Mazda6 — A family sports sedan

By David Finkelstein

For the 2017 model year, the Mazda6 sedan is positioned as a midsize family automobile capable of going “above” and “beyond” in delivering a fun driving experience while still exhibiting practicality and overall efficiency. The car further gains customer appeal with premium refinements as well as being one of the best-handling and most-engaging vehicles in its popular segment. Competitive makes are often cross shopped such as the Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.

To elaborate on the vehicle's steering and driving dynamics, Mazda engineering refers to this milestone as the “Jinba Ittai” effect. That is defined as the close connection of the vehicle and the driver, a natural extension of the human body. This innovative technology reflects Mazda’s approach to continuously refine its vehicles by thus using the engine in conjunction with steering control, throttle inputs and suspension responses to provide a more refined driving experience for both driver and passengers.

It's all electronically linked with the G-Vectoring Control technology. This enables smooth and efficient vehicle behavior under most anticipated driving conditions.

“Conceptually, it’s really simple. Every time you make a steering wheel input, it reduces the engine torque a small amount,” said Dave Coleman, development engineer at Mazda. ”This tends to give the car better steering feedback and a more natural cornering posture.”

Honestly, It may not be completely noticeable the second you get behind the wheel — it depends on the road surface, driving conditions, vehicle speed and terrain before you actually feel this level of automotive engineering.

From its upscale interior to its attractive exterior body design, this reaffirms that the Mazda6 is a true sports sedan of which is earning accolades across the globe. Mazda6 continues to show that a family sedan can be manufactured without compromise — all with an attractive starting base price of $21,945.

The '17 models come equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine. Its rated at 184-horsepower and 185 lb-ft torque and is further featured with added sound insulation improvements that help keep under-hood noises from finding its way in the interior cabin.

The base transmission is a 6-speed manual gearbox. You can upgrade to their 6-speed automatic. EPA numbers when equipped with the manual transmission show 24-mpg city/34-mpg highway. With the automatic transmission, the numbers posted are 26-mpg city/35-mpg highway.

Optional is Mazda's  i-ELOOP technology in which the engines electrical load is governed by an on-board capacitor that powers up accessories while at idle, thus helping somewhat to improve the fuel consumption numbers.

The entry-level Sport trim version comes equipped with the six-speed manual, electronic parking brake, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, push-button starter, 17-inch alloy wheels, backup camera and MAZDA CONNECT infotainment. MAZDA CONNECT integrates Bluetooth hands-free phone pairing and audio streaming, USB pairing and diagnostic controls into a 7.0-inch full-color touch screen that works in conjunction with a center mounted control knob or by voice commands.

Mazda6’s SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission is a $1,050 stand alone option on Sport and Touring trim levels. Upgrading to Mazda6 Touring trim includes 19-inch alloy wheels, leatherette seating surfaces, Blind Spot Monitoring System, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, dual-zone climate control, rear vents and a six-way power driver’s seat. Smart City Brake Support, automatic on/off headlights and rain-sensing wipers are also standard for 2017.

Available features are an 11-speaker Bose Premium audio system, power moonroof and SiriusXM satellite radio. Upgrades like full LED headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System, an auto-dimming interior mirror and heated front seats are among other features.

Next is the Mazda6 Grand Touring. It includes navigation, perforated leather-trimmed seats; a newly upgraded, full-color Active Driving Display head-up unit; an eight-way power driver’s seat; a six-way power passenger seat; alarm system; paddle shifters; LED foglights and lighted signature grille; dark alloy wheels; rear lip spoiler; Mazda Radar Cruise Control; and Smart City Brake Support.

The 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring’s new standard features also include Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Control and memory seat that’s integrated to work with the height of the Active Driving Display.

With Mazda's “Soul of Motion” design language and head turning paint quality, the car's exterior makes a bold and modern statement with a masculine leap forward at all viewing angels. Additionally, improvement with the cars interior quality results in a beautifully crafted environment, demonstrating a rich and sophisticated taste with premium materials throughout. Functionality, a new steering wheel is highlighted with numerous controls plus, easer to interrupt dash gauges and readouts help to enhance your daily commute.

The LED overhead lighting is bright for improving night-time operability inside the vehicle. With their i-ACTIVSENSE safety features, it's designed to enhance the car's already outstanding safety performance. It works in combination with various other leading safety technologies to ensure an enjoyable and secure driving experience.

The base warranty and roadside assistance coverage is for 3-years/36,000 miles. Powertrain coverage is for 5-years/60,000 miles. All versions are built on a front-wheel-drive chassis.