The mid-size Mazda6 sedan offers coupe-like styling, excellent road manners and premium features found on more expensive models. If you’re shopping in the crowded and competitive mid-size sedan segment, you should definitely drive the 6 before making your decision.
Mazda adds some premium refinements to the 6 for the 2017 model year, making it an appealing choice for families who want a little style to go with their substance.
The long and svelte Mazda6 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. All three are powered by a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV 4-cylinder engine that develops 184 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission in the front-wheel drive Mazda6 is either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed manual.
All 2017 Mzda6 trims get G-Vectoring Control as standard equipment. GVC uses engine timing to control chassis dynamics, which leads to smoother steering inputs and a smoother ride for passengers. The new software technology gives the driver more control and confidence by using the engine to apply about eight pounds of “braking” to the front end of the car, which in turn puts down force on the front tires and provides more steering stability. It’s not noticeable to the driver, but Mazda says the technology “will undoubtedly make any driver a better one.”
My test car for the week was the top end Grand Touring model with all the bells and whistles. Included were features like navigation, heated Nappa leather seats front and rear, a retractable head’s up display, paddle shifters, radar cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, a lane keep assist system, traffic sign recognition that displays the speed limit and a host of other safety technologies. Still, the bottom line on the sticker was $34,530, and that included the premium package and freight.
The Mazda6 Sport with the automatic starts at $22,995, the Touring starts at $25,245 and the Grand Touring starts at $30,695.
The 2017 Mazda6 is a Top Safety Pick Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, winning the top mark of Good in every crash test, including the difficult small overlap test. The 6 also gets a Superior rating in front crash prevention. The 2017 Mazda6 also earns five stars in the government’s safety tests.
The cabin of my Mazda6 Grand Touring test vehicle was very nice with power adjustable leather seats and a 7-inch navigation/infotainment screen that sits high on the center stack to minimize the time drivers’ eyes are off the road. The head’s up display is a key feature that also helps keep eyes ahead.
Infotainment is by Mazda Connect, which features a rotary controller surrounded by buttons on the center console. Also on the console is a toggle switch that puts the car in normal or sport mode. Controls and switches in the 6 are logically arranged, simple and intuitive to use. The excellent Bose sound system had a volume control knob on the center console, which is right where it should be.
A 12v outlet is near the bottom of the center stack and a second one is in the center console storage bin, along with a pair of USB ports and an auxiliary jack.
The Mazda6 cabin feels roomy and comfortable with room for five occupants to spread out. Headroom in the front seat is excellent at 38.4 inches (37.4 inches with the moonroof), and legroom in back is 38.7 inches thanks to concave front seatbacks. With the sloping roofline of the coupe-like Mazda6, you’d think rear seat headroom might be limited, but such is not the case. My 6-foot-1 frame slipped easily in the back seat and my hair just barely touched the headliner. The trunk is deep and has 14.8 cubic feet of storage.
On the road, the Mazda6 offers a fun and engaging driving experience. The available lane keeping system bumps the steering wheel back toward the lane if it senses the car wandering.
There are a lot of good choices in the mid-size sedan segment, and the 2017 Mazda6 is without a doubt one of them.
2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring
Horsepower / Torque:
184 / 185
$30,695 ($34,530 with options & freight)
EPA mileage estimates:
27 mpg city/35 mpg highway/ 30 mpg combined
Estimated highway range: