I’ve recently been on a run with reviews. The most recent being an invitation from a local Mazda dealer to drive a Mazda 6 mid-sized sedan for a day. The variant I got was the GT version which came with every option checked. The big news is the inclusion of Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology? What is that? Mazda isn’t a proponent of hybrids or electric vehicles because they feel that the internal combustion engine has a ways to go in terms of development. Thus they’ve looked at the engines, transmissions, body, and chassis so that you the driver could get more fuel economy but still get the “Zoom Zoom” that they’re known for. In this case, I got a car with a 6 speed automatic transmission with a four cylinder 2.5 L engine that put out 184 horse power and 185 pound feet of torque. Those of you with V6 based mid-sized cars will scoff of that, and I know that I did at first until I drove it. This car feels quick off the line, quick when passing, and never wanting for power. If for whatever reason this isn’t enough car for you, Mazda does have a diesel version in the works that will have a pile of torque on tap. Oh, if you’re looking for a V6, don’t. There’s isn’t one planned. The Mazda 6 is not only quick, but it feels light on it’s feet. From a suspension standpoint, it feels firm but not punishing. When I took it onto highway 401 it was comfortable and on city streets it soaked up most of the bumps that I encountered.
“Zoom Zoom.” Check.
Exterior wise, it looks sharp. If the goal was to make the Mazda 6 look anything other than an appliance from Honda or Toyota, mission accomplished. It looks fast standing still and has styling that will make people say “that’s a Mazda?” Interior wise, the car is well put together. Everything is well laid out when it comes to the controls. The seats are exceptionally comfortable, and the back seats are huge with plenty of legroom and head room. The only place where this falls about is the screen in the center console. It’s not only small, but the navigation system (which I found to be powered by TomTom) is confusing at times when it comes to the user interface. It also look kind of primitive when compared to the Garmin powered Uconnect systems that Chrysler has started to use in their cars. It is otherwise competent in terms of finding locations so it’s not all bad. The trunk is huge and is well designed with shrouds to keep the hinges from crushing items underneath them. That’s a nice touch as I tend to see that sort of thing on luxury cars. Safety tech includes a rearview camera and rear backup sensors, blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert. Not to mention 6 airbags, traction control, stability control, and ABS. In terms of comfort, it comes with dual zone climate controls and voice commands. I’ll also point out that this car is very quiet. Unless you really thrash the engine, you don’t really hear anything.
Now I didn’t have the chance to fill the tank as I only had the car for a few hours, but I drove it for over 100 KMs and the fuel usage was minimal based on the movement of the fuel gauge. Not scientific I know, but a good sign. It is rated for 7.6 L/100 KMs city and 5.1/100 KMs highway. Given how overly optimistic those ratings tend to be, it means that I should get somewhere between 7/100 KMs and 8/100 KMs in real world usage which would be quite good for a car this size.
My bottom line? The Mazda 6 GT is an exceptionally good mid-sized car. So good in fact that if you get Accord and Camry drivers to try this car, I think this would make them switch. Not only that, they won’t miss the V6. That tells you how good this car is. If you’re looking for a mid sized car, this one should be on your shopping list.