Beauty and Style – Inside and Out
The great American composer and lyricist Irving Berlin gave us the memorable song, “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.” It seems auto manufacturers have taken this song to heart as each try to outdo each other by releasing midsize cars that increasingly offer style, comfort, technology, performance and excellent fuel economy. Mazda certainly has been paying attention to the competition. As proof, the 2016 Mazda6 rates right up there with the best in the class and is a vehicle that reinforces the company’s reputation of building high-quality, fun-to-drive cars.
Driving Experience: On the Road
The front-wheel drive 2016 Mazda6 is powered by a smooth and responsive 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. While a six-speed manual transmission is available, Clean Fleet Report’s Mazda6 was equipped with a six-speed Sport automatic – with paddle shifters and Sport mode – which is the only transmission available in the top-end Grand Touring model. The EPA rates the Mazda6 mpg at 28 City/40 Highway/32 Combined. In 492 miles of 75-percent highway/25-percent city driving, Clean Fleet Report averaged, 32.2 mpg which means we were able to exceed the EPA numbers, especially on the highway.
The 40 mpg number is magic and impressive for a midsize gasoline-powered car considering that many cars one class down (compact) don’t get 40 mpg. Mazda achieved this through its Skyactiv engine and vehicle design philosophy, a slick-shifting automatic transmission, active grille shutters, a vehicle weight of only 3,250 lbs. and—with the optional GT Technology Package—the i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system.
Out on the road the Mazda6 will make driving enthusiasts smile. The sporty, confident nature of the handling comes from the MacPherson strut, multi-link independent suspension and the rack & pinion, electric power-assisted steering. Clean Fleet Report’s Grand Touring model was equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels and shod with P225/45/R19 all-season tires. With this combination the ride was stiffer than other midsize sedans I have driven, but such is the trade-off for a an above-average handling five-passenger sedan.
Driving Experience: Exterior
Following its Kodo design language, Mazda says the 6 design “fused intellect, elegance and an emotional, dynamic shape to realize a strong presence.” Obvious someone at Mazda took a creative
writing class, but when you look at the 2016 Mazda6, it is hard to disagree with the flowery prose. The Mazda6 was completely redesigned in 2013 and has now received a major refresh for 2016. It catches your eye from every angle with a distinctive design that starts with LED headlights (bi-xenon on the Grand Touring model), daytime running lights and fog lights, and features sculpted front fenders and a slopping roofline that softly arches at the C pillar, culminating at a short deck lid with an integrated spoiler. The rear is finished-off with LED taillights and twin bright exhaust tips.
Driving Experience: Interior
The 2016 Mazda6 interior is designed with the driver in mind, with its Heads-up Active Driving Display, and freestanding seven-inch infotainment display erupting from the low dashboard. It all works very well, providing information within easy sightlines. Our Mazda6 Grand Touring came equipped with a power moonroof and very tasteful white and black leather-trimmed seats with the same color treatment extending to the dash and center console. The front seats are heated with the driver’s seat a power eight-way and the passenger power six-way adjustable. The 60/40 rear seat comfortably seats three adults, but with the center armrest folded down two would be more acclimated to a long journey. The rear dual zone climate control and air vents are a nice touch.
The infotainment system includes an excellent 11-speaker Bose sound system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX HD radio, USB input, SiriusXM (four-month subscription), Aha and Stitcher Internet radio integration. The seven-inch color display houses the MZD Connect connectivity system with navigation. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has mounted controls for Bluetooth that offer hands-free telephone and voice control. To manage the radio, Mazda has a wheel on the center console for changing channels. We found it cumbersome as it required multiple steps to control a single function and the driver’s eyes were diverted from the road. Maybe in time it becomes a seamless operation, but after a week and almost 500 miles in the 6 we did not get the hang of the system.
Convenience comes your way with cruise control, power automatic keyless door locks, power windows with one-touch up and down, rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power and heated side mirrors with turn indicators and an electronic parking brake.
The 2016 Mazda6 comes with an extensive list of standard and optional safety features including eight airbags, four-wheel power disc ABS braking system, dynamic stability control, traction
control, hill launch assist, tire pressure monitoring system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert. Among the options on our Grand Touring was a heads-up display.
In crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the 2016 Mazda6 received five stars (the highest rating) for overall crash protection, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Mazda6 its top rating of Good.
Pricing and Warranties
Clean Fleet Report’s 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring, with optional equipment, had a MSRP of $32,630 excluding the $820 destination and handling charge. Base MSRP for the five 2016 Mazda6 models, excluding the $820 destination and handling charge is:
Sport: Manual Transmission $21,495
Sport: Automatic Transmission $22,995
Sport Touring: Manual Transmission $23,945
Sport Touring: Automatic Transmission $24,995
Grand Touring: Automatic Transmission $30,195
The 2016 Mazda6 comes with these warranties:
- Basic – Three-year/36,000-mile
- Powertrain – Five-year/60,000-mile
- Roadside Assistance – Three-year/36,000-mile
Observations: 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring
On top of making a midsize sedan that is among the best-in-class, Mazda gives you the choice of eight colors to show-off your new ride. Whether you opt for Soul Red Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Deep Crystal Blue or any of the others, you will be sure to be noticed in what Mazda says is a look “creating a deeper, stronger design expression.”
The 2016 Mazda6 is a sleek five-passenger sedan that has evolved into a true driver’s car. When at your local dealer, make sure to request (demand?) a lengthy test drive that will include high-speed highway onramps and maybe even a few mountain or country road twisties. The Mazda6 wants to be driven and the usual one-mile loop around the dealership isn’t going to give this car the justice it deserves.
Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle, which does not address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology, during which we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements. Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class or are among the top mpg vehicles on the market. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at firstname.lastname@example.org.