In profile, at first glance from a distance, the first thought was "That looks like a Jaguar."
It was a Mazda 6. The curved fenders in the shape of a leaping cat create the illusion of that legendary manufacturer of racy cars.
The Mazda 6 profile is impressive and the aerodynamic design continues along the sides to the decklid and twin metal exhausts at the rear.
On the interior, quality materials predominate. A Signature model of the 2019 Mazda 6
was tested recently. Since the Signature is the most loaded of the five Mazda 6 models, it is priced at $35,100. Otherwise pricing begins at a manufacturer's suggested $23,800 for the entry Sport model, $26,400 for Touring, $29,500 for Grand Touring and $32,000 for Grand Touring Reserve. Prices are as of July 1, 2019. All models have a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Except for the less expensive Sport and Touring, the engine is turbocharged.
The turbocharged four-cylinder in the Signature, Reserve Grand Touring and the Grand Touring reaches 250 horsepower if premium 93-octane fuel is utilizes. If the gasoline is of less octane, expect 227 horsepower. The two non-turbo models get 187 horsepower from the four pistons.
To the company's credit, Mazda 6 sedans feature a Skyactiv engine with G-vectoring control plus.
This is no ordinary engine. Mazda began putting the Skyactiv engine into automotive products in 2011. The idea was to improve fuel economy while increasing torque. The technology includes the assistance of a modest supercharger pushing more air to mix with fuel in a piston's combustion chamber.
Mazda has a revolutionary product called Skyactiv-X on the immediate horizon. That engine, which will be on select products, combines characteristics of a gasoline engine with the torque and fuel efficiency
of a diesel engine. In late June, Mazda's chief executive officer Akira Marumoto said sales of cars with Skyactiv-X technology will be in the marketplace this year.
Perhaps only an experienced racetrack driver will note the difference as far as G-Vectoring Control is concerned. Delivery of power is adjusted as sensors note shifting weight of the vehicle. In cornering, for instance, engine torque is subtly reduced and more of the drive load is shifted to the front wheels. The system monitors activity of the steering wheel, speed and throttle position. The piston spark timing is retarded to reduce torque. Even in a slight turn, the system kicks in and the response is in milliseconds.
The Mazda 6, and certainly the Signature model, is a comfortable, well-appointed sedan ideally suited for small families. The Signature, which has a gun-metal finish on the front grille and a frameless automatic dimming rear-view mirror, has a Nappa leather interior and that trim is enhanced by suede and wood inserts on doors and dashboard. Unique stitching adorns the leather wrapping the adjustable and heated steering wheel. Paddle shifters also have that unique stitching. The headliner is black. An eight-inch color navigation screen gives driver and front-seat passenger a 360-degree view of the vehicle. This is very useful in tight parking lot situations. There are sensors front and rear to alert the driver of close objects.
The nav combined with Sirius-XM satellite radio has a three-year traffic and travel link subscription.
Besides heated and ventilated front seats (memory for two for driver seat), power extends to heated and foldable exterior mirrors with turn lamps, door locks and express windows. The 11-speaker Bose sound system serves AM-FM -satellite radio, Bluetooth, auxiliary jack with four USB inputs. Smartphone owners will appreciate the ease of use.
Like the other models, Signature has Aha, Stitcher, Pandora, SMS text message audio delivery and reply, carpet floor mats, dual exhaust outlets, dual zone climate control with pollen filter, cruise control, remote keyless entry, smart dashboard pushbutton start and a rear deck spoiler.
On the downside, the air conditioning unit performed poorly during the Signature's test week. In 90-degree weather, the system cranked the heat down but not to really cool temperatures. Perhaps it got down to 69 or 70 degrees after some effort. Also, although it is a roomy sedan, the Mazda 6 does not favor taller people, which is to say anyone who measures more than six-feet, three-inches in height. Ideally, the front seat should be capable of powering further back.
Safety features are extensive and a look at the two dozen ingredients are available on the Internet or at a dealership.
Sales of sedans in the United States have fallen dramatically in the past few years as buyers are more interested in sport utility vehicles also known as crossovers. Production of the Mazda 6 will continue, Marumoto said, as there is a demand for this type of sedan.
Vehicle: Signature model of front-wheel-drive Mazda 6
Type: four-door, five-passenger midsize sedan
Engine: 2.5-liter, 227-horsepower turbocharged, dual overhead cam, four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed automatic with sport mode
Fuel: unleaded regular
Fuel tank: 16.4 gallons
Tires (P225), alloy wheels: 19-inch
Suspension: struts front, multilink rear, stabilizer bars
Wheelbase, length, width, height, ground clearance in inches: 111.4, 193, 72, 57, 6.5
Leg room: 42.2 inches front, 38.7 inches rear
Trunk: 14.7 cubic feet
Weight: 3,580 pounds
Turn circle, curb-to-curb: 36.7 feet
Warranty: three years or 36,000 miles with roadside assistance, five years or 60,000 miles powertrain