Completely redesigned and having entered its third generation last year, the Mazda6 returns for 2015 as a fun, fuel efficient and head turning four-door with thankfully few changes. Embracing the company’s “KODO — Soul of Motion” design theme introduced in 2010 and inspired by the movement seen in animals, the curvy and aggressive looking Mazda6 makes arguably the best use of the new aesthetic architecture when compared with fellow face-lifted vehicles, the Mazda3 and CX-5. For instance, the sleek headlamps, big grille on the nose and the long and low-slung side profile prove this point.
Mazda did a good job striking a balance between luxury and sport, particularly on the Gran Touring trim press car I was driving. There’s red stitching on the leather seats, polished door handles and dash accents made from real metal and auto-levelling HIDs, all which made me feel as though I was driving a much more expensive vehicle.
The 6 has been touted as a class leader in fuel efficiency, and that’s largely due to the proprietary SKYACTIV technology. Developed to increase engine efficiency and output, everything from the chassis and body components to the drivetrain and pistons have been made to work in harmony.The result is a 2.5 litre, four-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, while netting an observed 9.6 L/100 km fuel consumption during my week of driving. Not mindblowing performance numbers, but the car is quiet, comfortable, handles well and is overall pleasant to drive.
My GT with the Technology Package also featured the innovative iELOOP system that helps to trap and re-use wasted power. By using a special alternator and capacitor, energy that is created and usually lost while the car is coasting or braking is stored until it is later needed, for things like the headlights and climate control thus freeing additional strain from the engine. Getting into the cabin, you immediately notice how roomy it is on the inside, despite being a couple of inches shorter than the previous model. All three trim models (GX, GS and GT) have features such as push button start, Bluetooth integration, 5.8” touchscreen audio display and adjustable heated front seats.
Mine had a few extras including Smart City Brake Support that allows the computer to brake for you if it senses a collision. Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Radar Cruise Control can automatically adjust the distance between you and other cars while cruise control is activated. Overall, the new Mazda6 is a solid purchase choice if you’re in the market for a sedan that does more than the status quo and looks really good doing it. Starting at $24,495 MSRP for the GX model, it is priced competitively for its class as long as you can live with a cloth interior and manual climate controls.
MSRP: $35,095 base
Motor: 2.5 L four-cylinder
Horsepower: 184 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 185 @ 3,250 rpm
Gearbox: six-speed Sport mode
automatic transmission with paddle
Layout: front-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 8.4 L/100 km city, 5.9
highway (manufacturer estimate)