Mazda's midsize front-wheel-drive sedan benefits from a sportier nature than some of its competitors. Inline-four-cylinder (in "i" models) and V-6 ("s" models) engines are available in the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. Competitors include midsize sedans like the Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu.
New for 2011
The headlights and fog lamps get a new design, and there is a new design for the 17-inch alloy wheels. Mazda says fuel economy has improved on the "i" and "s" models. Other changes include new folding mirrors with turn-signal lamps on Touring Plus and Grand Touring models, a couple of new paint colors, a new steering-wheel design, new cloth seat materials, new trim for the instrument panel and door armrests, and a rearview camera with a 7-inch touch-screen.
For 2009, designers ditched the previous design for what Mazda calls a "Japanese aesthetic" in the current car. The vehicle sports a long hood with pronounced front fender flares that flow through the headlamps and mold with the front bumper.
Exterior features include:
- Standard body-colored grille, front and rear bumpers, door handles and moldings
- 16-inch steel wheels with full covers
- Optional 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18-inch alloy wheels
- Optional LED taillamps
- Single (four-cylinder models) or dual exhaust outlets (V-6 models)
The rounded instruments integrate nicely into the T-shaped instrument panel. The radio and center controls are tilted up to enhance functionality for the driver. Blacked-out instrument faces have metallic needles and trim.
All trim levels get 60/40-split folding rear seats with remote capability. Interior features include:
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls
- New steering-wheel design, instrument panel trim accents and stitched vinyl door armrests
- Standard air conditioning with pollen filter, optional dual-zone automatic air conditioning
- Standard power locks, windows and mirrors (heated mirrors are optional)
- Optional power moonroof with interior sunshade
- Optional 333-watt, 10-speaker Bose audio system
- Optional DVD navigation system with 7-inch touch-screen, rearview camera and voice-activated controls
Under the Hood
The Mazda6 features a front and rear independent suspension. Four-cylinder and V-6 options are normal in this segment, but the standard six-speed manual transmission (with the four-cylinder) plays up Mazda's performance roots. There are also two automatic transmission offerings: The four-cylinder engine can have an optional five-speed automatic transmission, and the V-6 comes with a standard six-speed automatic (it can't be had with a manual). Mechanical features include:
- 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 167 pounds-feet of torque
- 272-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 with 269 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed manual transmission
- Optional five- and six-speed automatic transmissions
- Optional push-button start
- Optional keyless entry and start system
The Mazda6 offers a blind spot warning system. Other safety features include:
- Standard side-impact airbags
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Standard antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution
- Standard electronic stability system and traction control
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