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2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring Review By Larry Nutson


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2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring

2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring
Refreshed and Fun-to-Drive

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

LN Says:The 2016 Mazda6 may just be the best choice midsize sedan on the market today

It was December 1, the first day of meteorological winter when the 2016 Mazda6 arrived at my front door. A smile came to my face when I noted that it was ready for winter. Mounted at all four corners were Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires.

We’ve been having mild Fall weather in Chicago and I have hopes that winter will continue with this pattern. During my week with the Mazda6 neither snow nor extreme cold was in the forecast.


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Most new cars come today with all-season tires. Well, if you live in a snowy, cold-climate area, those tires are actually best considered as three-season. When winter conditions are common for three or more months of the year, winter tires are a smart investment. Depending upon your driving habits, one set can see you through several winter seasons. Note: mount them on their own wheels; it’ll save you in both time and money in the long run.

The winter tire is designed to provide maximum performance in low…below 45ºF, winter temperatures as well as on ice, snow and slush. This tire performs better due to its combination of more flexible sidewalls, specific winter tread patterns, deeper tread depth, and perhaps most importantly, a tread compound which remains soft and more pliable in the lower winter temperatures. Under rainy and also under dry road conditions, stopping distances can be shorter with winter tires when the outside temps are lower than 45ºF. A negative is that winter tires are slightly, but not disturbingly, more noisy and spirited handling diminishes a bit.


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The Mazda6 with its front-wheel drive should perform well in snow. However when snow is deep and wet, traction becomes problematic. The Mazda6 Grand Touring is factory equipped with low-profile 45-series tires that are not the best for these conditions.

Mazda is known for building vehicles that provide a very nice balance of style, comfort, fun-to-drive performance and low fuel consumption all at a good value.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted in its most recent Light Duty Fuel Economy Trends report that Mazda Motor Corporation is the most fuel-efficient auto manufacturer in the U.S.  With the highest fleet-wide adjusted fuel economy performance of 29.4 miles per gallon (MPG), and the lowest CO2 emissions of 328, Mazda led the chart for model year (MY) 2014. 

The five-passenger 2016 Mazda6 mid-size sedan is powered by a fuel-efficient 184HP 2.5-L DOHC 4-cylinder mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission driving through the front wheels. The EPA-test fuel economy rating is 32 mpg combined with 28 city mpg and 40 highway mpg. These are the EPA ratings with i-Eloop regenerative engine and are quite impressive.

Not only do you get low fuel consumption with the Mazda6, but you get impressive and confident handling, lots of inside room for five, and spirited performance in a very good looking automobile.

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For 2016 the Mazda6 has received a revamped interior. The shape of the instrument panel and floor console give the interior a new look. There is an overall more unified appearance and a higher level of quality, fit and finish.


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On the outside the Mazda6 has a new front grille and signature wing design combined with new LED headlamps. Dynamic performance enhancements include improved sound insulation throughout the body and improved front and rear seat performance to yield a quieter and more comfortable ride.

The 2016 Mazda6 interior is so good it has been named one of “Ward’s 10 Best Interiors,” taking honors among a competitive set of 42 all-new interiors that includes cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers at all price points.

The 2016 Mazda6 is available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The Sport and Touring can be had with a 6-speed manual with prices starting at $21,495. Automatic is offered on all three trim levels.

The media-loan Mazda6 Grand Touring I drove is priced at $30,195. Features include Parchment leather, new instrument panel, seven-inch full-color touchscreen display, active driving display, LED lights, LED lighting signature grille, LED fog lights, Mazda Connect Infotainment System and a sport mode button.

Also equipped on my test car was the optional Grand Touring Technology Package priced at $2,180 MSRP. It adds Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, i-ELOOP Regenerative Engine Braking System, Lane Departure Warning System, High Beam Control and active grille shutters. Smart City Brake Support is standard on the Grand Touring.


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Mazda offers iACTIVSENSE that includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart City Brake Support for low-speed braking, Smart Brake Support for highway-speed braking, and, in select vehicles, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. These semi-autonomous features are really worth considering on any new vehicle since they have been proven to help reduce accidents. For example, both brake support systems sense an imminent collision and apply the brakes.

The 2016 Mazda6 has been named as a "2016 Top Safety Pick plus" recipient by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To attain Top Safety Pick plus honors, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of "Good" for 2016 in five body-structure categories, including small-overlap crash-testing, and have an advanced rating in available collision-prevention technologies like automatic braking—a new requirement in this year's evaluations.

And, the 2016 Mazda6 has earned a top honor on the Consumers Digest "Best Buys” list for 2016. The Mazda6 was named one of the best “Family Cars.”

I really like Mazda’s philosophy in car design and engineering. I find the interior and exterior design attractive, unique and it stands out from the crowd. Overall performance is sporty and fun. I prefer what might be categorized as a firmer ride on the Mazda6 in exchange for the more precise handling. My one nitpick is there is no heated steering wheel offered.

For more detailed information and specs on the Mazda6 visit www.Mazdusa.com. Comparing the Mazda6 to other midsize sedans can be done right here on theautochannel.com.

Mazda has been working on a diesel engine for the Mazda6 now for a few years. Mazda officials say they are still committed to bringing a diesel to the American market. They are working to achieve the needed balance of significantly lower fuel consumption compared to the gasoline engine Mazda6, combined with the performance that is inherent in the Mazda brand all for the right price that offers a good ownership value.

The 2016 Mazda6 may just be the best choice midsize sedan on the market today.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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