2016 Mazda MAZDA6 Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos – The Car Connection
two thousand sixteen Mazda MAZDA6 Review
The Car Connection Pro Review
- Voluptuous exterior
- Sporty, certain driving feel
- Excellent fuel economy
- Active-safety features
- Refined, slick powertrains
- Lack of stronger V-6 or turbo engines
- Roofline boundaries backseat space
- Best gas mileage is bashful of hybrid competition
In the context of Camrys and Accords and Fusions, the Mazda six has been a slow seller; but that doesn’t make it less worthy of attention. It’s been mostly overlooked, but Mazda hopes a quick refresh in the two thousand sixteen model year will help to turn that around.
The two thousand sixteen Mazda six is an evocative, sleek sedan with some of the best road manners in its class—and a good antidote to the boredom that usually accompanies affordable mid-size models.
The six is gorgeous in a way no other $25,000 family sedan manages, not even the exceedingly luxurious Ford Fusion. Its muscular front fenders, arched roofline, and finely detailed rear end make it hard to find a bad angle on the car. This year, Mazda’s only touched it up lightly, with a reshaped grille that shares the winged design also emerging on the CX-5 and CX-3 crossovers, framed by narrow headlamps with freshly available LED trim and rear LED lighting. The grille is illuminated at the bottom by a unwrap of lighting on models tooled with the LED headlamps.
On the inwards, the Mazda six has been less lissome, and plagued in particular with dark grainy plastics. That’s switching this year: it’s grown more tasteful with a resculpting that pays more attention to material quality, and caps the dash with a bright fresh display screen. It’s attractive, with tastefully coordinated materials, just enough brightwork, and soft-touch materials in most places you’re likely to touch.
The six has a meager powertrain lineup—on paper anyway. Mazda’s Two.5-liter inline-4 is standard across the lineup, and it’s a well-developed, fresh and modern engine. It’s fitted with direct injection, variable valve control, and a very high 13:1 compression ratio (unleaded gas is just fine). By the numbers, it makes one hundred eighty four horsepower and one hundred eighty five pound-feet of torque, and it’s rated for as much as forty mpg on the highway when stop-start and a regenerative-energy system called i-eLoop is grafted on the drivetrain. All versions have front-wheel drive, and the engine is fitted to either a 6-speed manual, or a 6-speed automatic which gets driver-selectable modes for 2016.
Mazda has cut weight compared to the last six while strengthening the assets. With a curb weight of just Trio,200 pounds, the latest six feels friskier than the output numbers suggest. You’ll need to rev the engine to get the most pep, albeit both of the transmissions are willing playmates. With the automatic, you get crisp, very quick shifts and almost the feel of a dual-clutch unit. The fresh Sport mode cuts through the logy shift timing meant to improve gas mileage. The manual (our beloved) has brief throws and clean, precise activity. Steering is quick and well-weighted, albeit a little detached as many electric-boost systems are. That said, this is a car that treats well and is impatient to switch direction, with the nimble feel of something a size smaller, however its rail can bump abruptly with a compact-car feel.
In terms of convenience and storage, the Mazda six offers awesome interior space, with a roomy trunk and flip-forward rear seats that help provide a little more versatility than you might expect. The seats in the Mazda six are excellent (and Mazda’s revisited them for the fresh model year). Even if you’re sitting in the base Sport seats, you’ll find excellent lateral support. The rear bench seat lacks the head room that taller adults need, and it’s placed fairly high up.
The Mazda six has liked excellent crash-test ratings, earning a five-star overall rating from the federal government and IIHS Top Safety Pick+ status (albeit with an acceptable rating in the fresh small-overlap frontal test). In addition to all the usual airbags, stability control, and four-wheel disc brakes with Brake Assist, some Mazda six models are suggested with blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts—a system that helps spot cross traffic as you’re backing out of a parking space, or warn of an adjacent vehicle when switching lanes. There’s also lane-departure and forward-collision warning, which detects vehicles ahead and sounds an alarm. Other noteworthy safety options include automatic braking at speeds inbetween four and nineteen mph, automatic high-beams, and adaptive lighting.
Almost every feature and option you might expect to see available on a modest mid-size sedan is here, albeit there have been a few disappointing details in the past. One of them was the mock-iDrive “Commander Switch” and the TomTom navigation system, which together felt laggy and oddly coordinated; the system has been substituted by the latest Mazda Connect setup, seen already on the Mazda Trio, and including a larger screen set in a restyled dash. It’s quicker to react, but still has the handicap of a kludgy control device coupled with mapping that’s a tier below the best treatments (Audi leads with Google Earth imaging here). Other fresh tech features for two thousand sixteen include an electrical parking brake that frees up space on the center console and smartphone connectivity, a part of Mazda Connect. A head-up display is now suggested as well.
Standard features on the base Sport include air conditioning, power windows and locks, keyless ignition, cruise control, a USB audio input, and 17-inch alloy wheels (there are no steel wheels in the lineup). Get the automatic-transmission Sport and you add the Mazda Connect system, HD radio compatibility, the fresh Skyactiv-Drive Sport mode, and a rearview camera.
Touring models get dual-zone climate control, a power driver’s seat, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear-seat vents, leatherette seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, and the Commander Switch. And at the top of the lineup, Grand Touring models add leather upholstery, heated front seats, a memory driver’s seat and power passenger seat, fog lamps, standard LED headlamps, steering-wheel paddle-shifters, satellite radio, a power moonroof, bi-xenon headlamps, and adaptive front lighting. We recommend the 11-speaker Bose premium system for its excellent sound.
The 6’s inline-4 gasoline engine incorporates a suite of so-called SkyActiv technologies that include direct injection, variable valve control, and a very high 14:1 compression ratio. With the manual transmission, the six comebacks twenty five mpg city, thirty seven highway, twenty nine combined, according to the EPA. With the automatic, it scores 26/38/31 mpg.