Mazda6 i moves ahead of the pack in 2016

Good looks are just the beginning of what makes the 2016 Mazda6 i Grand Touring sedan great.

2016 Mazda6 i Grand Touring

Rating:Star4 Star Star Star Star

Price as tested: $33,750

Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder with SKYACTIV technology

Mileage: 28 city / 40 highway

Curb Weight: 3,250 pounds

Good looks are just the beginning of what makes the 2016 Mazda6 i Grand Touring sedan great. Not only do you get a sundry of high-end goodies for much less than your typical luxury sedan, Mazda6 packs a mighty four-cylinder that’s both powerful and efficient. If you want to make a statement with a midsize sedan that stands apart from the competition, the five-passenger Mazda6 is the right choice. Competitors such as Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion have tried to match Mazda’s unique blend of affordable luxury and fuel-efficient sportiness, but with less success.

While changes to the 2016 model were subtle, Mazda brought new levels of depth and maturity to the popular sedan. Exterior changes include a new grill, new fog light design and LED headlights (on the Grand Touring model). The interior, however, is where Mazda focused the bulk of its energy. Upgraded, sleeker designs throughout add to the sophistication of Mazda6. Major changes include the shape of the instrument panel, giving the interior a fresh new look; an electronic parking brake; and a revamped Mazda Connect in-car connectivity system, which pairs with your smartphone adding several hands-free features.

But it’s really performance that Mazda has come to be known for and the Mazda6 doesn’t disappoint. Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology provides a smooth response and a feeling of oneness between car and driver. Recent enhancements to driver and passenger comfort, including ride quality and quietness, give the Mazda6 the feel of an entirely new sedan.

The 2016 Mazda6 continues to offer a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G direct-injection gasoline engine. Also carried over are the six-speed automatic SKYACTIV-DRIVE and six-speed manual SKYACTIV-MT transmissions. Offered within the Grand Touring Technology Package is the brake energy regeneration system, which helps improve fuel economy without sacrificing driving performance. Mazda6 Grand Touring model (base price $30,195) adds a number of premium features for 2016 including Parchment leather, seven-inch full-color touchscreen display, active driving display, Mazda Connect Infotainment System and a sport mode button. All Grand Touring models are equipped with an automatic transmission.

The refreshed 2016 Mazda6 is available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – starting at $21,495. The test sedan with Grand Touring package and $2,180 technology package, which added lane-departure warning, dynamic cruise control and automatic braking, carried a sticker price of $33,750, including destination charge. Fuel economy in the mid-size sedan is impressive. Mazda6 is rated for 28 mpg in city driving and up to 40 mpg on the highway, averaging approximate 32 mpg across the board.

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