There is no more stylish, sporty, or maturely executed mid-size sedan than the Mazda 6. Our other favorite, the Honda Accord, hides its excellence behind a veil of stoicism. Not the Mazda, which boasts an attractive body that sits atop a sharp-handling chassis and wraps around a luxury-grade interior. The 6’s Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims share the same 184-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Manual and automatic six-speed transmissions are available, as are the latest active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking.
What’s New for 2017?
Mazda’s clever G-Vectoring Control, an electronic method for inducing subtle load transfer to the front axle in response to steering-wheel inputs to enhance turn-in feel, is introduced to the entire lineup. Sport and Touring models have thicker front-door glass, while the Grand Touring gets acoustic laminated glass; every 6’s weather seals and sound attenuation have been optimized for further quiet. The i-Activsense safety bundle can now detect and react to pedestrians, read traffic signs, and automatically brake from speeds up to 99 mph. A new Premium package for the Grand Touring ups the 6’s already impressive luxury game with special leathers, stitching, and more.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
The 6 is first and foremost a driving enthusiast’s sedan, so we’d need the six-speed manual transmission. That choice takes the luxurious Grand Touring trim out of contention, but luckily, Mazda makes the stick shift standard on the well-equipped mid-level Touring spec, which would be our pick and is priced at $25,070. Outwardly, the Touring looks similar to the Grand Touring, with the same 19-inch wheels, and its standard leatherette seat and door-panel trim, power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and proximity-key entry capture some of the GT’s luxury aura. Among its other features are:
• Multi-adjustable power front seats
• Dual-zone climate control
• 60/40 split-folding rear seat
• Blind-spot monitoring
• Automated emergency braking