Let’s just get this out of the way. I really like the Mazda6. First of all, I consider the 6 to be the most attractive (and distinctive) design in the mid-size sedan category. What was already a delightful package of taut, sinewy, flowing lines gets some mildly revised front and rear styling – which only makes things better. Up front, you’ll find plenty of LEDs – headlights, signature driving lights (which no longer look like they’re partially burned out) and fog lights. And the big chrome smile gets what Mazda calls “signature grille illumination” – the underside of it gets lit up at night and the effect is pretty cool. My GT trim review car sat on chunky 225/45-sized rubber, wrapped around gorgeous 19-inch rims.
This car doesn’t really have any bad angles, and it gets a lot of looks on the road and when it’s standing still. The stares are well-deserved.
The previous interior was nice (but somewhat plain) and it too got an update. Mazda went with a clean and functional design for the new dash, centre console and trim. Soft-touch plastics are everywhere, and the two-tone interior gets a nice stitched leather-like material that is shared across the dash, door panels and seats. It brightens things up and tastefully takes everything up a notch in terms of quality and luxury.
The highly-comfortable perforated leather seats are heated, power-adjustable and reasonably supportive. The new centre console has higher side rails and is quite attractive – I feared that it flared out too much at the front, but my leg was able to rest comfortably against the padded side. Well thought out, Mazda.
One immediately obvious change inside is the high-mounted seven-inch screen, floating above the centre stack. Many continue to pooh-pooh the centred screens that juts out, often referring to it as the glued-on iPad look. I’ve adjusted and I appreciate this way of doing things. Whether you like how it looks or not, it makes ergonomic sense, and allows for a much lower dash, resulting in better visibility and reduced use of materials. Anyway, this one is a touchscreen and can also be controlled using Mazda’s HMI interface on the console. The system handles the navigation and phone functions as well as the 11-speaker BOSE sound system.
There’s a wealth of driver assistance technology – blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, smart brake support, forward obstruction warning, radar cruise control, lane departure warning (which plays nifty artificial rumble strip sounds through the stereo), heads-up display and a back-up camera. Throw in the dual-zone automatic climate control and the sunroof, and you’ve got a sedan that feels fully loaded.
In the back you’ll find three seats, three seatbelts and three headrests. The two outboard seats are very comfortable and provide excellent leg and foot room. The headroom is good as well.
As is typical, the middle seat is not so great for adult passengers – there’s a tunnel on the floor destroying the foot room and the seat is narrow and raised. With that said, our three kids were very comfortable back there, and you’re provided with two sets of LATCH connectors for their seats.