Admittedly, I’m not much a mid-size car guy.
I like pickups and SUVs with 4×4. However, driving around in the 2017.5 Mazda6 Grand Touring edition, it didn’t take me long to understand why I keep hearing good things about this car.
The 2017.5 Mazda6 is one of two cars Mazda offers with the Mazda3 being the smaller of the two. It competes with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and other mid-size cars. Mazda offers the 6 in three models: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring and all the models share a 2.5L 184 horsepower inline-four engine.
This model year is also the last one prior to a new model 2018 version on dealer lots as of this writing. The new 2018 model was a facelift revision with major cosmetic changes inside and out. It is essentially the same vehicle as the 2017 model.
My week behind the wheel of the 2017.5 Mazda6 reinforces my previous notions on most Mazda vehicles. Simply put, they are a driver’s car with great steering response, superb handling and plenty of horsepower. They are a fun car to drive quickly and the Mazda6 really had me hanging onto the edges of long turns generating as much thrill as the road would allow.
While Mazda doesn’t offer their turbocharged engine in this vehicle, the engine doesn’t really long for a lot more power. Really it is a mid-size car, not a sports car, and behaves as such. You can ramp up the fun, with the paddle shifters, when you need to and then dial it back for day-to-day commuting.
Styling wise the Mazda6 is a sharp looking car with great curves on the front wrapping along the sides and finishing in the rear. It is an inviting design and looks great from any angle.
Inside the cabin, the driver’s seat position is ideal with plenty of space between the driver and passenger. The materials used in the Grand Touring edition are pretty luxurious for a $34,895 mid-size car. I’m especially a big fan of the mix of chrome with the brown/white interior trim. The trunk offered plenty of space for storing golf clubs as well as grocery bags.
Seat comfort was also a big hit with no signs of fatigue or discomfort after driving around for several hours.
The rear seats aren’t amazingly spacious, but you wouldn’t expect that either. They offer an ample amount of room for riding for daily driving and they might feel tight on long distance trips.
Technology wise, the Mazda6 could use a few more USB plugs, yet that is an issue on most vehicles these days. I was able to easily use the navigation screen and quickly dial activated infotainment screen is really responsive. The dial takes a little bit of time to get used to, but once you do, it is like any other piece of technology and works well.
Another big hit for the Mazda6 was the available safety technology with a lane departure assist/warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and high beam control. I’m hard pressed to think of a usable safety feature other brands have on the market that the Mazda6 doesn’t have.
Ultimately, I really couldn’t find anything I didn’t like at all with the 2017.5 Mazda6. It truly is a great mid-size car. Just sad the market has shifted away from mid-size cars into SUVs. Many consumers are going to miss out on this great mid-size car.
Tim Esterdahl is a married father of three who enjoys all things automotive including wrenching on his collection of old pickups. You can find his work here and in print in Truck Trend magazine as well as on Pickuptrucks.com. Recently, he is growing a huge audience at his website PickTruckTalk.com
He also plays an absurd amount of golf. Like, really absurd.