News Column

Mazda6: A Family Ride with a Stylish Side

March 25, 2009

Ralph Gray, for

Mazda6 test, hands on, test drive, car review

The Mazda6 just doesn't get the respect it deserves. It merits a lot.

The five-passenger sedan is a fine family car that provides a modicum of sporty handling. But not overly sporty, thank you.

It's fairly zippy---6.9 seconds 0 to 60 mph and it gets there with composure. The sprightly Mazda6 rides well, tracking accurately around curves. It does this all while providing comfortable travel to occupants.

The neat handling comes from front and rear stabilizer bars, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking and a stability control system.

Interior room is a smidgen better than the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry, its midsize competitors. This year, the Mazda6 is wider and longer and with a bigger trunk.

Yet some experts seem to overlook the mighty Mazda.

Okay, we didn't like the smallish side mirrors. Their stylish housings need to accommodate more glass. The tested Mazda6 S Sedan Grand Touring model added a blind spot monitoring system, to boot.

There's plenty of front seat legroom on powered bucket seats that are mildly bolstered. The steering wheel with its cruise and audio controls tilts and telescopes manually.

The 2.5L four-cylinder version starts at $18,550 and provides city fuel economy of 21 mpg and 30 mpg on the highway. The $28,260 Grand Touring gets 17 city and 25 highway from its 3.7L V-6 of 272 horsepower. All use a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Mazda6 Grand Touring packages plenty of automotive goodies.

Front seats are leather and heated, There's a trip computer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter and even a rear seat armrest with cup holders.

Extras like a navigation system, fancier radio and a sunroof boost the Grand Touring tab to $32,790.

Worth it, too, we can say with all due respect.

Mazda6 S Sedan Grand Touring

Engine...3.7L V-6L I-4

Dimensions...105.35" wheelbase; 186.8" length.

Base price...$28,260/tested $32,790.

Fuel economy...17/25 mpg.

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Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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