This Sedan Feels Like a Sports Car!
The 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring is certainly a four door sedan, but it has a sports car feel about it. From the leather interior with sleek curves to the sport mode, you will instantly fall in love. The 2017 model doesn’t look any different than the 2016 model. It’s still the same attractive sedan we know and love, however we see a few minor updates to the interior and under the hood. These improvements take the daily commute to work or school from boring to upscale. Rated as the Car and Driver Editors’ Choice for Family Sedans, this is one you want in your driveway.
You get the sports car feel as soon as you sit in the leather bucket seats, and there is a very aerodynamic feel to the front end and the vehicle as a whole. Not the feeling of the average sedan, where you know the back seat is there. In sports cars the back seat is a second thought, and you find that same feeling in the Mazda 6. Fortunately, you can get that feeling without a hefty sports car price tag!
The base price of $30,695 is quite economical for a sedan with all of the bells and whistles that the 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring offers.
Who the 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring is For
• Singles, couples or families of four or less
• Empty nesters who want to downsize
• Buyers who want above-average MPG
• Drivers who want a sporty driving experience without the sports car price
• Drivers who occasionally have rear seat passengers
• Buyers who want a good value in a sports sedan
What it Costs
- Base price: $30,695
- Optional Equipment (cargo mat, gray paint, door sill trim plates,) $600
- Premium package (grille shutters, shifter led accent lighting, bright finish interior trim, nappa leather trimmed upholstery, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel) $2590
- Price of the model we drove: $34,530
You May Not Know What G-vectoring Control is, But You’ll Appreciate the Smooth Driving Experience it Provides
One change we do see in the 2017 model is the addition of G-vectoring control. This enhancement is part of the Skyactiv technology that only Mazda uses in its vehicles. This system connects the steering and power-train control for a more direct and natural steering response which helps minimize the need to make steering corrections on the road. I found it easy to control and in the rain I could feel the shift forward so the vehicle gripped in slick conditions. The Mazda 6 is currently the only vehicle in the North American fleet to offer this new enhancement.
Ultimately, I felt as if I had a easier time controlling the car, as the it made small corrections for me on the road. Driving was effortless and quite comfortable in the soft leather bucket seats, I almost forgot I had kids in the back seat!
Of course I had to see what she could do in sport mode. While it’s not a sports car you can really get some good power under the hood when the car is in manual. If you don’t love the paddle shifters (which I don’t) then you can still use the gear shift. I forgot how much I missed driving a manual. One engine is available in the 2017 Mazda 6 I grand touring, a 2.5-liter I-4 rated at 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. Basically this means that you won’t go zero to sixty in ten seconds flat but you will feel the power when you get into fifth gear. And that’s certainly a fun option for open road driving.
Safety Comes First for Mazda
I live in my car. OK, well I don’t actually live in it, but I do spend A LOT of time in the car and safety is a priority for me. The 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring is top rated in safety and abounds with extra features. My favorite feature was the lane departure warning: Since I live in the land of two lane roads, this warning gave me peace of mind.
Standard Safety Features (to name a few)
- SRS airbag system with dual front, side and full curtain airbags
- Steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls
- Heads up active driving display with speed, navigation directions and other info within the driver’s line of sight
- Blind spot monitoring system
- 5 Passenger 3-point safety belt
- Lane keep assist
- Rear cross traffic alert (look out for kids!)
The Mazda 6 I Grand Touring has a five star safety rating, which is the best rating for all vehicles given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Interior Upgrades Make a Difference
The 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring may not have changed on the outside, but the interior has been given a myriad of small updates. Let’s take a look at the changes a little more closely.
- Heated steering wheel: Ya’ll it was cold in Maryland while I had the car and I LOVED this. Warm hands make me happy
- Nappa leather with contrast piping: Oh the leather, it’s so soft and lovely.
- Heated Rear Seats: My kids couldn’t get enough, they are always yelling about how cold it is in the backseat, but not in the 2017 Mazda 6 I grand touring, the heated seats kept their little fannies warm.
- More Noise Reduction added: I’m not sure how they did it, but the 2017 is much more quiet on the interior. So clearly Mazda heard consumers’ complaints and made some adjustments that worked.
- LED accent lighting over the gear mount
Too Many Features to Count
I probably spent a good hour going over the car from top to bottom to navigate all of the various features. Technology is king when it comes to cars today and the Mazda 6 I Grand Touring doesn’t let you down if that is on your list of priorities when buying a car. My favorite feature is the head-up display, this keeps you from ever having to take your eyes off the road. It will even tell you if you are too close to the car in front of you or if there is a stop sign ahead. Here are few more of the tech features:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Navigation System with a seven-inch touchscreen
- Head-up display
- Keyless entry/start
- Bose premium audio system
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- LED headlights and fog lights
- Power adjustable driver’s seat with memory
Overall, the 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring is a memorable car
There is so much to love about the 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring: leather trimmed seats give the interior a sleek finish and the front bucket-style seats suck you in for a comfortable and relaxed time behind the wheel. And there are plenty of conveniences: front and rear cup holders, front door pockets and seat-back storage. The heated front seats and rear seats made my entire family warm and cozy during our evening drives. The sunroof added light, and on a random 70 degree winter day we opened it up and took in all the warm sunshine we could. Getting 30 MPG highway was a BIG plus for me since I live in the country about 20 miles from the closest city.
There were only a couple of inconveniences: I couldn’t find a good spot to stick my purse if I had a front seat passenger and the back seat was a little small for my seventeen year old, who is 6 feet tall. I can’t see fitting teens in the back seat for very long periods of time. But your girlfriends will be comfortable for a girls’ night out, and if you’re the designated driver, they won’t care if the back seat is small.
If you are in the market for a fun sedan with an affordable price tag, the 2017 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring one you should test drive.
Here’s what we listened to while we test drove the Mazda 6 Touring Edition.
Disclosure: Mazda 6 was provided for this test drive. Opinions expressed here are all my own.