2017 Mazda 6 - showcasing simplicity and efficiency
The Mazda 6, which is called the Atenza in Japan, has been in production since 2002 and has proven itself to be a formidable competitor in the sedan market. Competing with automotive stalwarts like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord doesn't seem to bother the Skyactiv-equipped Mazda.
Before elaborating on the design, let me get to the fun part first. After driving so many turbocharged vehicles, it was a welcome experience to try the Skyactiv's naturally inspired 2L engine.
Given that I was test-driving the base-level model, I knew from the jump to temper my expectations. However, the six-speed transmission performed very efficiently, changing gears at a very low rpm when in normal mode, with the primary aim to preserve fuel.
In contrast, in sports mode is where Mazda's Skyactiv technology shines, as the car instantaneously becomes more aggressive. Not only does it keep the rpm at a higher level, but it also prefers to stay there.
While driving through Bog Walk, St Catherine, it provided sufficient power when overtaking. Perhaps the only addition I would recommend is for the steering to be firmer in this mode. Nonetheless, the overall experience was a welcome surprise as the power was more than adequate for our terrain.
The handle was also good, especially when going around corners where there is little to no body roll. This is complemented by the good front visibility that the car provides due to the unobtrusive pillars. Perhaps the only letdown is that the ride is a little firmer than expected for a sedan like this, which borders on luxury territory.
Mazda's interiors are renowned for being stylish and straightforward, and this is no different. The dashboard greets the centre console with pronounced double stitching which adds a sense of sophistication. There are also patches of soft-touch materials through the cabin which increases the creature-comfort effect.
In the dashboard, there is the protruding Mazda Connect seven-inch multifunctional touch screen, which can be controlled by a rotary knob behind the gear lever. It functions in a very intuitive manner, allowing the driver to navigate through the features effortlessly.
Once it is paired with your phone via Bluetooth or USB cable, you can scroll through your call log to access recently dialed numbers or missed calls. There is also a built-in voice- recognition feature, which doesnot require you to pre-record voice tags to activate. Admittedly, it doesn't work perfectly all the time, but it does get some points for convenience.
As for the music, it's equipped with a six-speaker Bose audio system, which comes standard on all Mazda 6. Though they provide nice quality sound, you will have to tweak the settings to your liking.
For me, the default setting has the treble a bit high coming from the dashboard-embedded speakers, which hinders you from hearing the sound coming from the other speakers. Luckily this can be adjusted by going into audio settings.
Over the past couple of years, Mazda has adapted a design concept that is modern and simple, presumably taking some tips from its German counterparts. The two character lines on the bonnet are slightly cured and are seamlessly integrated in the front grille, which houses the Mazda symbol. To the far end of each side are the LED lights, which wrap around to the side panel of the car.
In addition, the lights can use sensors to automatically turn tham on when the time gets dark.
When looking at the car from a side view, the front end looks aggressive, which is caused by the distinctive upper character line that runs from the front door to the nose of the car.
It's also obvious that the belt line has been raised them while the rear roof line slopes in a coupÈ-type manner, a concept that has become popular with many SUVs.
Completing the car is a rear that stays consistent with the overall design theme, with a pronounced silver trimming that runs across the trunk.
What I like:
- Minimalistic and effective interior layout
- Engine feels well tuned, especially in sports mode
- Ride is a bit firm for its class
- Cost of test model (total and monthly cost) - $5.244 million with a monthly cost of $71,058.74
- engine size: 2000cc
- Hp: 155bhp
- Transmission: Six-speed Skyactiv Transmission with Manual Mode and Sport Tuning
- Type: Mid-size Sedan
- Competitors: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord
- Who this vehicle is for:
The secure and forward-thinking professional who desires a premium product with style and elegance, and an appreciation for revolutionary technology.
The Mazda 6 with Skyactiv Technology is designed for the uncompromising driver who wants a vehicle that is performance oriented, fuel efficient and economically viable." - Executive Motors
Test drive provided courtesy Executive Motors, 929-5274, firstname.lastname@example.org