather have a standard iPod specific connection but this is a decent second place.
Brian Moody, Automotive Editor at 11,689 miles
May 12, 2009
Here's a picture of the most beautiful thing in the entire automotive world. See how that kid's feet are not touching the seat in front of him? Pure joy! No amount of horsepower, handling prowess or blue and white logos can make up for this one simple pleasure.
Hey Mazda, thanks for getting it!
Brian Moody @ 10,992 miles
May 05, 2009
Not noticing certain things is one of the highest compliments you can pay. For example - "Did you notice the sound system at that Broadway play?" "Not really." "Wasn't the editing in that film incredible?" "Didn't really notice." The truth is, if most things like this are noticed it's because they're terrible.
I've been driving the Mazda 6 for a few days and I simply have not noticed the seats. I say that means they are excellent. What do you think, are great seats virtually invisible or are they the kind that instantly WOW you with firm bolstering or a super soft cushion?
Brian Moody @ 10,728 miles
April 15, 2009
A couple weeks ago James wrote about how the seating position in our long-term 2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring is tall-guy friendly. Now I'm not exceptionally tall, but after spending another evening with our big red sedan, I think this is a very driver-friendly seating position in general. Specifically, sitting down into the car puts you in the mood to drive, not just commute.
The seats themselves are nothing special: The leather upholstery is only average-quality and Mazda hasn't taken any risks with lateral bolstering (the better to accommodate humans of larger frame). But there's a good range of seat-height adjustment, so I can jack up the seat to see well over the sedan's rising beltline and long nose. It's a great view -- as good as anything in the midsize sedan class. Yet, I still feel like I'm nestled in a real cockpit, rather than sitting on a barstool in some crossover SUV.
Then, there's the steering wheel. It's maybe a tenth of a size smaller than the wheels you usually see in this class and it's a typical, Mazda three-spoke design. It feels good to hold, and as I back out of my parking spot, put the transmission in D and turn the corner in the parking garage, I notice something else: genuine steering feel. This will be a good drive.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 8,813 miles
April 03, 2009
Of all the Japanese manufacturers, Mazda seems to best understand how to make a driving position for tall dudes like myself (6-foot-3). Both our departed long-term CX-9 and our long-term 6i feature power seats that can be adjusted into the full "birthing position," with the cushion front adjusted way far upward providing maximum thigh support. It backs this up with a far-reaching telescoping steering wheel that allows me to comfortably bend my elbows. Even the Mazda 3 when equipped with power seats is a pretty good proposition.
It would be nice if other manufacturers (cough, Toyota, cough) caught onto providing this sort of seat and wheel adjustment. I've never understood why they wouldn't, since they are basically eliminating themselves needlessly from consideration for people of my height. Being comfortable is of utmost importance. I find that in general BMW and Volvo usually fit me the best -- and I'm going to wildly surmise that the latter rubbed off on its corporate cousins Mazda and Ford, because they "fit" remarkably similar.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor
March 23, 2009
Within this well-located, multi-function display, the Mazda 6 provides you (in this instance while listening to the radio) with the following info:
-- Climate control status
-- Radio band and which bank of presets selected ("SR2")
-- Which preset button is selected ("ch3")
-- Station selected ("008" -- yes, it's the '80s one)
-- Passenger temperature selection.
Doesn't this strike you as a bit much, visually? Try reading this display at a glance and you'll see what I mean -- there's just too much info crammed in there. If they eliminated the preset status ("ch3") and showed just "SR" to indicate satellite radio, that would allow more space between the info fields and make it easier to quickly get a read on things.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 7,740 miles.
March 16, 2009
Immediately after getting into the 6, I noticed the steering wheel squeaked as I turned it from side to side. It sounds like leaves brushing against the side of a house in a storm.
I blasted the column with some canned air thinking I might get rid of the dirt and dust. It lessened the noise, but the ghost remains.
It's going in for service very soon so we'll get it looked at and let y'all know.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
March 09, 2009
Threw the Recaro Como kid seat into the back of the Mazda 6 this weekend. Overall the process was fine, though the give in the seat cushion and the texture of the leather made it a little tricky to get a tight cinch the first time. There was a plenty of leg room for my 3-year-old once she was in the seat, even with the front passenger seat adjusted for someone my height (5'7") to be comfortable.
I was particularly grateful that the designers of the 6's two-tone interior wrapped the backs of the front seats in black instead of light leather. When tiny feet do reach the seatbacks and leave their marks, at least it's not a jarring dark smudge on a light background.
And with the child safety seat in an outboard position, I was still able to fit in the center seating position (though I'm dangerously thin) if I put my shoulder behind the wing-like side of the Como. Not great for a road trip, but it would work if you were staying local.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 7,217 miles
February 24, 2009
I drove our 6 home last night for the first time. I think it's a solid car, but what makes it distinctive from other family sedans is the interior lighting. To me that kind of style is a difference maker when all other things are relatively equal.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
January 29, 2009
As my impatient right foot presses the Mazda 6 into action, the engine groans loudly. The mouthy 2.5-liter inline-4 is a little too talkative for my taste. But once the car gets going, Mazda has done a good job of keeping out wind and road noise.
There is a particularly undulating strip of the 405 freeway that can really stir up a car with a stiff suspension like the GT-R. But the softer Mazda 6 absorbs the bumps with ease and keeps out the thump-thump-thump of the concrete seams.
So, while we opted for the Mazda 6 with the smaller engine that sounds like it has to work hard to get going, the suspension and well-designed cabin keep the ride relatively quiet. I get to enjoy my music on the commute home instead of the roar of traffic.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
January 12, 2009
2008 and 2009 Mazda 6
One of the areas touched by the Mazda 6's 2009 redesign is its cabin. I think it's become a more attractive place to be -- little upgrades like additional metallic trim and sleeker HVAC vents really do make a difference.
It's as if your tweedy, middle-aged uncle landed a younger girlfriend and decided to spruce himself up with a haircut and a couple of new button-downs. This more polished cabin should help Mazda in its effort to vault the 6 from almost-there outlier to genuine mainstream contender.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 3,939 miles