The 6 has been with us for a bit. But Mazda did a facelift to their flagship sedan, and it is a facelift worth writing about.
The 6 is to Mazda what the Camry is to Toyota, full-sized, seen as an executive car to some here. But while we do find the familiar Kodo (Soul of Motion) form commonplace on our road, the best way to describe the 2017 Mazda 6 is not one of a facelift, but an improvement to something already so well designed.
On the outside, there are just minor changes, in the form of signal repeaters on the wing mirrors. Up in front. The ‘new’ car benefits from a set of fog lamps, and that’s just it.
Nothing else on the body is new. It can be rather difficult to mess with form, if it had been well thought through, like how the manufacturer known for their ‘Zoom Zoom’ tagline had done with this car.
Our test car was the one with the more potent 2.5 litre unit, mated to a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic, and pushing a respectable 192ps under the hood. And torque delivery for the naturally aspirated engine at 3,250rpm delivering its 256Nm in linear form.
With an interior which by all means is plush, the 2,830mmm wheelbase does provide plenty of space, especially in the rear to sprawl out lazily. Front seats are electric, and the driver’s seat is also programmable with memory settings.
Insulation form external noises is pretty good, though the engine makes itself known above 3,000rpm, with the characteristic 4 cylinder rasp entering the cabin from the front, but not in an unpleasant way.
Where the ‘New’ 6 shines, is in a new advanced feature called G-Vectoring Control, in short, the 6 has become more stable around the bends, and more responsive, all this, thanks to some very clever messing around with the engine’s torque ever so slightly, to tip the car’s balance to suit the situation. No there is no special trick suspension with magnets in this case, instead, the 6 utilises very clever programming to ensure that the best wheels for the job, do the job. All this, with the simple concept of weight transference – something which many race car drivers will have a deep understanding of.
What wizardry is this? What you must know, is that Mazda did not set out to keep adding equipment to a car already well-equipped, but have instead, made a already car so well balanced just so much better, with very forward thinking.
Given that the average buyer of such a car would have a family in tow, and at times the parents or even the in-laws. What the G-Vectoring Control actually keeps the car much flatter around the turns than a car without the system, and in essence, providing added comfort to the drive. A comfortable family at the end of the journey is simply easier to manage. Grin…
And for those who do like to flick a car around a few bends, the added stability adds to the on-road confidence, be it taking a series of sharp bends, like in our case where we tested the 6, with the car displaying very neutral characteristics, although being front-driven, but also in emergency situations, where you will find yourself braking hard. The changes in engine torque are so tiny, you would not even notice them. Enough car “geekery” here…
With all this torque trickery, the Mazda6 does feel quite “premium European” if you were not to look at the badge while driving it.