Sport sedan grows up, gets a great new look
Ride and Handling- more grown up stuff
The sophisticated and grown-up thing has worked in the 6's favor on the interior and exterior- though when it comes to what's underneath, it may leave some just a touch disappointed.
The 6 remains sporty and enjoyable to drive, but it seems to fall a little short of the previous model in terms of excitement, feel and immediacy. The premium character has come at the expense of steering feel, sound effects and the 'alive-at-the-fingertips' feeling that characterized the last model.
The 6 still boasts plenty of cornering grip, though the zippy steering ratio and feedback seem to have been lost somewhere in the update. It doesn't feel quite as sharp and eager as before. The car remains happy to chew up bends, though it wears less of a smile in the process.
Quietness is on par with the competition, and the ride is smoother than the 18-inch wheels let on. In all, 6 remains sporty and fun to drive- though you just don't get to feel or hear as much of the excitement.
6's new 4-cylinder
The base engine is up from 2.3 litres to 2.5, now generating 170 horsepower. It's adequately eager and peppy for its size- though there's a V6 with 272 horsepower available if you disagree.
The new four-cylinder mill is very quiet, if not even difficult to hear many situations. You may fondly miss the mellow intake hum that gave the former base engine its pleasant demeanor, though.
The six-speed shifter does its job beautifully, offering precise throws and a notchy but light action. The clutch is light and effortless, though most of its engaging happens right at the top of the pedal's travel. The electronic throttle can feel too artificial in some situations, especially when releasing it fails to see the car decelerate until a second or two later.
Mileage was appreciated, falling as low as 8.3L / 100km during highway driving on my watch.
Carrying the luxury package and priced at $29,235, Mazda's nailed down a cut-price premium brand experience the 6 GT. Though not as sporty, it's a fantastic upgrade for original 6 owners- as well as a beautifully styled way to attract a more mature sedan buyer to the brand.
On a personal note though, I'll wait for the next Mazdaspeed model.
Photos: Justin Pritchard
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