First off, I don't want a car everyone else has -- so that knocked off the fusion, accord, and altima (which are also terribly boring to look at or be in). After a 1,300 mile trip I can say a few things with certainty: The car does not drive as stiff as many reviews say, even with 19" wheels. I'd say if anything it's an average ride quality -- you do feel the road, but it's not like driving over a washboard gravel lane. It's not a luxury car, but in general, it feels like one more often than not (our last two cars were Acuras).
Is there a car in this segment, including luxury, that has a more sinuous and seductive styling than the Mazda6? If you were to ask me, I'd say no, that Mazda absolutely has created a car that is as much function as it is form. However, the car is much more than just the belle of the ball. It is a family hauler that is as much practical as it is athletic. With a few, albeit very minor, complaints, this car is the closest you will get to a German made equivalent without breaking $30,000. It's clear that Mazda spent The Mazda6's performance is better than what I would expect in it's class. Most people that are complaining about the lack of speed are likely referring to it's drag racing numbers. It's acceleration will not wow you like a Hellcat Charger or Chervolet SS, but that's not what it was designed to be. It is not a drag strip sport sedan, nor was it designed to be. For less than $23,000 after tax, title, and license, the Mazda6 is the car that has very peppy acceleration and an automatic transmission that you'd swear was dual clutch with how smoothly it shifts. It rides the road like it is on rails and teases you to push it harder on winding roads. It's like a large, practical Miata in many ways. It's not a numbers car, but that doesn't matter when it comes to driving it. It's a sedan that is fun to drive. It's a driver's sedan and is made for the person that doesn't mind taking the longer, windier way to work. While I'm sure it wouldn't be less enjoyable to have more power from the engine, the car is faster than others in it's segment and price and is balanced with how much power it has. The interior is a large upgrade from older models and has a very clean appearance. There is leather and aluminum accents throughout the body, replacing much of the cheap, hard plastics from the past. The leatherette seats in the Touring trim are very comfortable, being just soft enough without feeling like a recliner. The rear seats have plenty of room for a car that isn't a full sized sedan and the fronts seats comfortably fit someone who is over 6' tall. The trunk is quite spacious and leaves little to complain about. The media console and screen is a love it or hate it piece of equipment. Using it and the iPod like wheel makes it clear it is designed to distract from the driving experience as little as possible. While the car is in park or not moving, you can use the display's touch capabilities. While the car is in motion, you have to use the wheel in the middle of the center console. This can be annoying for passenger's that want to change the radio station or hook up their phone, but it's so simple and easy to use with the wheel, it's not a dealbreaker of an annoyance, at least not for me. The wheel has tactile feedback and you can easily begin to remember how many clicks in a turn it takes to get to whatever menu you are looking for. The shortcut buttons around the wheel are thoughtful and are the most common options you are going to navigate to. *I didn't choose to have navigation enabled on my car, so I can't make any comments about it's capabilities. You can enable it after the fact by buying Mazda's SD card and inserting it in the slot in the storage bin in the center console. All-in-all, you have a very attractive car that performs better than others in it's class and price range and is thoroughly enjoyable to drive. It is comfortable and spacious (as spacious as a mid-sized sedan can be), but drives like it's a much smaller car than it is. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a car in this segment. I would not recommend this to a person who is looking for a performance sports sedan, such as a WRX or Chevrolet SS, as it's straight away speed is not going to blow you away. But, again, this is not a car designed for that. It provides a comfortable ride with more than peppy performance and a great driving experience at an amazing price for the package.
An engaging, practical, fun car for driving lovers
written on 02-04-2016
i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
If you love driving and want a car that you look forward to getting into everyday, look no further. I have driven several mid-size sedans in this price range and no other vehicle comes close in terms of charisma and driving joy. I'll break this review down into things I love about this car and then get into some performance/technical details. What I love: - Amazing steering and road handling: This is the distinguishing factor in terms of driving thrill. You feel connected to the road and it really makes for a rewarding driving experience. This car can definitely handle corners very well in true Mazda fashion. The ride can be stiff, but that's the price you pay for great sport tuned suspension. Overall, the stiffness has never really bothered me so don't let it stop you from considering this car. This car also has a tight turning radius - a blessing when navigating tight parking lots or making 3 point turns. - Good looks: This car definitely turns heads and it looks just as good inside as it does outside. I've had this car for 8 months now and I still find myself admiring it from a distance. On the inside, the story is the same. My friends have commented on how upscale the interior looks for a car in this class. The finish and trim is more than good enough for the price, and the buttons/layout are all very intuitive and laid out well. - Electronics and Technology: Whether you want to play from your phone, MP3, CD, or USB, this car has you covered. You can control most of your music from your car's system even if streaming from another device. You can connect via USB, Auxiliary Cord, or Bluetooth. If you connect your phone to the car's Bluetooth system, the car will import your contacts, which is a huge plus. You can simply speak to your car and say "Call Mom" and it will do so for you. As far as music goes, the stock speaker system is great. It has a solid bass sound and all of my songs sound complete and engaging, so no complaints there. It is one of the better stock sound system I've heard in a car, and I bet the Bose package is even better. I put all my music in a USB Flash Drive and into the car's USB port, allowing me to select all of my songs through the car's Entertainment Screen. Speaking of the Entertainment Screen, Mazda are geniuses. They have placed the screen high enough so that the driver can make quick adjustments without wandering his/her eyes off the road for more than a split second. The last great thing about the Entertainment system is that the navigation dial, buttons, and volume control are all on the center console near the arm rest, allowing the driver to easily make selections with one hand in a relaxed position. Lastly, the Dual Automatic Climate Control is a fantastic feature that lets you adjust the cabin temperature to your needs. From my experience, the car warms up the interior fairly quick (about 5 minutes on a cold day). - Fuel Efficiency: For a car of this size and not having a hybrid system, this car truly gives you great gas mileage. I have averaged about 30.8 MPG for the life of the car (with mostly local stop and go traffic and a fair amount of highway driving mixed in). - Blind Spot Monitoring: Now that I have this feature, I don't know how I ever lived without it. The car has small orange LEDs on the side mirrors that light up when a car is in your blindspot. Although I always still check my blindspots, it's nice to have this level of backup to make more confident lane changes in highway driving or congested city traffic. - Practicality: The trunk is spacious, the backseats give ample leg room for average height adults, and the car isn't so large that it's a burden to park in tight spots. As promised, I'll give some insight on the technical and performance aspects of this car. - Fuel Efficiency: During the week, I mostly drive in city traffic and get about 27-28 MPG. On highways and long drives, however, I easily get around 32-34 MPG. Overall, I have averaged 30.8 MPG on this car total since purchasing it. If you can drive 50-65 MPH, that's the most optimal speed. At those speeds, I have averaged nearly 40 MPG on occasion. - Power: Although this is only a 4-cylinder engine, it packs quite a wallop. It has enough power to merge onto highways at high speed and overtake other cars. The Automatic transmission is smooth and the option of manually shifting is a welcome feature when trying to merge or overtake on a highway. The engine gives you the power needed for quick spurts of acceleration while maintaining great fuel efficiency. Overall: I love this car. If I have to go on long drives, I almost look forward to cruising in this car and listening to music more than getting to the destination itself. It is truly the most enjoyable car in its class and makes you happy every time you get in it. It combines the practicality of its competitors with the charisma and driving joy of Mazda. 5/5 stars.
After 20,000 miles it is clear that the car is solid and well built. It corners well, the steering feels planted and pickup is adequate for city driving. In mixed driving achieved 30+ mpg. The electronics work well and are intuitive. I really appreciate the lane change warning and backup camera. Also plenty of room front and back and a nice size trunk. Back seats easily fold down for quite a bit of storage. After a year the car has been reliable; zero warranty work, no recalls. I use the sport switch occasionally when entering a highway as it significantly improves pickup. There is no need to have it on and reduce economy during normal driving. Passengers don't complain about the back seat during long trips. There can be some interior noise, which I believe has been improved for 2017. This is all the car I need. Plus I like the way it looks. Easy to recommend.
This is a terrific car and great value in many ways, but beware these cars develop interior rattles and buzzes after the first few months of ownership. Check the Mazda Owners' Forum. If you can live with some vibration, buzzing, and rattling in the interior, you will be very pleased with the Mazda6. If these types of issues really annoy you, you will be unhappy with the vehicle. Unfortunate because the car handles so well, is nicely designed, priced fairly, and the interior materials appear of higher than usual quality. It's all just not screwed together as tightly as some buyers will want. A son helped pick out the car and planned to buy it for the lease residual purchase price. Given the buzzy dash, center stack, and console, he plans to pass and I will be relieved to turn the car in at lease end. By the way, the dealer and Mazda USA customer satisfaction are not able to correct these problems and don't particularly extended themselves for the customer.