Image credits: © Mazda.

2016 Mazda 6

A major refresh to Mazda's flagship model

The refreshed Mazda6 makes its world debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Debuting in 2012 as the flagship model in Mazda's new-generation product lineup, Mazda6 earned high acclaim in markets around the world thanks to the alluring vitality of the KODO—Soul of Motion design language and SKYACTIV Technology's balance of driving pleasure, environmental performance and safety. This round's update aims to fully respond to customer expectations and Mazda went to extraordinary lengths to bring new levels of depth and maturity to every aspect of the model. In addition to an innovative interior design, the updated refreshed Mazda6 offers the customer greater sophistication and value wîth enhanced exterior design, functionality, ride comfort, quietness, and safety.

The 2016 Mazda6 features the following enhancements. Bold changes to the shape of the instrument panel and floor console give the interior a fresh new look. It fuses a driver-oriented cockpit design, based on Mazda's unique Heads-up Cockpit concept, wîth a roomy front seat passenger environment. In addition, thorough attention was paid to minimizing gaps between parts and achieving an overall unified appearance, significantly enhancing the feeling of quality as befits the flagship model in the Mazda product lineup. Exterior features include a new front grille and signature wing design. These combine wîth new LED headlamps to create a bold and elegant expression that leaves a distinct impression of the evolution of the brand. Detailed refinements to dynamic performance include improved sound insulation throughout the body and improved front and rear seat performance. These enhancements yield a quieter and more comfortable riding experience, as befits the flagship model of Mazda's range of new-generation products.

Exterior Design
Further refined KODO design creates a bolder new exterior

Mazda6 gave form to the TAKERI concept car and is a pure expression of Mazda's KODO design language. The design fused intellect, elegance and an emotional, dynamic shape to realize a strong presence as the flagship model. It earned high acclaim as a result, including being named a Top 3 Finalist for the 2013 World Car Design of the Year award.

2016 Mazda 6For this round's update, particular effort was dedicated to further polishing Mazda6's award-winning design and to creating a deeper, stronger design expression. This includes the added texture and enhanced three-dimensionality of the front grille and signature wing; the strong sense of vitality of the new headlamps that look like eyes gazing straight ahead; and the new design expression created by the signature wing illumination. While the sophisticated air born of KODO design remains, the refreshed Mazda6 marks an evolution to a bolder and more elegant expression that lends it stronger presence as the flagship model and clearly conveys the further evolution of the brand.
◾The fins on the front grille, which feature a stronger look of horizontal flow, combine wîth the dynamic shape and three-dimensionality of the signature wing to create a bolder front face wîth an elegant look.
◾The LED lighting signature of the rear combination lamps gives the rear view a sharp, taut look.
◾The new compact shark fin antenna accents the vehicle's flowing form and stylish looks.
◾The 19-inch aluminum wheel wîth high-gloss paint adopts a darker color that emphasizes the brightness and greater depth of its metallic look.
◾The lineup of nine body colors includes the newly developed Sonic Silver Metallic and Titanium Flash Mica, which was first introduced on Mazda3.

Interior Design & Functions
Refined textures and advanced functions highlight the sophisticated interior

The Mazda6 interior already featured sophisticated design and coordination, along wîth finely crafted forms. Careful selection of each material, including the finest quality leather covering the §teering wheel and Mazda's first use of off-white leather, embodied the sense of taste and fine texture that befitted the flagship model.

Vital Stats
Engine : 2.5 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 184 hp
Torque: 185 ft-lbs

6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
For this round's update, every detail related to texture and quality was polished to perfection, further lifting the level of quality in the interior. The design team pursued beauty born of the fine mating and unification of carefully produced parts. To meet this goal, they boldly evolved the shapes of the instrument panel and floor console, while paying careful attention to the shapes, expressions and use of colors for the parts and ornamentation laid out in these areas. It also includes the adoption of Mazda Connect, Mazda's next-generation car connectivity system and an Electrical Parking Brake (EPB). Mazda enhanced both convenience and comfort, while also heightening a sense of high quality as befits the flagship model.
◾Bold changes to the shape of the instrument panel and floor console give the interior a fresh new look.
◾Thorough attention paid to minimizing gaps between parts and achieving an overall unified appearance significantly enhances the feeling of quality as befits the flagship model in the Mazda product lineup.
◾The interior fuses a driver-oriented cockpit design based on the Heads-up Cockpit and an instrument panel that extends horizontally to create a passenger environment wîth a sense of breadth and openness.
◾The refreshed Mazda6 continues to offer a selection of black or white leather, or black or sand beige fabric interior materials. However, the leather interior adopts new color coordination.
◾Mazda's first implementation of an Electrical Parking Brake (EPB).
◾A freestanding seven-inch center display is mounted on the top of the low dashboard.
◾The Active Driving Display provides vehicle speed and other important driving information, such as that from the advanced safety systems, in real time.
◾The Mazda Connect car connectivity system paired wîth a smartphone makes it easier to take advantage of functions including internet connectivity and access to social networking services.

2016 Mazda 6Driving Dynamics
Higher quality dynamic performance delivers pure driving pleasure

The smooth, linear response and feeling of oneness between car and driver realized by SKYACTIV Technology delivers a light and pleasant driving experience. For this round's update, the development team devoted particular effort to adding greater depth to the enjoyment of the driving experience by further enhancing the level of all-round comfort, including ride comfort and quietness. Toward this purpose, Mazda further evolved NVH performance and seat performance, while also adopting Drive Selection for the SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. (posted on

The 2016 Mazda6 continues to offer a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G direct-injection gasoline engine. Also carried over are the six-speed automatic SKYACTIV-DRIVE and six-speed manual SKYACTIV-MT transmissions. Combined wîth Mazda's i-stop idling stop system and i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system, the powertrains deliver the right balance of linear, powerful acceleration, and excellent fuel economy and environmental performance.
◾Excellent NVH performance befits the even higher-quality interior environment. The amount of noise transmitted into the cabin is reduced by approximately 10 percent when driving on rough roads and by approximately 25 percent on highways.
◾The evolved front and rear seat structure provides a feeling of comfortable snugness and a good fit, excellent holding characteristics, as well as ride comfort befitting Mazda's flagship model.
◾The Mazda6 powered by a gasoline engine and paired wîth SKYACTIV-DRIVE adopts Drive Selection, which allows drivers to switch drive modes for a more responsive driving experience.

i-ACTIVSENSE safety features support driving pleasure wîth peace of mind

As befits a flagship model, the world-class safety performance of Mazda6 has earned high acclaim. Its adoption of Mazda's i-ACTIVSENSE*1 advanced safety technologies based on Mazda Proactive Safety*2 plays an important role in achieving this level of safety performance. The 2016 Mazda6 offers a wide variety of advanced safety technologies and further strengthens safety performance. This delivers greater driving pleasure and peace of mind, while adding further polish to the value offered by Mazda's flagship model.

2016 Mazda 6*1 i-ACTIVSENSE is an umbrella term covering a series of advanced safety technologies that employ detection devices such as milliwave radar units and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions, and minimizing damage in the event an accident does occur.
*2 Mazda Proactive Safety is Mazda's safety philosophy that aims to minimize the risks that can lead to an accident and maximize the range of conditions in which the driver can safely operate the vehicle. The various technologies it provides enable the driver to act appropriately through all driving processes, including cognition, judgment, and operation. It thereby helps prevent or minimize damage in the event an accident cannot be avoided. Mazda Proactive Safety will continue to evolve in the future.
◾Among the variety of i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies, Mazda made a particular effort to keep the driver more aware of conditions so they can enjoy driving at night or at highway speeds wîth greater reassurance.
◾Mazda's Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) detects vehicles approaching from the blind spot areas at the sides and rear. BSM also incorporates Mazda's Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) function, which alerts the driver when it detects vehicles approaching from either side as the driver backs up.
◾Available as an additional feature, Smart Brake Support (SBS) helps avoid frontal collisions or minimize damage when traveling mid- to high-speed.

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
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