Road test |  Mazda6: start at the top of your game

Road test | Mazda6: start at the top of your game


Well, it’s done! Mazda ended production of its Mazda6 sedan last July, ending the third generation that had the thankless mission of trying to slow it down, to no avail. Despite the good intentions of the small Japanese manufacturer, the intermediary has never placed itself among the leaders in terms of sales. We take a final look at the eloquent work judged for the secondary roles.

Posted November 2, 2021

Charles Rene

Charles Rene
Media

Design

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MAZDA

Later, it is simple, but very effective, with a rocker line that rises slightly towards the rear and 19-inch wheels that support the wheel arches well.

It may have been part of the midsize sedan scene for a while now, but the Mazda6 is definitely in the game visually. This latest iteration, which is the product of various light revisions during the recent production period, stands out with a clear dynamic front end whose wings, which outline the rows that go back, complete the long bonnet that descends above the hexagonal-shaped grille. . Later, it is simple, but very effective, with a rocker line that rises slightly towards the rear and 19-inch wheels that support the wheel arches well. At the back, we see the only element that betrays the presence of turbocharged mechanics and a small “Turbo” badge on the trunk lid. The latter connects the two balanced rear lights with a strip of brushed aluminum for continuity. Circular exhaust pipes neatly integrated into the rear bumper complete the picture.

On board

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MAZDA

Mazda 2021 interior

Like any sedan in its segment, access to the front of the passenger compartment of this Mazda6 is done without difficulty. Once we are comfortably seated and on top of all the luxurious furniture and its leather upholstery, we pay attention to the many details that make up the dashboard. It is not that it is very full, on the contrary, but the range of materials used and the balanced design make it cleaner than the suggested price. An instrument that combines digital and physical elements is also delicious. The only thing that this Mazda6 can take responsibility for is the limited visibility of the rear seats, which puts it close to the current Mazda3, despite its mid-size status. The stem, on the other hand, has good potential and offers a good opportunity to find it.

Under the hood

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MAZDA

The Mazda6’s turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder produces 250 hp when running on premium 93 octane gasoline.

In this last year of production of this generation Mazda6, the manufacturer has not changed anything about its mechanical proposal. Two 2.5 L four cylinders still share the engine room, one naturally aspirated (187 hp), the other turbocharged (250 hp). The latter, which is now equipped with many of the manufacturer’s models, obviously runs a higher sedan life and can drink fuel with an octane number of 87, instead of losing 23 hp. Connected to a six-speed gearbox, technically a little dated, but very efficient, this engine is usually at ease in this power, despite the fact that it only sends 320 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. Its line, whose obvious aim is to recall that of the V6, is very pleasant, and its consumption is not too high (8.6 L/100 km during the test).

Behind the wheel

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MAZDA

The 2021 Mazda6 remains one of the benchmarks in the segment, despite its older appearance compared to newer competition.

Throughout its career, which began in 2003 (2004 model year), the Mazda6 has been praised for its powerful presence. It remains one of the benchmarks in the segment, despite the advanced age of its frame compared to the updated competition. We’re surprised to even appreciate its steering feel more than the Mazda3. The support layer is more obvious and becomes more one with the machine through the full communication feature. Of course, the disadvantage on paper of this Mazda6 remains the fact that it is offered only in front-wheel drive, as opposed to all-wheel drive Mazda3, but the middle one does very well with the dual traction and torque control system. the stability of the vector that intervenes precisely to prevent too great a loss of grip. The movement is therefore very fluid, without being sudden and very dry.

Embedded technologies

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MAZDA

The infotainment system of the 2021 Mazda6 is outdated.

This is probably where the Mazda6 shows its most curves. All you have to do is shift into reverse to see how the rear-view camera provides clarity from another era, even before you get through the infotainment system. The latter, used by Mazda for many years, is no longer in the game when considering the concept of user experience. The screen definition is very average, the menus are not well laid out and the functions are very limited. The stability of the system is also not the same. At least Mazda has integrated wireless Apple CarPlay from the mid-range GT, a feature whose usefulness is negated by the absence of a charging pad. We recover, however, with the Bose sound system, whose sound quality is among the best in the category.

Judgment

PHOTO PROVIDED BY MAZDA

If you’re interested in buying a mid-size sedan, don’t hesitate to put this Mazda6 at the top of your list.

The fate of this Mazda6 is certainly a mystery and teaches us about the concept of desirability in marketing. Despite its great overall qualities, from high reliability to attractive design and proven power, the mid-size sedan did not convince a large number of buyers. It’s a shame, because even today, this creation is a great success, largely homogeneous and financially accessible. But now, what does the future hold? With the arrival of new products from brands based on the push platform, the transition will be natural to the medium. In the case where the sedan is dying, Mazda has not yet made any announcement to this effect. So we will have to wait, again. But, in the meantime, if you want to buy a mid-size sedan, do not hesitate to put this Mazda6 at the top of your list, at least there are copies left in the dealers.

Notebook

An attractive basic version

With a higher capacity 2.5-liter four-cylinder (187 hp) that uses less fuel than the engine in the turbo version (8 L/100 km compared to 8.9 L/100 km), the GS version of this Mazda6 is very good. attractive with its usual well-rounded features.

Very low interest rate

While many manufacturers have raised their interest rates, this Mazda6 is the only one in its segment to be offered at 0% interest on most financing terms, which can be beneficial if you’re considering buying one.

Hunger marketing

In 2020, 1,049 Mazda6s were sold in Canada, compared to 24,946 for the CX-5 SUV, the manufacturer’s most popular model and which has suffered little from the drop in sales due to the pandemic.

About the weight of a compact

With all-wheel drive by default when choosing the same turbo engine on the Mazda3, the weight difference with the Mazda6 is reduced to just 91 kg, again to the advantage of compactness. This moderate weight helps the medium in its power delivery.

Avoid CVTs and dual-clutch transmissions

While several rivals use a continuously variable gearbox, the Mazda6 remains faithful to the traditional torque converter gearbox, which is still smooth, but slower in its gear changes than dual clutch gearboxes.

Technical paper

  • Model tested: Mazda6 Kuro
  • Engine: 2.5L L4 DOHC Turbocharged
  • Power: 250 hp at 5000 rpm (measured with 93 octane gasoline)
  • Torque: 320 lb-ft at 2500 rpm (measured with 93 octane gasoline)
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic and manual mode
  • Engine design: front transverse engine, front wheel drive
  • Consumption (EnerGuide): 8.9 L/100 km
  • Price (with options): $40,215 (price range $29,815 to $41,715)
  • Competitors: Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat.
  • New 2021? Last year of production of the third generation