Safety, space and stability make the Mazda6 stand out
It is a roomy car inside. Up front, there’s lots of hip room and elbow space; neither front occupant is likely to feel cramped. Furthermore, adults will not quake at the idea of having to travel in the back seat for any length of time. Even with the driver’s seat well back on its tracks, it’s still fairly easy for a tall passenger to slide into the seat behind.
Mazda interiors are better than most in this class. This is something of a hallmark for the automaker; even in the smaller and less expensive Mazda3, there’s wide use of expensive-looking (and feeling) soft-touch vinyl. Some rivals have been cutting costs in recent years by going back to the old “acres of hard plastic” look, a move that has been criticized heavily. Not so Mazda.
The instrumentation is good to look at as well as practical; we could find nothing particularly out of place. Thankfully, Mazda has taken a clutter-free approach to the car’s control layout, which creates a near-perfect driving environment.
The steering wheel is just the right diameter and thickness. Large, grippy knobs are used for the climate control system and they’re easy to grasp, even with gloves on.
The stereo knobs could be a tad larger, but the Bose array our test car was fitted with made the musical performance wonderful.
Our test car was equipped to a very high level with high-grade leather seats, Bluetooth capability, powered front seats and lots of other goodies.
As is common nowadays with cars in this class, a navigation system is available.
Mazda’s is very intuitive and easy to program—one of the best out there, in fact.
We were even able to enjoy the safety and practicality of an innovative blind spot monitor, which uses mirror-mounted LED lights to warn drivers when the rear fenders are in close proximity to another vehicle or other obstacle. While on the topic of safety, it’s worth noting that the car has a full roster of airbags and a wide range of electronic stability control and braking aids.
The cabin stowage is good, with large door pockets and a big-lidded central console bin.
All this comes at a reasonable price point. Even with all the bells and whistles, the Mazda6 we tested cost less than $32,400.
Cargo capacityIt’s a pity that Mazda decided not to roll out wagon or hatchback versions of this car, as they have done in the past.
These models provided two very practical options for business users because they were built with enhanced, easy-to-access rear-load areas, with plenty of room for stowage.