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2019 Mazda6 Signature by Mark Fulmer

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Here's to a Sedan with a Punch

While SUVs and crossovers are dotting both the urban and rural landscape, fear not the fate of the legendary mid-size sedan. At least as long as Mazda continues to build and improve its 6 model. The successful formula includes healthy portions of power, tech, and style.

Power. The standard 187-hp engine is just fine with most folks, however the new 2.5L turbo engine with its 250 horsepower, makes this sedan is a much faster off of the starting line than its predisessors by producing a push- against-the seat 310 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for this engine is rated at 23 mpg city/31 mpg hwy. The Mazda6's fuel economy is rated at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. To compliment the increased zoom-zoom of the turbo engine Mazda retuned the suspension which tightened the steering and flattened the cornering. There is a price for turbo power, and that is mandatory premium fuel. If you use lower octane, the horsepower will be moderately decreased.

Tech. The $24K Sport model comes equipped with i-Activsense driver assist suite which includes lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning, high-speed emergency braking, rain-sensing wipers,adaptive cruise control, and auto high-beam control and auto on/off headlights. Also included are Bluetooth and a rearview camera, as well as the MazdaConnect infotainment system with an 8-in color touchscreen, AM/FM radio, HD Radio and 6 speakers.

But wait, there's more. How about G-Vectoring Control Plus, power-operated windows, mirrors and door locks. Also auto-leveling LED headlights, cruise control, 17-in aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and push-button start, cloth seats, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, driver's seat manual lumbar adjustment, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, cloth seats, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2019 Mazda6 its highest rating of five stars overall, with five stars in the front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the Mazda6 is best score of Good in every crash test, as well as a Superior in the crash avoidance and mitigation test.

Style. The Mazda6 has always had a clean uncluttered look so a little tweak to the front grill doesn't change its modern look. The Adaptive LED headlights give a piercing, assertive face like a sprinter eyeing the finish line. The 19-inch wheels add to the side view flow and roofline that bespeak motion. I am looking forward to car makers insetting their aluminum rims which are so vulnerable to curb scrapes when they are designed flush to the rubber of the tire.

The Mazda6 Signature ($36K) upgrades a number of elements: Nappa leather seating, Ultrasuede dash and door trim inserts, wood dash inlays, a black headliner, and adds a gunmetal-finish front grille, a frameless auto-diming rearview mirror, a 7-in TFT LCD meter display, a 360-degree monitor and front and rear parking sensors.

The 6 is a safe, stylish, mid size sedan well worth a test drive.