2017 Mazda 6

The 2017 Mazda 6 has a 2.5L inline four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission.  The engine is the SKYACTIV technology engine that Mazda puts in a great number of their current vehicles. For an inline-four, it has plenty of power.  You don’t really miss the V6. The Mazda 6 is front-wheel drive.

The speedometer is analog and directly in the middle of the dash. The tachometer is on the left, and the info-center is on the right. The info center is pretty much the same as the one in the CX-5 and the Mazda 3.

Radar Cruise Control

One of the really great things about this car is the radar cruise control. This is an extremely handy and pretty unique feature.  On the front grill of the car, the Mazda logo badge actually doubles as the radar “detector” for the radar cruise control. When you engage the radar cruise control, you can set it for a certain speed, like any other cruise control. But, what makes it different is that when you are behind someone, the radar cruise control “locks on” to the car ahead of you and slows down your car to keep a certain distance (that you set) from that car.  At very slow speeds, it can even bring your car to a complete stop. I experienced this when driving through a construction zone in heavy traffic.

When the car ahead of you speeds up, your car will speed up, but only to the highest speed, you set your cruise control to. This is a tremendous luxury when driving on the highway, or when crawling through traffic.

Heads Up Display

This car does have a heads up display that pops up. In my opinion, it looks pretty cheap. It reminds me of a toy you get from a drive-through burger restaurant. Mazda must have agreed because newer models got rid of this display.

This car has paddle shifters. You can use these either in regular mode or Sport mode. These are fun, and some people really enjoy this feature.

There is a tire pressure reset button. This is used when you get a flat tire or change your tires. You have to manually reset the tire pressure sensors (TPS) by pressing the button. If you reset the TPS and you still get a low pressure reading, you need to check your tires since you likely have a problem.

Navigation System

The navigation system in this model is not very good. Newer models have Apple CarPlay, which is much better. The current infotainment system that houses the navigation is also very slow to start up when the car is cold. I’m not sure why it takes about a full minute to warm up.

The Sport mode on this model is really more of a transmission aid. It adjusts the time when the car shifts. This is nothing spectacular.

The volume and controls for the infotainment system are really nice and ergonomic.  This is especially true for the volume knob that is right there where your hand rests.

Final Thoughts

The Mazda 6 is a great looking car with lots of handy, useful features. It’s comfortable and sporty. It drives really well, and the radar cruise control is awesome. This is definitely a great car for daily use.

 

Written by Gary Pradel