Mid-size sedan segment is still alive. At least in the US. The choice is still abundant, while we even saw some efforts in stirring things up, primarily referring to Ford Fusion Sport and its perky twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 boosting 325 hp. Even with usual offers, car makers are struggling to stay competitive and preserve as many buyers as they can from vicious lurk of crossovers, so we witnessed the arrival of the new Chevy Malibu which appeared as came from another planet, in the most positive sense, when you confront it with its predecessor. Things are becoming even more perplexed as queen of the sales of the sales-Camry decided to go visually berserk and to actually amuse in corners, while another buyer’s sweetheart or brand new Accord is just days away from official reveal and who knows what special treats it is bringing to us. How’s that affecting five years old gem from Mazda, let’s see.
BUYERS NEEDS TIME
New 2018 Mazda 6 doesn’t bring anything new to the closing part of this generation’s market life since we did have some nip and tuck in 2015, while last year we had some none visual novelties, among which G-Vectoring becoming a standard feature. Anyway, Mazda 6 pretty much still nails any comparison tests in its segment no matter which automotive magazine you pick, suggesting that it has enough potency to survive with dignity until a successor arrives. For some reason that didn’t translate into decent sales, leaving 6 sitting at the dead bottom of the segment with embarrassing figures, proving that sometimes buyers need some time to acknowledge radical changes and confronted with the past this Mazda changed a lot.
Dull and plain visual approach perished with this generation and crowning it best looker in the segment might offend complexity of different palates, but sleekest and most elegant is hardly debatable. Despite some time on the market, passionate and curvaceous lines still make it well enough handsome, while special approach with interior might just seal the deal for you. Mazda pursuit for the premium feel paid its dues with strangely tight fittings and for this segment luscious materials, leaving you possibly grudging only about the excess noise and lack of visual flair, though restrained elegance is well suited for many.
You don’t need to stress about engine choices as there is no any. 2.5-liter naturally aspirated L4 producing 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque is what you get and its sprint to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds seems fine as far as base engine offer in the segment is concerned. For some reason Mazda 6 haven’t applied for turbocharged 2.5-liter L4 found in CX-9 model, which pumps out healthy 250 hp, leaving it to fall short of rivals in case somebody asks for more peppiness. Naturally fed V6 is still an old norm in this class and those violating it, Sonata, Optima, Malibu, and soon Accord, managed to offer vigorous (read heavily turbocharged) L4s, while Fusion dared to strap its V6 with two turbos boosting by far highest power figures. Still, this Mazda has a neat trick under its sleeve.
It is what Mazda claims and it is what Mazda delivers. Automatic with 6-speeds works just fine, but as rare delicacy you can go with beautifully precise and short shifting manual. And you should, as this mid-size sedan drives sublimely. Firm and solid chassis, properly weighted steering not afraid of communicating with you and proper cornering poise might as well push into oblivion lack of proper amount of horsepower. Combine that road poise with sophisticated cabin and refined looks, and you’ll note that 2018 Mazda 6 might as well keep its humble sales numbers floating until the new one arrives, which should be in charge of figures boosting as folks had enough time by now to comprehend what latest Mazdas stands for.