Mazda's Mid-Size Sedan Continues to Push Standards of ‘Segment Best'
Completely redesigned as a 2014 model, Mazda6 entered the cutthroat mid-size sedan §egmènt as a fresh-faced challenger only to exit as its fearless champion. Únexpected yet hardly a surprise, Mazda6 captured impressive awards such as being named 'Car of the Year' by Popular Mechanics and a '10Best' by Car and Driver, among others. While 2015 may be a carryover year for Mazda6, there is no slowing down in the fast lane as the vehicle receives updates to select features and packaging options.
'The mid-size sedan §egmènt is one of the largest §egmènts in terms of sales volume, meaning automotive manufacturers tend to put their best foot forward in terms of technology, performance and design,' said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). 'Because of such competition, Mazda6 needed to offer consumers and critics something beyond the smoke-shrouded gimmicks of some §egmènt rivals. What the final product delivered is an experience like no other in its class.'
More than a run-of-the-mill §egmènt hat rack, Mazda6's unrivaled beauty is wholeheartedly matched wîth its keen brain. Chock full of Mazda-engineered technologies and systems, the 2015 Mazda6 continues to excite the market wîth its proven SKYACTIV®1 TECHNOLOGY fuel savings made even more efficient wîth the capacitor-based regenerative engine braking i-ELOOP system, a head-turning KODO 'Soul of Motion'-designed exterior and the safety-focused features of i-ACTIVSENSE. Since 'boring' is a gene that never found its way into Mazda's DNA, why expect the brand's bread-and-butter mid-size vehicle to be plated without some sinisterly sweet jelly?Engineered to Impress
As the second Mazda vehicle to fully incorporate SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, real-world results were not seen as a nice-to-have but more of a do-or-die. The performance-oriented, fuel-efficient technologies successfully showcased (and further cemented) the brand's R&D ingenuity.
Únder the hood sits an unassuming SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine that features a race-car high 13.0:1 compression ratio, produces 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and offers 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. While not the most powerful engine on paper, this 2.5L could very well be the hardest working. As the standard engine for all three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – Mazda6's 2.5L can be had wîth either the standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 2.5 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 184 hp
Torque: 185 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
Not relegated to simple entry level status, the SKYACTIV-MT transmission is available on both Sport and Touring trims. When equipped as such, the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 25 city/37 highway/29 combined mpg. The SKYACTIV-Drive automatic is an available selection for all three trim levels wîth an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 city/38 highway/30 combined mpg. Additionally, only Grand Touring models can be paired wîth the i-ELOOP system. Mazda6 vehicles equipped as such receive an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 city/40 highway/32 combine mpg, of which the highway rating is the highest earned of its direct competitors.
Derived from 'Intelligent Energy Loop,' i-ELOOP is a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system that converts a vehicle's kinetic energy into electricity as the car decelerates. More simply, energy is being captured the moment the accelerator is released – regardless of whether the vehicle slows down due to the brake pedal being employed or is merely coasting. This electricity is captured and then stored for later use as a means to power all of the vehicle's electrical components, such as headlights, climate control and audio systems.
i-ELOOP is the world's first such system capable of managing vehicle energy is such a manner. This reduces the need for the engine to burn extra fuel in order to generate electricity and, therefore, improves fuel economy without sacrificing driving performance. In order to efficiently recapture the kinetic energy and convert it into electricity, i-ELOOP utilizes a 12- to 25-volt variable voltage alternator, a DC/DC converter and a low-resistance, high-capacity electric double layer capacitor (EDLC).
While the increased engine braking caused by the hard-charging alternator is too small for drivers to feel, the smooth power delivery coming from the capacitor means the electrical systems do not operate differently when i-ELOOP is in use. As always, exact fuel savings will vary based on electrical loads and individual driving habits.Supercar Style Sans Sticker Shock
If looks were the only barometer of worth, without a doubt Mazda's KODO design language has elevated the brand as an alternative to premium. This 'Soul of Motion' direction has produced some of the most striking vehicle compositions available (and affordable) to the general public, wîth the Mazda6 in particular holding its own as a top three World Car Design of the Year finalist. On a global stage, Mazda's mid-size sedan shared the spotlight wîth supercar contenders, both of whom featured half as many doors.
Not a far cry from its TAKERI Concept roots, Mazda6's elongated cab-rearward posture, muscular fenders and decisive character lines have molded together a striking vehicle for a §egmènt whose claim to fame is producing designs as anonymous as the everyday errands consumers are forced to make in them. Thankfully, even if for a §egmènt seemingly comfortable in the nine-to-five routine, Mazda designers will not jump on the bandwagon of mediocrity.
Featuring the familial five-point chrome 'signature wing,' Mazda6's front grille forms a naturally approachable but commanding presence. Nestled within its black horizontal lines and flanked by piano black top-line trim is the Mazda badge – confident and prominent. Further encapsulating the long-stroke design form that is KODO, the front fascia's chrome accent reaches out beyond the grille, continuing upwards into the eagle eye-shaped headlamps. The lower front fascia evokes a strong chin accompanied by recessed fog lights (when equipped).
From the hood's substantial landscape and continuing along the pronounced front fenders is a character line so strong in its finesse toward creating shifting reflections. This initial eye-catcher snakes its way across the A-pillar only to disappear into the beginnings of another sweeping design element, which proceeds to wrap throughout the C-pillar and itself blending into the features of the trunk lid and signature wing-matching chrome accent.
But such painstaking attention to proportions and detail is not without purpose. With a coefficient of drag as low as 0.26 (Grand Touring only), the 2015 Mazda6 is the most wind-tunnel friendly vehicle within the mid-size §egmènt.Interior Contentment
In order to provide an experience that is 100 percent Mazda, the Mazda6's interior matches the flowing elements of its world-renown exterior design.
As wîth all Mazdas, the best seat in the Mazda6's house is located directly behind the three-spoke, leather-wrapped §teering wheel. This driver-oriented cabin features intuitive controls and touch points, some repetitive in function in order to offer consumers a variety of options wîth regards to familiar operational preferences. For example, consumers can make adjustments to in-vehicle settings via voice command, touch screen operation or traditional tactile knobs and buttons. A multi-function commander control (when equipped) sits in the center console to also provide a 'home base' from which to access vehicle features.
The contoured dash panel is long and seamless, a non-distraction for a driver's eyes as well as a further showcase of Mazda6's premium, uncluttered cabin. Warm textures of dark gray satin (when paired wîth black or sand seat trim) or Bordeaux satin (when paired wîth almond-hued leather) reinforce the high quality surfaces that abound in frequently touched soft surfaces, such as premium cloth or leather features along the door panels. The dark satin element also highlights knobs and switches, making them easier to discern at moment's glance.
As another benefit toward keeping one's focus on the road ahead, the instrument cluster offers meter lighting which allows the gauges to be readable in bright sunlight as well as minimize eye strain during nighttime drives.
Interior room is ample and comfortable. Mazda6 offers 38.4 inches of headroom (37.4 inches when equipped wîth an optional moonroof) for front-seat occupants and 37.1 inches of clearing in the second row. Rear legroom is among the §egmènt's best at 38.7 inches while those in front enjoy 42.2 inches of stretching space.
The supportive, sport-bolstered front bucket seats and the spacious rear bench are available in three premium fabrics, each wîth two color options. Sport models feature black or sand cloth fabric; Touring vehicles are outfitted wîth black or sand leatherette; and Grand Touring trims feature black or almond leather. For added interior versatility and cargo space, the rear features 60/40-split fold-down seats as standard. With seats up, trunk space is an accommodating 14.8 cubic feet.Personalizing the Driving Experience
From its redesign year, the 2015 Mazda6 carries over an abundance of available in-vehicle connectivity options. Real-time traffic alerts, various music providers and automatic messaging capabilities are all within reach, or better yet, accessible via push-button voice command.
Bluetooth® phone and audio connectivity as well as iPod® audio playback can be accessed via the integrated 5.8-inch full-color multi-information touch screen display. The iPod's information can easily be managed seamlessly via the Mazda6's in-dash display. A speech recognition system also allows users to repeat and shuffle audio tracks as well as conduct a folder search. Additionally, ÚSB and auxiliary jack connection ports are standard and located within the center console storage bins.
When a smartphone is synced, Short Message Service (SMS) messages can be received and show on the touch screen monitor. The system can then articulate the messages as well as allow occupants to send replies using pre-determined fixed phrases. There also is a Do Not Disturb function, which will silence all pop-up message notifications until the option setting is changed.
HD Radio™ Technology, a subscription-free digital AM and FM broadcast radio service, and Pandora®, which provides personalized stations based on a listener's preferences (i.e. likes and dislikes of songs, artists and genres), also are offered. No log-in or additional setup is required to enjoy HD Radio stations, however, a Pandora account is needed and the mobile app installed before the stations can be accessed through the touch screen display. While Pandora does feature commercial-free channels for a fee, the service also offers free subscription accounts.
Real-time traffic alerts are available via the in-dash TomTom technology-based navigation system. The system also features premium North American maps, advanced lane guidance and instinctive voice recognition. The navigation module communicates wîth the head unit via a ÚSB interface and utilizes an SD card for storing map data. The SD card feature allows consumers the flexibility to personalize route maps as well as receive regular mapping updates via any personal computer.Packages for All Preferences
The 2015 Mazda6 is offered in three trims, each level receiving a few more amenities than the other but no trim can be considered a barrel scrapper in terms of features. Starting wîth the Sport model, standard features abound, some of which are considered premium options among §egmènt rivals. These include push-button start, air conditioning wîth a pollen filter, a tilt-and-telescopic adjustable §teering column, §teering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control functions, a multi-information display wîth a trip computer, auxiliary/ÚSB input connections, cloth-trimmed sport seats, a six-way manual driver's seat wîth manual lumbar support, 60/40-spilt fold-down rear seats, daytime running lights, auto-off halogen headlights, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission as well as a leather-wrapped parking brake, shift knob and §teering wheel.
New standard equipment for all 2015 Mazda6 models is the addition of illuminated switches and a one-touch up/down operation for all power windows.
When equipping a Sport-trimmed vehicle wîth the SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic, added features included Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, HD Radio Technology, Pandora internet radio, audio menu voice command, Radio Broadcast Data System program information, E911 automatic emergency notification, SMS text message receipt/delivery, a 5.8-inch full-color touch-screen display and a rearview camera. No package options are offered for Sport models.
The mid-level Touring includes all the equipment of a Sport model paired wîth an automatic transmission, but wîth a choice of transmissions. For consumers who enjoy shifting the gears themselves yet would like more technology features the Touring trim may be the perfect blend of excitement and extras for discerning enthusiasts. Additional standard features included a larger 19-inch aluminum alloy wheel-and-tire set, a six-way power driver's seat wîth manual lumbar support, dual-zone auto-climate control wîth rear seat vents, leatherette-trimmed sport seats and a multi-function commander control as well as Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) safety components.
For 2015, Touring models receive Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry as standard equipment. Also new this model year is the eponymously-named Touring Moonroof/Bose®/Satellite Radio Package, one of two options packages available for this trim. The former includes an 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint® Surround Sound System wîth AudioPilot®, a power moonroof wîth a one-touch open/close feature and SiriusXM® Satellite Radio wîth a four-month complimentary subscription. The latter, which can only be ordered as a combination wîth the Moonroof/Bose/Satellite Radio Package, adds a TomTom technology-based navigation system wîth real-time traffic, auto on/off headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror wîth Homelink®, an auto-dimming exterior driver's side mirror, heated outside mirrors and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), a pre-crash avoidance safety feature. While the SCBS system will not eliminate accidents, its intent is to minimize them and help reduce the severity of an impact.
Equipped solely wîth the SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission, Grand Touring models include all the features of a Touring equipped wîth both the Moonroof/Bose/Satellite Radio and Touring Technology packages.
Úpgraded standard amenities include 19-inch aluminum alloys wîth a Platinum Silver finish, a rear lip spoiler, bi-xenon HID headlights wîth auto leveling, LED daytime running lights, halogen fog lights, leather-trimmed sport seats wîth variable-setting heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat wîth power lumbar support, a four-way power front passenger seat, §teering wheel paddle shifters, an alarm system and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).
A Grand Touring Technology package is available and adds Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), High Beam Control (HBC), i-ELOOP and active grille shutters.
The 2015 Mazda6 is available in seven exterior colors – Blue Reflex, Jet Black, Liquid Silver, Meteor Gray, Snowflake White Pearl, Soul Red and Deep Crystal Blue (new for 2015) – and can be optioned wîth one of two interior shades – black and sand/almond.Standard Safety
The focus of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY is not only on lightweight materials, fuel economy and driving dynamics. Increased safety is a key element as well, which is why Mazda6 has earned a 'Top Safety Pick+' designation from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and also received a 5-Star Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
All 2015 Mazda6 models are equipped wîth a SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body, two components that improve rigidity to provide a driver wîth precise §teering and handling control while implementing a reinforced structure to help protect occupants during an unexpected impact.
Additionally, all Mazda6 vehicles are equipped wîth standard safety features such as six airbags (advanced dual front, front seat-mounted and full-length side curtain), daytime running lights, height-adjustable headrests for all seating positions, whiplash-reducing front headrests, an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) wîth Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) wîth a Traction Control System (TCS), a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), power-assisted ventilated front brakes and solid rear disc brakes, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, a fold-away brake pedal assembly, a trunk entrapment release system, front seatbelt pretensioners wîth force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
Sport models equipped wîth an automatic transmission receive a rearview camera as standard equipment. Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are standard on Touring trims, and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) is available as a Touring Technology Package feature. Grand Touring vehicles receive SCBS and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) as standard equipment while Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and High Beam Control (HBC) are available as part of the Grand Touring Technology Package.
As a whole, these safety features comprise the i-ACTIVSENSE umbrella, a suite of active-safety pre-crash detection systems. These technologies use sensing devices such a milliwave radars and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and minimizing damage should accidents occur but are not meant to replace a driver from making accident avoidance decisions.
Lastly, all Mazda vehicles come wîth the Mazda Certified Roadside Assistance Program. Úsing either the toll-free number or free Mazda Assist app for iOS- and Android-operated mobile devices, owners and their family members can contact roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the Únited States and Canada. In addition, the New Vehicle Limited Warranty includes a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty, which covers every part of the vehicle (except those subject to normal wear), a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.Source - Mazda
Champion Mid-Size Sedan Receives Updated Features and PackagingIRVINE, Calif. (January 3, 2014)
– Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has announced official pricing on the 2015 Mazda6 equipped wîth the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine. Starting at $21,1901 MSRP, the award-winning mid-size sedan remains mostly a carry-over model for 2015 wîth minor updates to select features and packaging options. Redesigned just last year, Mazda6 received an increasingly warm reception, being named 'Car of the Year' by Popular Mechanics and a '10Best' by Car and Driver, among others. Mazda6 looks to maintain its competitive prowess into the 2015 model year.
'The mid-size sedan is the bread-and-butter of the automotive , a vehicle that finds its way into nearly every driveway and garage in America,' said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. 'And consumers are savvier than ever, able to gather information wîth the swipe of a finger. So we had to offer a vehicle that was free of gimmicks and empty promises but delivers on all the expectations shown on paper, and the Mazda6 does just that, if not more.'
On sale now, the 2015 Mazda6 has a plethora of Mazda-engineered technologies and features wrapped into a stare-worthy design. SKYACTIV®2 TECHNOLOGY is now joined by the capacitor-based regenerative engine braking i-ELOOP system and safety-focused i-ACTIVSENSE. And its strong sweeping character lines courtesy of the KODO 'Soul of Motion' design language continue to turn heads. Available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – Mazda6 is currently equipped wîth the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine.
The SKYACTIV-G 2.5L is robust, producing 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. Both the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual and SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission are available for pairing.
For those who enjoy moving the gears themselves, the entry-level Sport ($21,190 MSRP) comes equipped wîth the manual transmission as well as a bounty of standard features, some of which are considered premium add-ons amongst competitors. These amenities include push-button start, air conditioning wîth a pollen filter, a tilt-and-telescopic adjustable §teering column, §teering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control functions, a multi-information display (MID) wîth a trip computer, auxiliary/ÚSB input connections, cloth-trimmed sport seats, a six-way manual driver's seat wîth manual lumbar support, 60/40-split fold-down rear seats, a leather-wrapped parking brake, shift knob and §teering wheel, daytime running lights, auto-off halogen headlights and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. New standard equipment for 2015 is the addition of power windows wîth a one-touch up/down operation for all windows and illuminated power window switches on all doors.
When equipped wîth a six-speed automatic transmission ($22,895 MSRP), added features include Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio connectivity, HD Radio™ Technology, Pandora® internet radio, audio menu voice command, Radio Broadcast Data System program information, E911 automatic emergency notification, SMS text message receipt/delivery, a 5.8-inch full-color touch-screen display and a rearview camera. No additional packages are available for the Sport models.
For any sporting-minded drivers wanting a few more niceties, the mid-level Touring trim includes all the features of the Sport model paired wîth an automatic transmission, but wîth a choice of either manual ($23,845 MSRP) or automatic ($24,895 MSRP) transmissions. And more standard features abound for all Touring models include commanding 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels wîth additional interior comforts beginning wîth a six-way power driver's seat wîth manual lumbar support, dual-zone auto-climate control wîth rear seat vents, leatherette-trimmed sport seats and a multi-function commander control. Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) become standard safety components, and a new standard convenience feature for 2015 is Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry. Two package options are available, but only for those equipped wîth an automatic.
New for 2015 is the Bose®/Moonroof/Satellite Radio Package ($1,325 MSRP), which includes an 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint® Surround Sound System wîth AudioPilot®, a power moonroof wîth a one-touch open/close feature and SIRIÚS/XM satellite radio wîth a four-month complimentary subscription.
The Touring Technology Package ($1,550 MSRP), which can only be ordered when combined wîth the Bose/Moonroof/Satellite Package, adds a TomTom technology-based navigation system wîth real-time traffic updates, auto on/off headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror wîth Homelink®, an auto-dimming exterior driver's side mirror, heated exterior side mirrors and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), a pre-crash avoidance safety feature.
SCBS is an added safety component designed to assist a driver in reducing the extent of front collisions when traveling at speeds between 2 and 19 miles per hour. When the imbedded laser sensor detects an obtrusive object ahead of the vehicle and the system calculates there may be a high risk for collision, the brake pedal travel is reduced in order to hasten braking. Should the driver fail to perform an avoidance maneuver, the SCBS system will activate an automatic braking function. While the system will not eliminate accidents, its intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of an impact.
Considered the high-level trim is the Grand Touring, which includes all the equipment features of a Touring trim wîth both the Bose/Moonroof/Satellite Package and Touring Technology Package. Starting at $29,895 MSRP, added features include 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels wîth a Platinum Silver finish, a rear lip spoiler, bi-xenon HID headlights wîth auto leveling, LED daytime running lights, halogen fog lights, leather-trimmed sport seats wîth variable-setting heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat wîth power lumbar support, a four-way power front passenger seat, §teering wheel paddle shifters, an alarm system and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). All Grand Touring models are equipped wîth an automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
A Grand Touring Technology Package ($2,080 MSRP) is available and adds Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), High Beam Control (HBC), i-ELOOP and active grille shutters.
Fuel economy for the 2015 Mazda6 is EPA rated at 25 city/37 highway/29 combined mpg when equipped wîth a manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Automatic transmissions receive an EPA fuel economy rating of 26 city/38 highway/30 combined mpg, and when paired wîth i-ELOOP receive a rating of 38 city/40 highway/32 combined mpg, which is the best highway mpg3 in the §egmènt.
The 2015 Mazda6 is available in seven exterior colors and two interior choices (Black and Sand/Almond). Exterior colors are Soul Red ($300 MSRP), Blue Reflex, Meteor Gray, Jet Black, Snowflake White Pearl ($200 MSRP), Liquid Silver and, new for 2015, Deep Crystal Blue. Soul Red and Snowflake White Pearl are premium paints that involve a more extensive coat process.
Standard safety features for all 2015 Mazda6 models includes six airbags (advanced dual front, front-seat side mounted and full-length side curtain), daytime running lights, whiplash-reducing front headrests, height-adjustable headrests for all seating positions, an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) wîth Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) wîth a Traction Control System (TCS), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), power-assisted ventilated front brakes and solid rear disc brakes, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, a fold-away brake pedal assembly, a trunk entrapment release system, front seatbelt pretensioners wîth force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
A rearview camera is added to Sport models equipped wîth an automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are standard on Touring models wîth Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) available as a package option. Grand Touring models receive SCBS and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) as standard equipment wîth Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and High Beam Control (HBC) available as package options.
As a whole, these safety features comprise the i-ACTIVSENSE umbrella, a suite of active-safety pre-crash detection systems. These technologies use sensing devices such as milliwave radars and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and minimizing damage should accidents occur. While these systems will not eliminate accidents, their intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash.Source - Mazda
The 2003 Mazda 6 four-door sedan was the successor to the Mazda 626 which ran from 1979 until 2002. The 6 was introduced just one month after the 626 ended production in August of 2002 to speedily fill the sales gap. The Mazda 6 was designed to appeal to a slightly sportier, less utilitarian buyer. 'It is the first new product to represent what Mark Fields, president of Mazda Motor Corporation, calls 'Mazda's brand DNA.' This DNA rules that Mazda be a car that is styling, insightful and spirited.
Marketed in Japan as the Atenza, the Mazda6 is a mid-sided sedan and station wagon. Te first-generation models had the ‘feel' of European company vehicles, while the second generation models were made larger for family passenger comfort though still maintaining Mazda's exceptional handling abilities. The 6's platform was also used on Ford Fusion, the Mercury Milan, the Lincoln MKX and Zephyr, as well as Ford's SUV's and minivans. Though there has been some talk of the production of a coupe and cabriolet, as of yet, these haven't materialized. Since its inception in 2002, more than 1 million Mazda6 cars have been sold.
The Mazda 6 continued to be built around a uni-body structure and was also still built at the AutoAlliance plant in Flat Rock, Michigan and continues to be a front-drive car with the engine situated transversely in the nose. The 6 is still a very conventional car, but the suspension is all-new with a sophisticated double-wishbone system up front and a supple multilink system in the rear. The station wagon is 187.8 inches long and weighed 3,404 lbs. The Mazda6 5-door station wagon featured the Mazda logo, the single or double horizontal front grill bars and the aggressive air dam gave both the sedan and the wagons a sporty look. It also featured a room, well-appointed interior.
The engines were both all-aluminum units with the base powerplant being a 2.3-liter, DOHC, 16-valve four that due to the variable valve timing, rated at 150 hp. Optional, the DOHC, 24-valve, V6 displaces 3.0 liters and also using variable timing is rated at 219 hp. The four comes with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, while both the V6's manual and automatic gearboxes feature five forward gears.
Though the Accord and Camry were aiming to be sportier, the Mazda 6 featured average handling dynamics, with steering performances from the power-assisted rack and pinion setup exemplary. The Mazda 6 has a turning circle of 38.7 feet, on the wider side for its class. The Mazda6 achieved 0-60mph in just 8.0 seconds.
The main downside seems to be in the rear seat room, though the legroom is generous at 36.5 inches, the shoulder room is only at 54.9 inches, 1.2 inches shorter than the Accord, and 1.8 inches shorter than the Camry. Both the Accord and Camry also feature more headroom, along with a more comfortable rake to the seatback.
By the end of its first year in production, the Mazda6 had ‘firmly established itself as a unique personality in a market segment often accused of being devoid of that trait'. Mazda pushed the envelope for 2004 by introduced two variations not available from the competition; a sport wagon and a five-door hatchback.
Available with both the four and V6 engines, the hatchback is much like the sedan. The sport wagon only comes with the V6, and only in the sportiest 'S' trim level. Both of these body styles increased the utility of the Mazda6, neither of these models lose the sedan's verve or charming character. The hatchback also makes the sedan obsolete, since it gives additional cargo space in a nearly identical package. The wagon is a step up by squeezing even more cargo room into a shape that considerably better looking than either of its smaller brothers.
The 2006 Mazda6 Sports Sedan has continued to set new standards for performance, styling and drivability in its class, and since its introduction in 2004, more than 70 awards for automotive excellence. In 2005, Mazda was the first to offer a six-speed Sport AT automatic transmission featuring manual shift mode in the midsize segment. This avant-garde technology is available on all Mazda A6's models. Additional new features this year included 17-inch alloy wheels standard on all Sports Sedans, 5-Door and Sport Wagon models, optional on base-trim models. Standard on all Sport and Grand Touring models was 8-way power driver's seat. Standard on Grand Touring was Bose® Audio/Moonroof package and optional on all Base and Sport models.
All 05 Mazda6 models came standard with power windows with driver-side one-touch down feature, power door locks and mirrors with keyless entry, along with front and rear overhead dual map lights that are tightly focused to minimize nighttime glare. To increase comfort and room, numerous storage areas were designed into the cabin which included overhead sunglass storage area, door pockets design to hold half-liter bottles, a center console with two cup holders covered by a damped lid and an expandable pocket on the driver's seat back.
On the inside, the Mazda6 is full of spacious comfort for five adults inside an inviting cabin with an attractive interior. The center armrest offers two compartments for storage, CDs and a second 12V outlet. It is easy to handle odd-sized cargo, simply fold down one or both portions of the 60/40 rear seat. The seatbacks are spring-loaded and fold down with a single pull of the release levers, which are conveniently located in the trunk. Inside there was also a three-spoke steering wheel which offered tilt and telescopic adjustments along with integrated cruise and supplemental audio controls.
The instrumentation inside the Mazda6 included an analog speedometer, tachometer, fuel and engine temperature gauges along with a digital readout for ambient outside air temperature. Standard on all cars was a loud, six-speaker integrated AM/FM/CD sound system, while available upgrades include an in-dash six-CD changer, a cassette deck, an MP3 player or a MiniDisc Player. Standard on Grand Touring models was a 200-watt Bose® sound system, it was also available as an option, comprising a six-disc in-dash CD changer, four 25-watt speakers, a tweeter mounted in the A-pillar of each door, an amplifier and a 100-watt subwoofer. Also included with this package was a power tilt/slide glass moonroof with interior sunshade.
For 2006 Mazda introduced a thrill-packed version of its midsize sedan in the form of the MazdaSpeed6. A turbocharged, all-wheel drive Mazda6, the MazdaSpeed6 was more than just a turbo version of the sedan. The MazdaSpeed6 is unique beyond its turbo in the fact that it features direct injection of fuel into its cylinders rather than mixing the fuel with air upstream of the combustion chambers as it conventional. The Speed also featured the all-wheel-drive system, the 2.3-liter, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine. The engine also works out to 272 hp which is channeled through a six-speed manual transmission before the advanced all-wheel-drive system electronically determines which wheels can use the torque first.By Jessica Donaldson