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2010 Mazda6 Review

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SEE ALSO: Mazda Buyers Guide
SEE ALSO: E-Carmony: Is a 2011 Mazda6 Your Perfect Match?

2010 Mazda6:5-Passenger Zoom-Zoom
by Larry Nutson
Senior Editor
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

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If you’re in the market for a mid-size 4-door sedan with room for 5 and also want a bit of sportiness, then the Mazda6 will make a great choice.

There are many choices in the mid-size sedan segment, some being fairly generic 5-passenger haulers. I’m taken with the exterior of the Mazda6. This car was all-new in ’09 and improved significantly in that makeover. It’s got tons of features and is both practical and fun.

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I like its bold exterior design, especially the front fenders reminiscent of those on the RX-8. For the 2010 model year, MAZDA6 offers minor trim and package enhancements.

Two engine choices are offered. A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is available with 170 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy is 21 city/30 hwy with automatic and 20 city/29 hwy with manual transmission. Also available is a 60-degree 3.7-liter V6 engine, designated MZI, with 272 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Mazda says the MZI V6 is the most powerful engine in its class. Mazda engineering tests show that it's also quieter than its competitors at full throttle. EPA fuel economy is 17 city/25 hwy with its standard-equipment automatic transmission.

In my drive of the Mazda6 i Grand Touring I was getting around 27 mpg in mixed use driving which is better than the EPA 24mpg Combined Fuel Economy.

The MAZDA6 i SV, Sport and Touring are equipped with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission that lets the driver exploit all the performance provided by the 2.5-liter MZR engine. Also available is an electronically-controlled five-speed automatic with overdrive ratios for the top two gears and also has a manual shift mode. A six-speed automatic with manual shift mode is standard in the MAZDA6 s.

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The MAZDA6 sport sedan is available as two models - the MAZDA6 i powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 and the MAZDA6 s powered by a 3.7-liter V6. The MAZDA6 comes with standard features such as air conditioning with a pollen filter, power door locks and windows, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, Center IP display, mp3 compatible stereo, 16-inch wheels, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS), side air bags and curtains, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control (TCS).

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The first step up, MAZDA6 i Sport adds remote key-less entry, cruise control and steering wheel mounted controls. The MAZDA6 i Touring adds 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R17 tires, fog lights, 8-way power driver's seat, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, in-dash 6-disc CD changer and trip computer. Building on the Touring model, the new MAZDA6 i Touring Plus adds power moonroof, ground illumination, electroluminescent gauges, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio operations, anti-theft security system and Blind Spot Monitoring System, while the MAZDA6 i Grand Touring includes leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bose® audio system and welcome lighting system.

The MAZDA6 s models come equipped with the 3.7-liter V6 with 6-speed automatic transmission. MAZDA6 s Touring Plus adds chrome dual exhaust outlets over the i Touring Plus model. MAZDA6 s Grand Touring offers 18-inch alloy wheels with P235/45R18 wheels and chrome dual exhaust outlets over the i Grand Touring model.

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The interior has a very expansive feel. Surface textures, gloss levels, parting lines, and decorative areas all are well executed. Blacked-out instrument faces with brighter metallic markings, needles and trim are very distinctive. Seats offer good support with nice side bolsters and a good level of comfort on long trips.

The “sport” characteristics of the Mazda6 still yield a compliant and comfortable ride. Handling is crisp and responsive which is especially desirable in defensive driving and evasive maneuvers. On city street there is no bone-jarring harshness and at highway speeds I got a great sense of confidence behind the wheel.

Base prices start at $18,600 for the Mazda6 i SV and top out at $28,540 for the Mazda6 s Grand Touring. The Mazda6 i Grand Touring I drove had a base price of $25,935 and with the options and delivery totaled $30,665.

All 2010 Mazdas come with a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty covering every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. Also, all 2010 models receive a five-year/60,000 mile power train warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty. Mazda has over 700 dealers throughout the United States.

Final word: A fun, driver’s car that will handle the family transportation chores very well, plus you won’t see yourself at every stoplight like with some other mid-size cars.

© Larry Nutson