- The Mazda6 is Mazda‘s midsize car.
- It competes with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry directly, though it distinguishes itself by focusing on performance and “zoom zoom.”
- I tested a Signature model with a manufacturers’ suggested retail price of $US34,750, but the base edition carries a starting price tag of $US21,950.
- I liked everything from the design of the car to the way it looks and drives, but it had some admittedly weird design flourishes.
The Mazda6 is not to be overlooked.
That’s my conclusion after spending a few days with the car and driving it hundreds of miles through three states.
The Mazda6 is a roomy, midsize car, but it feels like so much more. That’s because its thoughtful design is evident throughout the vehicle, and its refinement feels like a class above.
The Mazda6 competes with other midsized cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry directly, though it distinguishes itself by speaking to driving enthusiasts in the language of “zoom zoom.” And that’s evident by the way the car drives.
Still, Mazda is a niche player. Mazda sold only 22,618 cars in 2018 as of August, compared to the hundreds of thousands sold by the bigger players, according to sales figures from Kelley Blue Book. Worse news for people who love four-door sedans: the midsize segment itself is suffering a dramatic overall decline. Sales are down 20% year-over-year as consumers opt for crossover SUVs and pickup trucks.
That’s a shame, since the Mazda6 can easily hold its own against some of the best automotive offerings. I had the chance to take the 2018 Mazda6 for a spin, and I wound up falling in love.
I tested a Signature model with an MSRP of $US34,750, but the base edition carries a starting price tag of $US21,950. Here’s what we thought:
Meet the 2018 Mazda6. I was able to test the car on a late-summer trip to a friend’s Pennsylvanian lake house.
Ain’t she a beaut? During a stop at a farmer’s market to stock up on veggies and food for the weekend, I couldn’t help but stop and stare on the way in and out.
The first thing that struck me is the Mazda6’s sculptural beauty. From every angle, the Mazda6 is a looker.
At the same time, though, its beauty is not overstated. It doesn’t shout or whisper, but confidently proclaims: “Here I am, and I am pretty.” The Snowflake White Pearl Metallic paint is quite sharp.
Under the hood was the upgraded engine option: a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine, good for 250 horsepower under ideal conditions.
The transmission delivered that power to the wheels incredibly smoothly, even when the car’s “sport” mode was switched on.
The car shoots off the line and stays there with continuous power as the RPMs rise.
In fact, I accidentally squeaked the front tires a few times just by hitting the accelerator too hard off the line. This car is fast — make no mistake.
The suspension is playing some kind of magic trick. I don’t know how, but it absorbs bumps on beaten New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvanian roads with aplomb, and yet in turns it stays poised and confident.
In short, the handling was sharp, and I was instantly confident in the car. I was whipping around turns with ease.
Have I mentioned I like the way it looks yet? I have? Good.
The nearly 15 cubic feet of trunk space had plenty of space for various vegetables and late-summer delights.
Inside, the cockpit was a weird collection of high and low.
The instrument cluster was easy to use at a glance — clean and informative, though it did repeat the level of the gas tank both analogue and digitally. I’m not sure what the point of that was.
The infotainment system runs off a central touchscreen.
I liked all the physical buttons. For me, the less fiddling around with the infotainment center, the better. I won’t review it because I barely used it, but I found it adequate for navigation, and Apple’s CarPlay is useful for everything else.
Leather and fake suede accents lined the dash of the premium edition I drove. I was in favour of the overall design, but I’m one of those weird people that think brown and black clash instead of complement. I also wasn’t a fan of the fake suede — would have rather seen some dark wood.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel was one of my favourite parts.
The rest of the cockpit was great, and the Nappa leather seats were extremely comfortable. I didn’t have any complaints, even in (literally) hours of Manhattan tunnel traffic. The 11-speaker Bose system blasted out Abba’s greatest hits and made them sound crystal-clear.
The car was also filled with gadgetry that I didn’t much care for. I did like the heads-up display, which made it easy to see things like speed and the next turn without taking my eyes off the road. It did take some time to get used to, however.
Going home, the trunk was able to fit in luggage for five human adults.
I’ll let my friend Olivia surmise my thoughts. Bottom line: the Mazda6 is worth a look!
NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.