Mazda is already known for building vehicles that are fun to drive and is garnering one for their distinctive designs. One area that Mazda might not get a lot of credit is the constant improvements they make to their lineup. Take for example the Mazda6 sedan. Since its launch back in 2013 as a 2014 model, Mazda has been updating the 6 with new improvements and features to make it better. For example, when we drove the 2016 Mazda6 back in 2015, it featured new dashboard and infotainment system that made it more pleasant to be in. For 2017, Mazda has introduced two big changes for 6 - one dealing with handling and the other dealing with overall refinement.
- First up is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control. This system monitors steering and throttle input (along with a few other things according to the brand), and when it deems necessary, will reduce engine power to shift weight to the front. This is said to improve overall handling in a corner.
- Here’s the thing, I really can’t tell if this system makes the 2017 Mazda6 a better handler than the previous 6 I drove back in 2015. The model shows the sharp handling characteristics that has made it one of the best driving models in the class with little body roll and steering that feels direct.
- I would need to drive both a 2016 and 2017 Mazda6 back to back to see if there is a difference.
- The other improvement for the 2017 Mazda6 will be noticed by anyone going for a ride; a quieter interior. Mazda has added a bit more sound insulation for the 6 and it makes for a more pleasant driving experience. There isn’t as much wind whistle as there was in previous 6s I have driven. You still do get a fair amount of tire noise, but that’s more due to the 19-inch wheels fitted on the Grand Touring.
- The 19-inch wheels also make the ride slightly rough with various bumps being transmitted clearly to the backsides of you and your passengers.
- Mazda hasn’t messed with anything else for the 2017 6 and that’s mostly a good thing. It still retains the striking good looks of the outside, especially in this bronze color seen here.
- The Mazda6’s interior is towards the top of the class with a modern design, high-quality materials, and an easy to understand control layout. The leather seats offer the right amount of comfort for long trips. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints in terms of head and legroom.
- Under the hood is a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Sport and Touring models get the option of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the Grand Touring makes due with only the automatic.
- The engine is a spritely performer with strong acceleration and having the power ready to go when needed. The six-speed is quick when it comes to downshifts. But the transmission does stumble when it comes to upshifts as it is slow to respond when you need that punch of power. At least the automatic transmission does feature paddles on the steering wheel to allow for some manual control to solve this.
- The continuous updates Mazda makes to the vehicles should be applauded as it helps keep them competitive in light of tougher competition. The 2017 Mazda6 is a key example of this. You might not be able to detect one of the changes made, but the other one us quite noticeable and makes the 6 that much better.
Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: Grand Touring
Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
Base Price: $30,695
As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
Cargo Mat - $75.00