Written by: Adil Arif
Photography by: Adil Arif
Have you ever witnessed a sports event so one-sided you almost felt sorry for the other team? Or been so blown away by something that you found it hard to believe it was real? How could a family sedan be this fun? These were just some of the initial thoughts that went through my mind after I brought home the 2016 Mazda6 GT. For all of you who want something premium but don’t want to pay the hefty price tag that accompanies it, look no further than the Mazda lineup because they really know how to make an affordable yet attractive vehicle.
First thing’s first, the new interior for the 2016 Mazda6 is a slam-dunk. It’s a huge improvement over the dated layout and finish of the previous year’s model. Changes include a completely new center console, new navigation and media controls, and a gorgeous two-tone white and black faux leather color scheme. What that translates to is a high-end premium look that’s inviting, clean and uncluttered. Furthermore, the cabin is very roomy with plenty of leg and headroom even if you’re the unlucky passenger stuck in the rear middle seat.
Updates to the exterior include only minor changes to the front end. A larger chrome grill, chrome accents by the fog lights and new blacked out headlamps and fog lamps round up the alterations. Although we weren’t expecting anything radical from this mild refresh, the subtle changes make a nice impact to an already elegant looking car.
You won’t find any revisions under the hood – it’s still the same 2.5L four-cylinder engine pumping out 184 HP and 185 lb-ft of torque. It may not sound like much but out on the road it was a complete joy. The mid-range RPM punch was great and response to throttle input was instant and direct. Adding to that, the six-speed manual (a six-speed automatic is also available) was definitely one of the better gearboxes we've tested. Coupled with a nicely weighted shifter, rowing through the gears was a blast. The shifts were solid and smooth, reminiscent of a high performance sports car. Throws were surprisingly short and easy to nail every time.
The icing on the cake was the pedal placement. Perfectly positioned, they made heel-toe shifts so easy and so precise that I would find myself going up a gear just so I could come back down. The Mazda6’s steering was sharp and direct with great feedback and body roll was minimal. I found myself driving harder than I’ve ever driven an economy sedan, but that’s the best part – not once did I ever feel like I was driving a family car. To me, that says a whole lot. Even after a week’s worth of spirited mixed city and highway driving, I still managed to have half a tank of gas left. The only other time that’s ever happened to me was with a 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI – and that was a diesel! Mazda rates the Mazda6 at a remarkable 6.1 L/100km. During our test we averaged 8.0 L/100km, which was very good. I particularly enjoyed spending only $45 on gas during the week and being able to use regular 87-octane fuel.
It’s always a treat getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and finding three pedals and a stick shift. As automatics are becoming dominant with multiple clutches attached and paddle shifters, driver involvement is slowly dwindling. Personally I feel less connected when I’m not doing the work, and I applaud Mazda for keeping it traditional. It makes this Mazda6 GT feel very special. It delivers the total package and as I mentioned earlier, the way the car drives and feels scores the Mazda a landslide victory against its competitors.
Sure, there are safer choices like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, but the Mazda6 is the cheapest of the bunch. Starting at just $24,695 before taxes and any fees, it’s a well-equipped entry point and a hell of bargain. Inside and out, the Mazda6 easily looks and feels double the price. If you do opt for the top trim Mazda6 GT as tested here, you get a large amount of added features such as 19-inch wheels, an 11-speaker Bose audio system (which is outstanding by the way), and a slew of safety tech features to assist you in avoiding an accident. Coming in at $32,895, it’s $3,000 cheaper than the top Toyota Camry and a whole $5,000 cheaper than the most expensive Honda Accord. It’s arguable that those competitors offer V6 engines with more power where as the Mazda6 does not, but then you’d also be sacrificing fuel economy.
To be completely honest, the added power from two more cylinders just isn’t needed. Never once did I think the Mazda6’s four-cylinder was underpowered. It felt incredibly light on its feet, was very comfortable inside, excellent looking on the outside, and after recently testing the top trim Camry I can confidently say the Mazda6 is the better car. I can only imagine what a Mazdaspeed6 would be like. One can dream but in the mean time, the Mazda6 is the way to go.
型号 Model: 2016 Mazda6 GT
顏色 Paint Type: TItanium Flash Mica
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $32,895
試車售價 Price as Tested: $32,895
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,830
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,895 / 1,840 / 1,450
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,442
引擎 Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.5 L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine
最大馬力 Horsepower: 184 hp @ 5,700 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 185 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: Independent with MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Independent multi-link with coil springs, stabilizer bar
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: 4-wheel disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: 4-wheel disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway)- L/100 km: 9.4 / 6.4
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 225/45R19