>> Mazda likes to position their cars as having in sportier personality than the better known competition. In the case of the Mazda6 that means you Accord and Camry. Let us take a look at the 6 i Sedan Touring Plus and see if zoom-zoom is more than a slogan while we check the tech.
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>> In the U.S. the Mazda6 means a sedan was something of a coupe-like roofline. We don't get the station wagon. We don't get the hatchback. Ours arrive in Kona blue over really easily soiled gray cloth. Our car is a Touring Plus, which is a very popular model, kind of midrange on the Mazda6 among the four cylinders. There is also a Touring. The difference is a pretty slight and both of these touring style cars really don't let you order a lot of options. That is kind of the headline here. The head unit on this car is AM/FM, six-disc CD with MP3 disc readability, satellite radio ready, but that is an a la carte add-on if you actually want to activate the Sirius satellite radio. Because we have a Touring Plus it adds A2DP stereo Bluetooth streaming, this Touring would not have that. All these cars in this trim level have an aux jack in here alongside a 12-volt port, pretty standard stuff. Let's talk about all the things that are not available on this car. You can't get GPS nav on a Touring or Touring Plus, you cannot get a manual transmission on this car, nor keyless entry, you got to use a regular traditional key, nor can you get heated seats. So, you really need to step up one or two to get the optionability or the standard equipments you want. You are really hammed in down here at Touring and Touring Plus.
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>> Now, what you do find on Touring and Touring Plus, you know they are relatively low ball cars, they do include standard blind spot monitoring. That's a little bit odd to me. And you see the indicator in the mirrors, and if you signal to change into that lane it gives you a beep on top of that to really let you know, do you know what you are about to do. Touring Plus adds this glass power sunroof. Touring doesn't have it or even offer it. The Touring Plus gives you a five-speed automatic with no choice of getting a manual transmission. The Touring lets you have a manual if you would like, and you got a shiftable gait on this automatic--you know garden variety stuff. This is not a sport transmission, no paddles or anything, just the ability to find the gear this way. Now, thumbs up to Mazda for, I think getting a more grown up look into this class of cars, and a little less of that zoom-zoom boy-racer stuff in previous generations. This is a nice looking cabin. Some good sat and finishes here. This goofy plastic wood doesn't offend me and some nice contour is here that say, a nicer car than you might expect for the money. On the other hand, thumbs down for them hanging on to this goofy concentric circle thing they do on their head unit. This is making me nuts. Let me show you some things that have stuck in my crow over two full days of driving. First of all, these preset buttons, one, two, down to three, over to four, five, down to six--huh? Maybe I am just OCD about that, but that's driving me crazy. Secondly, what's with all this circle stuff anyway, what does that mean? Is this like inferring the shape of a compact disc? I find it over two days of hard head unit to get muscle memory for, maybe it is just me. Climate system even on this Touring Plus is non-ATC, so you are not going to set the temperature, you are going to dial it how much hot and tell the fan how fast to blow. That is getting kind of long in the tooth these days especially for a car like this that isn't exactly competing with a Fit or a Versa. This is competing with Camry and Accord.
There are two kinds of motors available on the Mazda6. We have a smaller one, only the top trim cars available with the V-6. This 2.5-liter inline-four is a 170 horse 167 foot-pounds of torque, and you are going to get 21/30 mpg, 1 mpg lower on each count if you had a manual transmission, that of course would be a Touring or a Touring Plus. Greenhouse and pollution scores are fine, 6 and 6 in each category upon a scale of 10 or higher is better.
On the road, not a lot of zoom-zoom coming out of this 2.5-liter four, it is probably a more willing motor than it seems, but the five-speed automatic in our car piles on to continue muting the output. Lots of slippery revving when you step on it, but not a lot happens, 0 to 60 in a little over 9 seconds isn't sharp no matter what the reason. I just wanted more engagement. Okay, let's price one of these Mazda6 Tourings, now that's the cheaper one, 21,600 about the price there. That would have a manual transmission. If you go to the Touring Plus you get into an automatic transmission, or you can get the automatic for 900 bucks on the Touring, are you with me? The Touring Plus car that we have here is 1950 more. It includes the automatic as I mentioned, Bluetooth hands-free, Bluetooth stereo streaming, the power glass sunroof, and a couple other niceties. A couple a la carte things: Remote start is 350 and Sirius satellite radio is 430.