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The 2016 Mazda6 is a bit of a refreshing, sporty alternative in the ‘sensible sedan’ category.

The 6’s swoopy, athletic, lean/trim lines (inside & out) are a step outside of the hollow box of expectation. It’s clear that Mazda designs are rooted in motion & performance… rather than trendy/gaudy design gimmicks.

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I’ve said it before & I say it again… when it comes to building a solid chassis, Mazda gets it. No doubt. It really doesn’t matter which model we’re talking about in the Mazda lineup – they all stand out in agility & responsiveness.

 

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But when it comes to the engine, that’s where the Mazda6 fades back in with the others. Loses that lead it just built up. And let me be clear – it’s not that the Mazda6’s 2.5 power plant is inferior to the competition. Not at all. It’s just that they’re not… superior. And that’s my bum-out with Mazda every time. They talk the ‘motorsports talk’, but they just don’t stand up horsepower or thrill-wise to the hopeful excitement of the Zoom-Zoom Driving-Matters marketing campaigns. They forgot the turbo.

Metaphorically – the Mazda6 brings Jaguar styling, and BMW maneuverability, with Nissan Altima engine thrill.

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And that’s frankly why Mazda is that brand you almost forgot to put on the list.

Yeah – the car will corner well, but you have to have a reason to ‘want to’… if you know what I mean.

Because the way the Mazda6 sits now, it’s more satisfying to try and improve the average MGPs by 1/10th… than it is to put the pedal down.

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Here’s where I sit with the 6: I wanted to love it, but I only liked it. And that is 100% attributed to the engine… which it totally fine… but nothing more. Yet I expect more… because that’s how Mazda brands itself.

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If I were getting a leased car or a company car, and I knew I’d only have it for 3 years – yeah I’d go with the Mazda6. Because why not. It’s a cool, noticeable alternative to another Accord or Camry on the road.

But if I were looking to buy a car for the long haul, the performance behind the Mazda6 is not exciting enough for me to cut loose and make the passionate decision… and I would sadly & sensibly defer back to the sure bet Hondas & Toyotas. After all – how many 20-year-old Accords & Camrys do you still see on the road everyday? Now how many Mazda 626’s?

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