Related: 2017 Mazda6: First Look
All three versions of Mazda's midsize sedan gain standard features for 2017, including G-Vectoring Control steering, which adjusts engine power based on steering position, throttle input and suspension loads for what Mazda says results in sharper steering control. Mazda says all Mazda6 models have better sound insulation as well.
The base Sport model with the standard manual transmission gets the Mazda Connect infotainment system with Bluetooth and a backup camera as standard, and the Touring trim adds Smart City Brake Support, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers. The Grand Touring model gains a slew of new features, including automatic braking with collision warning, lane keep assist, radar adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition technology, automatic high beams, driver-seat memory and a full-color dashboard display.
All models use a 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual is standard on the Sport and Touring, and a six-speed automatic is a $1,050 option. On the 2016 Sport the automatic was grouped in a $1,500 package that included Mazda Connect and the rearview camera. The automatic is standard on the Grand Touring.
With some features from last year's Technology packages for the Touring and Grand Touring now standard, they are called the Premium Package instead. The one for the Grand Touring adds a heated steering wheel, rear-seat heaters, Nappa leather seats and new interior trim, and the price increases $320 to $2,500 compared to the 2016 GT Technology Package.
The Mazda6 offers head-turning styling, crisp and responsive handling that is clearly a cut above most midsize sedans, and a roomy, practical design. The engine is noisy, however, and the interior on a 2016 model was invaded by a lot of road noise, especially on the highway, something which may be addressed by the additional sound insulation for 2017.
Mazda's biggest problems, though, are that the Mazda6 competes with big sellers such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, so it may not even get on most shopping lists. What's more, interest in midsize sedans is declining. For those who are still interested, the Mazda6 is sporty and capable, with a flair that most rivals lack.