2016 Mazda 6 I (1137)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Mazda 6 I and you will be impressed as I was. This is a fine automobile in a pretty broad lineup of competitors. It is among the most efficient family sedans in entry cost as well as operating costs. There is very little negative commentary, on Mazda products, on the whole.

Older folks will recall that 4-door sedans were a no-no to the youth of the 1960s generation. Those were ‘not cool’ then, but today design has blended the versatility of 4-doors without sacrificing style. The youth of today isn’t as resistant to 4-door cars.

General Information: It is assembled in Hofu, Japan; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Japan 95%   Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is Midsize. Cars from Mazda: CX 3, CX 5, CX 9, Mazda 2, Mazda 3, Mazda 5, Mazda 6, MX-5 Miata.

Opinion:

Safe Driving is impressed on all who frequent a race track. But professional race drivers have a special need for speed, and it is fulfilled on the track. It is, by any measure, treacherous and dangerous. I have observed friends who ARE pros on the track, tend to be exceptionally good and cautious drivers on public highways. I believe that is because they have such a stressful job on the track, they are content to enjoy off the job driving.

Conversely many non-professional drivers also can have a ‘need for speed’ but haven’t the availability of a race track to get it out of their system. Thus they do their racing on city streets and highways and that is a recipe for disaster.

Case in point is, just this morning, content to avoid the busy freeways, I took one of my alternate routes “over the San Gabriel Mountains” of Southern California to Pasadena. It is a route devoid of traffic and one that gives me a venue to test a cars performance. I wasn’t testing this morning however and when a sport car came up behind me anxious to go ahead, I pulled over to let him pass. He zipped on by and quickly faded into the road ahead of us. I enjoyed the early morning drive without any pressure of traffic congestion. As I came around one corner I was not surprised to find my young friend in a hurry had spun out on a hair pin turn and crashed into the mountain. I stopped to see if he was okay and he was, so at his request I called his dad when I got to where I had cell service.

A race track is more forgiving and if you go off course you don’t’ have to worry about running off a cliff or crashing into a mountain. At least the young man was not racing on a congested highway where he would certainly have involved others in the situation that surely ruined his and his dad’s day.

Handling & Performance:

Very good handling and power in class. Turbo would be nice but with the unwanted tradeoff of poor fuel economy. Today’s 4-cylinder engines deliver more than adequate power for my taste. It is a surprisingly agile performer. On a test track or mountain course it is sure to impress for a family 4-door sedan.

Styling:

Very nice contemporary design.

Fit and Finish:

Very well assembled. I always am gratified how much better made cars of today are. It is an evolution revolution that has eliminated squeaks and groans of yesteryears cars. Nice.

Cost:

Competitive in class

Conveniences and comfort:

Outstanding array of standard features and I particularly like the Blind Spot detection system. I was not as thrilled with the (not-standard feature) adaptive cruise control. It disengages as it slows to 20 mph and that can be disastrous as it fails to brake after that point. A near silent bell sounds to let you know if you don’t brake you will crash. Not good.

Consumer Recommendations:

Mazda has been a consistent performer with very little “Hype” in the form of advertising. Thus it is very high on my list of ones to include in your test drives.

Recognized Competition:

Mazda 6 $31,000, Subaru Legacy $31,000, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid $31,000, Volkswagen Passat $31,000, Honda Accord Hybrid $36,000, Kia Optima Hybrid $33,000, Chrysler 200$28,000, Chevrolet Malibu $32,000.

Good News:

Good compliment of standard equipment, smooth ride and good power while delivering very good fuel economy.

Bad News:

Although I’ve listed MSRP for the standard equipment, the test vehicle was equipped with Mazda Radar Cruise as an option (also known as Smart or Adaptive Cruise). I had a problem with the functionality of the option as noted and hope the company will remedy that weakness. Most other competitor’s smart cruise will function in traffic without driver intervention.

Standard Equipment:

2.5 liter 4-cylinder 184 hp engine, Front Wheel Drive, 6-speed auto transmission, 19” alloy wheels, rain sensing windshield wipers, heated power mirrors with turn signals, Rear Spoiler, leather trimmed sport seats, Heated front seat, power windows and locks, leather trimmed sport seats, 8-way power drivers seat, with power lumbar support and seat memory, 6-way power front passenger seat, auto dim review mirror, 7” color touch screen display, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio, rearview camera, keyless entry system, LATCH child safety system, Smart city brake support, tire pressure monitor, Blind spot detection system, 4-wheel disc brakes, power assisted steering, stabilizer bars, auto on/off headlights, daytime running lights, fog lights, power moonroof, active driving display, leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls, cruise control, power auto door locks, power windows, USB audio input, dualzone auto climate control with rear seat vents, 60/40 split fold down rear seat, Bose 11 speaker sound system, power ABS brake system with electronic brake force distribution, stability control, traction control, hill launch assist, front, side and front and rear side curtain air bags, rear cross traffic alert.

Gas Stats:

$2.95/ Gal avg. April 17, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

28 City and 40 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $30,195.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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