THERE is more to the stunning, refined and imposing presence of the third-generation Mazda 6. At a glance, it stimulates your senses and makes you understand what the “Kodo-Soul of Motion” design philosophy is all about. Even when standing still, it gives the impression that it is constantly moving.
Prominently, the exterior exudes charm that stems from the character lines and distinctive silhouette, which contribute to the New Mazda 6’s striking stance. The signature five-point grille unites with the slender adaptive projector type LED headlamps with daylight running lights.
Together with the hood, they create a fascia with a strong sense of charisma that seems to come straight at you. The Mazda 6’s rear is not lacking in terms of aesthetics with its equally molded delineations with black trim highlighting the twin exhaust with polished tips. What contributed to the car’s eye-catching posture is the combination of the 19-inch, gunmetal finished rims and 225/45 series tires. Harmonized with the test unit’s soul red body color, the New 6 is definitely an attention magnet wherever it goes.
Upon opening the vehicle’s doors, this writer was immediately enamored with the eye-catching, two-toned interior color scheme. Perforated, white leather material that accentuates the black leather seats and trim, along with additional brushed metal touches here and there added a pleasing element of elegance.
The ergonomic and intuitive cockpit makes the New Mazda a true driver-oriented car. Aside from the chunky steering wheel with embedded controls and paddle shifters, the 7-inch touchscreen operated infotainment with Bluetooth connectivity sits high enough for ease of operation.
A command control knob located just below the shift handle makes screen operation fast, easy and safe. Moreover, it is packed with other automated features, such as electronic parking brake button, push start/stop ignition, auto on/off headlamps and wiper control among others.
The New Mazda 6 drives just, as well as it looks thanks to the numerous advancements included in the vehicle package. For one, there’s the state-of-the-art i-Stop feature, which promotes fuel efficiency by triggering a seamless mechanism that switches off the engine at every stop and resumes ignition faster than the initial startup as soon as the brake pedal is released. If the driver wants the motor to run continuously, there’s a separate switch available to disengage it.
The New Mazda 6’s 2.5-liter engine, which is coupled to a six-speed A/T, offers a choice of dynamics to suit particular driving preferences. In default mode, the engine reaction is smooth and provides adequate torque with the gear shifting done with the low end range. On the other hand, there’s an accessible power toggle that instantaneously transforms the engine into a more aggressive unit. The accelerator pedal—even with light pressure—becomes more sensitive to any throttle opening and moves the gear shifting to a higher range.
A significant amount of force becomes evident and results in more powerful acceleration that’s somewhat close to a V6 motor.
In manual mode, the engine is even more responsive and changing gears is kept within the optimum range, making speeding up seamless and overtaking a cinch. On the road, the combination of the front MacPherson struts and rear independent multilink suspension provide a comfortable ride and excellent handling. Steering is accurate and reactive, thanks to the electronic-assisted rack and pinion.
Considering the relatively lower tire series, there are noticeable rebounds on uneven and rough pavement but amazingly smooth on level paths. The noise, vibration and harshness insulation also delivered a quiet ride, especially while cruising on the freeway, which made listening to music via the 11 speakers powered by Bose soothing and crisp. The cold blanket temperature emitted by the dual-zone air-conditioning system adds to the comfortable climate inside the cabin even under a scorching sun. Noteworthy is the transparent heads-up display positioned on top of the dashboard, which shows the speed and other information that’s vital to road safety.
It also allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road while viewing the readout. Another interesting feature is the lane departure warning sensor that is linked to the audio system, which emits a sound akin to the car hitting speed bumps. Other safety provisions include multiple airbags and four-wheel ABS with electronic brake distribution, just to name a few.
The third-generation Mazda 6 embodies modern day styling, which breaks the stigma of conservativeness, which plagues most midsize sedans. Considering its radical but pleasant evolution from its predecessor, one can’t help but think how Mazda will to surpass the current generation when the next one rolls out of the production line. This writer can only think of one word: Exciting.
- Kodo-Soul of Motion inspired exterior design
- Two-toned interior color scheme
- i-Stop idling stop system
- Engine performance on power mode
- Adaptive LED projector type headlamps
- Minimal tire rebound
- Side mirror’s position, which produces a blind spot
- Vehicle: Mazda 6 Skyactiv-G 2.5
- Type: Midsize Sedan/Executive Sedan/Large Family Car
- Engine: 2.5 liter, in-line four cylinder, DOHC, 16 valve, gasoline-fed
- Maximum power: 185 hp at 5,700 rpm
- Maximum torque: 250 Nm at 3,250 rpm
- Transmission: Skyactiv-Drive Six-speed automatic
- Overall length: 4,865millimeters
- Overall width: 1,840 mm
- Overall height: 1,450 mm
- Wheelbase: 2,830 mm
- Front track: 1,595 mm
- Rear track: 1,585 mm
- Tire size: 225/45 R19
- Price as tested: P1.785 million (plus P16,800 premium for the Soul Red color option)
Image credits: Randy S. Peregrino