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The Mazda 6 is easily the most attractive entry in the family-sedan marketplace, and one of the more good-looking sedans today anywhere. With a refined, masculine face and rippled, muscular-looking front fender lines, an arched roofline, and smooth but finely detailed taillights, the Mazda 6 is eye-catching. It's hard to find a bad angle on this car, and the proportions are the best they get in this class.
Design for this kind of sedan has been evolving very, very quickly. Not so long ago at all, mid-size sedans could get away with frumpy and anonymous, but the latest family-size models seem to be in a sort of style-and-design arms race—inching ever toward sexy sheet metal and performance cues, all without removing too much practicality in the process.
Compared to the last-generation 6 sedan, Mazda has cut lots of weight while strengthening the body. With a curb weight of just 3,200 pounds, the 6 feels friskier than other cars its size with similar output.
A 2.5-liter SkyActiv inline-4 is standard across the lineup, fitted with direct injection, variable valve timing, and a very high, 13:1 compression ratio (unleaded gas is just fine). It makes 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, and its good for up to 38 mpg on the highway. All versions have front-wheel drive, and the engine can be fitted to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Manuals are rare enough in mid-size sedans, and Mazda even lets buyers get the stick in something other than the most basic model, which we appreciate.
For 2016, all auto-equipped models receive a new Sport mode, which is activated by a console button. The new Sport transmission mode cuts through the logy shift timing that's made the 6 feel slower than it is; the Sport switch resets every time the car shuts down though, reminding drivers that the 6's normal transmission programming is biased heavily toward fuel economy—and flicking the Sport switch cuts into those real-world gas mileage numbers. The automatic does provide crisp, very quick shifts, with a feel almost as surgical and speedy as that of a dual-clutch unit.
When it was first introduced for 2014, the latest Mazda 6's interior left something to be desired. For 2016, the interior gets a bit of a redo, bringing better materials, a more interesting design scheme, and some thoughtful revisions to the controls. The model continues to be roomy and easy to see out of, offering a large trunk and flip-forward rear seatbacks for added flexibility.
The seats in this Mazda 6 have always been excellent, and for 2016 Mazda has improved bolstering and comfort for front and rear occupants. You get sport seats with a little more side support than you might expect in an affordable mid-size sedan, even at the base Sport level, and there's more thigh support than typical, which helps tremendously for longer-distance drives.
The 2016 Mazda 6 has strong safety ratings in all forms, while the upper trim levels offer additional active-safety systems that can help prevent a collision.
In addition to all the usual airbags, stability control, and four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, some Mazda 6 models are offered with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert—a system that helps spot cars as you're backing out of a parking space, or warn of an adjacent vehicle when changing lanes.
There's also lane-departure warning and frontal-collision warning, which detects vehicles ahead and sounds a warning. Other noteworthy safety options include automatic emergency braking (which helps prevent collisions due to inattention, at speeds between 4 and 19 mph), automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and adaptive front lighting.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.