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2017 Mazda MAZDA6 Overview
One of the best-looking and most capable midsize family sedans on the market, the 4-door, 5-passenger Mazda6 offers a great value for buyers seeking something a little different. It faces stiff competition from segment leaders like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, but the Mazda6 holds its own, delivering an attractive exterior design, a comfortable and high-tech cabin, and plenty of standard features and available add-ons. Its high level of performance and perfectly balanced driving dynamics make it a match for even the best midsize cars on the road. For 2017, Mazda's top-of-the-line sedan receives a minor refresh, complete with all the automaker’s latest technology and comfort features, and is available in three trims: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring.
While its exterior design remains unchanged for 2017, the Mazda6 continues to draw the eye, thanks to a bold front end, long nose, arched wheel wells, and swoopy sidelines that give it a windswept look. Mazda says its new Machine Gray Metallic premium body color, along with the previously available Soul Red Metallic, highlights the car’s visual balance and aesthetics. Automatic-off halogen headlights, daytime running lights, power side mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED taillights, and dual exhaust pipes with chrome tips complete the list of standard exterior features. Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Titanium Flash Mica, and Snowflake White Pearl Mica are among the other available exterior colors.
On the interior, upscale features and a refined design give the Mazda6 the look and feel of a luxury sedan. The seats are supportive for long drives, and numerous storage spaces give busy families plenty of room to stash their gear. Most passengers will find the cabin spacious, although the rear seats might be a bit tight for taller passengers, and trunk capacity stands at 14.8 cubic feet. For 2017, Mazda adds additional sound insulation and improves noise suppression, and the Grand Touring trim gets soundproof glass for the front-door windows.
Under the Mazda6’s hood, a peppy 2.5-liter SkyActiv 4-cylinder engine generates 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, making for quick acceleration off the mark. Although it doesn’t quite exhibit the characteristics of a turbocharged engine, it still provides plenty of power at highway speeds for passing and aggressive maneuvers. A 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport and Normal driving modes and a steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifter come standard on the Grand Touring trim. For the Sport and Touring trims, owners can opt for the automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive. Fuel-economy numbers check in at 24 mpg city, 34 highway, and 28 combined with the manual transmission and 26, 35, and 29 with the automatic.
A new Premium package for the Mazda6 Grand Touring trim includes upscale features like Nappa leather upholstery, a heated hand-finished leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated second-row seats, a black headliner, a regenerative braking system, and active grille shutters. In addition, Mazda adds its G-Vectoring Control (GVC) vehicle-dynamics technology as a new standard feature for 2017. GVC assists drivers when turning or cornering by reducing engine torque and transferring a small amount of vehicle load to the outside wheels, which improves stability and helps the Mazda6 stay on track through the turn.
For 2017, Madza makes improvements to the standard equipment lists for all three Mazda6 trims. The entry-level Sport trim gets the Mazda Connect infotainment and communication system, which integrates HD Radio, audio, phone, Bluetooth, and voice control of onboard systems, all accessed through a 7-inch color touchscreen. Standard features that carry over from the previous year include push-button start, a reversing camera, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up a notch, Mazda6’s mid-level Touring trim adds automatic on/off headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) feature, which helps drivers avoid rear-end collisions at slower speeds, such as in congested urban environments. The Touring trim comes well-equipped with upgrades like leatherette upholstery, a 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, advanced keyless entry, 19-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Options include a Moonroof package with satellite radio, a power moonroof, and an 11-speaker Bose Surround Sound system.
At the top of the lineup, the Mazda6 Grand Touring trim gets a number of new advanced safety features like high-beam control, lane-keep assist, and an upgraded full-color head-up display with traffic-sign recognition. Mazda has also updated the memory control system for the standard 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat, which now syncs with the head-up display to determine the appropriate height for the driver. Carryover standard luxury and comfort features include leather upholstery, navigation, LED fog lights, a unique lighted grille, and 19-inch dark alloy wheels.
The Mazda6 continues to deliver a highly capable ride thanks to its well-tuned suspension and chassis, which provide good road feedback without jostling passengers. The impact of road-surface imperfections is minimized, and steering and handling remain clean, precise, and responsive. Standard safety equipment includes side-curtain airbags, dynamic stability control, traction control, and hill-start assist, while a number of available features, many of which are included as standard on the Grand Touring trim, ensure passengers are kept as safe as possible.
The 2017 updates should boost the Mazda6’s reputation as a highly capable and comfortable family sedan and daily driver. Now in its third generation, it has continued to evolve successfully, drawing high marks from owners and reviewers alike. Though some find its cabin and trunk space a little lacking when compared to those of its competitors, overall, the Mazda6 hits the sweet spot in just about every area with its superb design and performance.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.
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