2020 Mazda6 review: On the fence

Sharp appears to be like, sharp driving dynamics.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

We’re all common with “Zoom-Zoom.” Very long has Mazda’s repetitive catchphrase signaled that the Japanese automaker’s cars prioritize driving excellence previously mentioned all else, which aided Mazda carve out its individual distinctive specialized niche in its mass-market segments. But Mazda is bit by bit developing up — as evidenced by its extra mature “Driving Matters” mantra — and when the up-to-date 2020 Mazda6 has adulting down, it’s even now performing out how to harmony new and aged priorities.

Like

  • Relaxed city manners
  • Posh inside style
  • Even now sufficiently sporty

Will not Like

  • Not the most serene on the highway
  • Out-of-date infotainment

Mass-market enchantment with a luxe twist

The energy that goes into a single of the hottest sedan segments is major-notch these times, and Mazda has remained at the forefront of that change. Its exterior style and design is not nearly anything insane, and it has not been up-to-date since 2018, but I appreciate the flowing traces coming off the front fenders. You will find just a trace of sporting pretension hiding driving an normally normal (albeit handsome) exterior.

Mazda seriously cranked up the wick within, although. The style and design by itself is easy — heaps of straight traces and unbroken surfaces — but the notice to depth offers it a thoroughly lavish emotion. I am especially a fan of my Signature-trim tester’s dashboard, which plays off the white leather-based with a strip of in the same way colored suede. No matter whether it’s the stitching or the softness of the seats, the Mazda6 feels a extravagant step previously mentioned most of its opposition even with being properly down below the $40,000 mark.

In many cases, kind of this quality signifies functionality stands by the wayside, but not on the 2020 Mazda6. You will find even now a suited quantity of storage up front. The doorway pockets would not be keeping a Nalgene h2o bottle any time before long, but they will accommodate loads of lesser tchotchkes, and the exact same goes for the cubby beneath the centre console armrest. The location forward of the shifter can maintain telephones or, in my case, a decently sized box of one-use nitrile gloves. The glove compartment is a small on the modest aspect, also, but the trunk is extra than capacious ample to handle a family’s truly worth of groceries. You will find much extra house for human cargo in listed here, with visibility and place to spare in both of those rows.

Best of all, you will not have to spring for the $35,three hundred Signature trim to get several of the Mazda6’s extravagant appointments. All Mazda6 models occur typical with dual-zone weather control, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry, with customers hardly needing to eclipse $30,000 to gain access to more fripperies like a Bose seem program, automobile-dimming mirrors and satellite radio.

one.5x Zoom

Consequently much, I have made the 2020 Mazda6 out to be some form of aspirational luxury automobile. But deep underneath the skin, the aged Mazda mantra is alive and properly, even if it takes extra than a cursory scan to discover it.

My tester packs the greater-output of the two engines on present, a two.5-liter turbocharged I4 developing 250 horsepower and 310 pound-ft of torque. Which is a huge bump more than the base engine’s 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. All that torque is mighty welcome, especially in close to-city driving, when the six-pace computerized quickly drops a equipment to provide extra motive force. Even with the front wheels performing all the work, there is not a trace of torque steer to be located.

That mentioned, the 225-width Falken Zeix all-time tires usually are not particularly prepared to tackle the hardest curves in my tri-county place. While they grip properly from a prevent, tighter corners generate an dreadful whole lot of howling rubber at a pretty pedestrian pace, fortunately warning me about the impending decline of grip properly forward of time. The tires usually are not fairly confident whether they want to prioritize comfort or performance, a concept that helps make by itself evident in the experience quality, as properly.

Mazda’s new “Driving Matters” catchphrase even now has the Zoom-Zoom spirit, just with a small extra maturity thrown into the combine. Thankfully, it’s even now a thoroughly enjoyment sedan.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The suspension and chassis are the most evident sites in which this break up priority arrives into engage in. At slow, close to-city speeds, the Mazda6 is remarkably supple, consuming up road inconsistencies and returning extremely small sound or motion in the cabin. Nevertheless, when it’s time to toss the sedan into a corner, I am hard-pressed to discover any body roll. These two worlds collide on the highway in a bizarre way tautness and softness appear to be to look in equal doses, resulting in a little bit of a incredibly hot mess in which the automobile would not at any time experience definitely cozy. It tracks a little bit more than growth joints, but the full factor even now feels a small squishy. It can be hard to translate into text, it just feels significantly less composed on the expressway than offerings from Honda or Toyota, like it can not determine in between currently being cozy or gathered.

Other fundamental elements of the Mazda6’s driving working experience mesh seriously properly, although. The steering is generally hefty, but it’s immediate and feels pleasant no matter the pace. The brakes are quick to modulate all through the day by day commute, and the sedan has no issue halting in a hurry (yet again, with small pitching from the suspension). The six-pace computerized could appear to be a small antiquated on paper, but it shifts efficiently and would not seriously get in the way.

Even with some extravagant tricks like cylinder deactivation, the two.5-liter turbo I4 would not return the best gas economy. While the EPA charges this midsizer at 23 miles for each gallon city and 31 mpg highway, the 70-mph freeways close to me prevented the Mazda6 from at any time approaching the 30-mpg mark, comfortably landing closer to 28. My city economy was one-three mpg lessen than the feds’ best endeavours, also, but using on a tender small wave of torque more than and more than will do that.

I will not know how several situations I can say this, but Falken Zeix are not great tires. If your Mazda6 arrives with them, I’d counsel changing the rubber with a thing a little bit significantly less spending budget-concentrated.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Greater than no tech, I guess

Even although the 2020 Mazda6 picked up some new tricks more than the very last pair design years, its in-automobile tech is now approaching prehistory, a sore location on an normally distinctive and intriguing automobile.

The Mazda6 carries the exact same Mazda Hook up infotainment program (and all the connected bells and whistles) that I to start with experienced when the ND-generation Miata debuted, and that is not a excellent factor when the opposition has much newer and flashier telematics getups. The 8-inch touchscreen feels modest on the dashboard, with fuzzy very low-res graphics and a backup camera that has the resolution of an O.G. Recreation Boy. I can get halfway down my block before the program boots to in which it will engage in the satellite radio, with extended startup situations extending properly past the to start with crank of the working day. Not only does it experience out-of-date, I consider it does the rest of this great inside a disservice.

There are some positive things tucked away in listed here, although. This screen sizing is typical throughout the lineup, and all variants help you save for the base design have both of those Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay. I desire the base design acquired a little bit extra tech appreciate in 2020, as is the case with several of its competitors. I am a enormous fan of the control knob on the centre console, which I choose applying to the touchscreen, and its rapid-access buttons permit me swap screens without the need of significantly distraction. I just desire the Mazda6 would select up the exact same program as its lesser sibling, the Mazda3. Ready extra design years for a huge refresh is only stymieing its income now.

The Mazda6’s mid-cycle refresh extra typical security gear throughout the board, which is generally pleasant to see. All trim ranges wield ahead collision warning, computerized emergency braking, lane-hold guide and blind-location monitoring. The lane-keeping tech is not intrusive, with light-weight feedback as a result of the steering wheel when I unintentionally drift also near to the white traces, and the adaptive cruise control does a excellent task at preserving things sleek. You will find no singularly named highway-lane-keeping things listed here, a la Nissan’s ProPilot Guide, but Mazda’s ongoing target on taking pleasure in driving form of helps make the excuse for its absence.

Why the eff is the Mazda6 even now applying the automaker’s aged infotainment program? It should have snagged up the Mazda3’s head unit as aspect of its mid-cycle refresh.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

How I’d spec it

My Mazda6 is amongst the most high priced on present, with its Signature trim commanding close to $37,000 after location ($920) and two alternatives ($a hundred for a carpeted trunk mat and $595 for Mazda’s generally-great Soul Red paint). I choose to start off with the Grand Touring trim, which packs the punchier motor but hovers just down below the $30,000 mark. That’ll internet me characteristics like cloth-trimmed sport seats, satellite radio, an eleven-speaker Bose seem program and heated electrical power aspect mirrors. The no cost Crystal Blue Mica paint task appears to be like stellar, and I will drop $400 just to update the head unit to include manufacturing unit navigation, which puts my out-the-doorway selling price at a shade previously mentioned $31,000. Which is many thousand down below the regular new-automobile transaction selling price, but it’s even now pretty properly loaded.

Down to brass tacks

Even although people are going to crossovers en masse, the midsize sedan phase continues to be the best it’s at any time been. The Honda Accord could look a small bizarre, but it’s cozy and severely great to generate with its punchier motor. The Toyota Camry has occur a extended way, ditching its beigeness in favor of extra expressive styling and a chassis that in fact helps make the automobile enjoyment to generate. The Nissan Altima has some sharp appears to be like, and when I will not enjoy its CVT, optional all-wheel generate and hundreds of security devices will provide people with peace of brain.

Whither the 2020 Mazda6, then? It occupies this modest small corner of the phase in which it’s not fairly confident if it would like to fully embrace its posher adult mother nature or even now maintain onto the driving dynamics that aided Mazda make it identify for by itself amongst enthusiasts. You will find loads to like in the most up-to-date Mazda6, and it’s truly worth comparing versus any of the stalwarts, I just desire the automaker would make up its brain about in which it would like to go.