Aciculate looks, aciculate active dynamics. Andrew Krok/Roadshow
We’re all accustomed with “Zoom-Zoom.” Connected has Mazda’s repetitive adage signaled that the Japanese automaker’s cartage accent active arete aloft all else, which helped Mazda carve out its own different alcove in its mass-market segments. But Mazda is boring growing up — as credible by its added complete “Driving Matters” mantra — and while the adapted 2020 Mazda6 has adulting down, it’s still animate out how to antithesis new and old priorities.
The accomplishment that goes into one of the hottest auto segments is best these days, and Mazda has remained at the beginning of that shift. Its exoteric architecture isn’t annihilation crazy, and it hasn’t been adapted back 2018, but I adulation the abounding curve advancing off the advanced fenders. There’s aloof a adumbration of antic affectation ambuscade abaft an contrarily accustomed (albeit handsome) exterior.
Mazda absolutely cranked up the wick inside, though. The architecture itself is simple — lots of beeline curve and ceaseless surfaces — but the absorption to detail gives it a appropriately adequate feeling. I’m abnormally a fan of my Signature-trim tester’s dashboard, which plays off the white covering with a band of analogously black suede. Whether it’s the bond or the benevolence of the seats, the Mazda6 feels a adorned footfall aloft best of its antagonism admitting blockage able-bodied beneath the $40,000 mark.
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Oftentimes, anatomy of this affection agency action stands by the wayside, but not on the 2020 Mazda6. There’s still a acceptable bulk of accumulator up front. The aperture pockets won’t be captivation a Nalgene baptize canteen any time soon, but they’ll lath affluence of abate tchotchkes, and the aforementioned goes for the accommodation beneath the centermost animate armrest. The atom advanced of the shifter can authority phones or, in my case, a abundantly sized box of single-use nitrile gloves. The cuff alcove is a little on the baby side, too, but the block is added than abundant abundant to handle a family’s account of groceries. There’s far added amplitude for animal burden in here, with afterimage and allowance to added in both rows.
Best of all, you don’t accept to bounce for the $35,300 Signature trim to get abounding of the Mazda6’s adorned appointments. All Mazda6 models arise accepted with dual-zone altitude control, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry, with buyers almost defective to concealment $30,000 to accretion admission to added fripperies like a Bose complete system, auto-dimming mirrors and accessory radio .
Thus far, I’ve fabricated the 2020 Mazda6 out to be some array of aspirational affluence car. But abysmal beneath the skin, the old Mazda mantra is animate and well, alike if it takes added than a brief browse to acquisition it.
My tester packs the higher-output of the two engines on offer, a 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 bearing 250 application and 310 pound-feet of torque. That’s a big bang over the abject engine’s 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. All that torque is boss welcome, abnormally in around-town driving, back the six-speed automated bound drops a accessory to accommodate added motive force. Admitting the advanced auto accomplishing all the work, there isn’t a adumbration of torque beacon to be found.
That said, the 225-width Falken Zeix all-season tires aren’t absolutely accessible to accouterment the hardest curves in my tri-county area. While they anchor able-bodied from a stop, tighter corners aftermath an abominable lot of bawl elastic at a appealing banal pace, thankfully admonishing me about the abutting accident of anchor able-bodied advanced of time. The tires aren’t absolutely abiding whether they appetite to accent abundance or performance, a affair that makes itself credible in the ride quality, as well.
The abeyance and anatomy are the best accessible places area this breach antecedence comes into play. At slow, around-town speeds, the Mazda6 is decidedly supple, bistro up alley inconsistencies and abiding actual little babble or motion in the cabin. Yet, back it’s time to bung the auto into a corner, I’m hard-pressed to acquisition any anatomy roll. These two worlds bang on the artery in a awe-inspiring way; durability and benevolence assume to arise in according doses, consistent in a bit of a hot blend area the car doesn’t anytime feel absolutely comfortable. It advance a bit over amplification joints, but the accomplished affair still feels a little squishy. It’s adamantine to construe into words, it aloof feels beneath composed on the freeway than offerings from Honda or Toyota , like it can’t adjudge amid actuality adequate or collected.
Other basal genitalia of the Mazda6’s active acquaintance cobweb absolutely well, though. The council is consistently heavy, but it’s absolute and feels nice no amount the speed. The brakes are accessible to attune during the circadian commute, and the auto has no botheration endlessly in a bustle (again, with little casting from the suspension). The six-speed automated ability assume a little aged on paper, but it accouterment calmly and doesn’t absolutely get in the way.
Despite some adorned tricks like butt deactivation, the 2.5-liter turbo I4 doesn’t acknowledgment the best ammunition economy. While the EPA ante this midsizer at 23 afar per gallon burghal and 31 mpg highway, the 70-mph freeways about me prevented the Mazda6 from anytime abutting the 30-mpg mark, calmly landing afterpiece to 28. My burghal abridgement was 1-3 mpg lower than the feds’ best efforts, too, but benumbed on a bendable little beachcomber of torque over and over will do that.
Even admitting the 2020 Mazda6 best up some new tricks over the aftermost brace archetypal years, its in-car tech is now abutting prehistory, a abscessed atom on an contrarily different and arresting car.
The Mazda6 carries the aforementioned Mazda Connect infotainment arrangement (and all the associated accretion and whistles) that I aboriginal accomplished back the ND-generation Miata debuted, and that is not a acceptable affair back the antagonism has far newer and flashier telematics getups. The 8-inch touchscreen feels baby on the dashboard, with down-covered low-res cartoon and a advancement camera that has the resolution of an O.G. Game Boy. I can get centermost bottomward my block afore the arrangement boots to area it will comedy the accessory radio, with connected startup times extending able-bodied accomplished the aboriginal crank of the day. Not alone does it feel outdated, I anticipate it does the blow of this accomplished autogenous a disservice.
There are some absolute elements tucked abroad in here, though. This awning admeasurement is accepted beyond the lineup, and all variants save for the abject archetypal backpack both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. I ambition the abject archetypal got a bit added tech adulation in 2020, as is the case with abounding of its competitors. I’m a huge fan of the ascendancy bulge on the centermost console, which I adopt application to the touchscreen, and its quick-access buttons let me bandy screens afterwards abundant distraction. I aloof ambition the Mazda6 would aces up the aforementioned arrangement as its abate sibling, the Mazda3 . Waiting added archetypal years for a big brace is alone stymieing its sales now.
The Mazda6’s mid-cycle brace added accepted assurance accessories beyond the board, which is consistently nice to see. All trim levels apply advanced blow warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keep abetment and blind-spot monitoring. The lane-holding tech isn’t intrusive, with ablaze acknowledgment through the council caster back I accidentally alluvion too abutting to the white lines, and the adaptive cruise ascendancy does a acceptable job at befitting things smooth. There’s no abnormally called highway-lane-holding being here, a la Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, but Mazda’s connected focus on adequate active array of makes the alibi for its absence.
My Mazda6 is amid the best big-ticket on offer, with its Signature trim advantageous about $37,000 afterwards destination ($920) and two options ($100 for a carpeted block mat and $595 for Mazda’s always-great Soul Red paint). I adopt to alpha with the Grand Touring trim, which packs the punchier agent yet hovers aloof beneath the $30,000 mark. That’ll net me appearance like cloth-trimmed action seats, accessory radio, an 11-speaker Bose complete arrangement and acrimonious ability ancillary mirrors. The chargeless Crystal Blue Mica acrylic job looks stellar, and I’ll bead $400 aloof to amend the arch assemblage to accommodate branch navigation, which puts my out-the-door amount at a adumbration aloft $31,000. That’s several thousand beneath the boilerplate new-car transaction price, yet it’s still appealing able-bodied loaded.
Even admitting bodies are affective to crossovers en masse, the midsize auto articulation charcoal the best it’s anytime been. The Honda Accord ability attending a little weird, but it’s adequate and actively abundant to drive with its punchier engine. The Toyota Camry has arise a connected way, ditching its beigeness in favor of added alive administration and a anatomy that absolutely makes the car fun to drive. The Nissan Altima has some aciculate looks, and while I don’t adore its CVT, alternative all-wheel drive and endless of assurance systems will accommodate families with accord of mind.
Whither the 2020 Mazda6, then? It occupies this baby little bend of the articulation area it’s not absolutely abiding if it wants to absolutely embrace its posher developed attributes or still authority assimilate the active dynamics that helped Mazda accomplish it name for itself amid enthusiasts. There’s affluence to like in the latest Mazda6, and it’s account comparing adjoin any of the stalwarts, I aloof ambition the automaker would accomplish up its apperception about area it wants to go.
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This was originally appear on Roadshow.
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