Susan Frissell, Editor/Publisher
The Mazda6 is more than an ordinary mid-size family sedan, but then Mazda is more than the “usual” Japanese auto manufacturer. Founded in 1920 as Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., was renamed Mazda in 1984. Known for development of and use of the Wankel engine, they are best known for their iconic sportster, the MX-5, Miata.
It would appear that Mazda is deliberate about the vehicles they create and sell; not going overboard like some auto manufacturers who feel they have to represent each category of automobile. Instead, Mazda introduces new models methodically, and with great thought.
Our week in the new 2020 Mazda6 Signature sedan was pleasurable, for many reasons. One, there wasn’t much traffic on the roads so we could drive it, as intended. This is a fun-to-drive sedan. With its attractive body and classy interior, one gets a lot for his/her money.
As someone who still prefers a sedan to the SUV ad nauseum, the Mazda6 sits high on our list. My daily driver is a 2016 Nissan Maxima with a sporty vibe and 300 horsepower which is hard to beat, but the Mazda6 is so comfortable. Not every family with kids needs a minivan or SUV. Something like the new Mazda6 accommodates well and offers plenty of backseat room.
Based somewhat on Mazda’s 2010 Concept car, the Shinari ( a knockout), the Mazda6 is a stunner. Especially if you choose just the right color. In our case, the Soul Red Crystal Metallic-really stands out. The blue they chose for the concept Shinari was a beauty, too. Both make this sedan desirable. Our test vehicle came with ivory/white nappa leather trimmed sport seats.
Their selling model differs a little from the ordinary by allowing buyers to select a higher trim level and add the features they desire. Maybe the Mazda6 won’t compete with sedans that offer the latest up-to-date features, but it satisfies on most levels. After all, most drivers out there are not auto freaks. And although I am, this is a reasonable purchase. Some may wince as they discover the price of adding some extras.The Touring Reserve model offers the best value including the turbo. Also included are the 11-speaker premium audio, Sirius XM satellite radio. Paddler shifters and vented disc front brakes.
Changes to the 2020 Mazda6 are few, including a trunk lid badge and new key fob for the Signature model. Redesigned three times in the past 6 years, the Signature trim level also gets special badging. Our Signature features leather interior, real wood trim and several extras exclusive to this model.
The engine carries over from 2018, adding a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. While we appreciate the turbo boost, it still sounds like a 4-banger and doesn’t have the growl we might wish for. There are five models, including the Sport ($24,920), Touring ($27,520), Grand Touring ($30,620), Grand Touring Reserve ($33,120 and the Signature ($36,220).
Our test Signature model came with special badging for 2020, a 360-degree camera with front/rear parking sensors, nav with traffic sign recognition and nappa leather with Japanese sen wood accents. Nice!
No shortage of space in the Mazda6. The trunk is ample, accommodating lots of bags, luggage. One feels as though she is driving a substantial car. In need of more space? Release the handles and lay down the back seats for carrying long objects; even a bicycle.
Ranking near the top of the midsize car class, the Mazda6 offers spirited performance, great looks and a luxury feel. For those so inclined, there is no hybrid or plug-in available at this time. Two engine choices are available and include the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 187 hp., and the optional turbocharged engine that generates up to 250 hp. Six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Mazda revealed an AWD version and 2.2-liter turbo-diesel will be coming to the U.S. market.
The 2020 Mazda6 is a nice-looking sedan and fun to drive. All six models come with driver assistance features, including blind-spot monitoring, low-speed forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
We did not try out the paddle shifters. Mazda Connect touchscreen infotainment, although nice takes some time getting used to. It took this writer a bit more time to get command of the GPS system.
Mazda’s infotainment system is competitive, yet, the buttons are a pain to operate. The screen is nicely positioned on the dash, tucked right in as not to be in the way. The center console is ample and actually holds any number of goodies.
Safety and driver-assistance features include standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and available lane departure warning with lane-keep assist. Earning a five-star crash rating from the NHTSA speaks well for the Mazda6, as well as being named a Top Safety Pick.
If you’re still into sedans-like this writer-the Mazda6 should be a definite choice on your list. We think you’ll agree when you drive it, it hits a lot of the buttons.
Pricing: $35,300 MSRP, Total vehicle price $36,915
Engine: 2.5-liter inline 4, turbocharged, hp 227, 310 lb-ft. torque
Transmission: 6-speed, automatic, sky-active drive, front-wheel-drive,
Wheels: 19-inch alloy, gun metallic finish
Fuel economy: 26/35 mpg.
Weight: 3,437 lbs.
Brakes: 4-wheel disc
Wheelbase: 111.4 in.
Length: 192.7 in.
Width: 72.4 in.
Height: 57.1 in.
Fuel tank capacity: 16.4 gal.
Tires: 19-inch P225/45 R19 all-season
Warranty: Limited, covers 3 yrs/36,000-miles; powertrain5 yrs/60,000-miles; no complimentary scheduled maintenance.