2016 Mazda6 First Look
Incremental Improvements for a Class-Leading Model
Since its debut in early 2013, the third-generation Mazda6 sedan has been one of Motor Trend's favorites in the midsize sedan segment. For its third model year, the 2016 Mazda6 gains mild exterior revisions as well as a revised interior with an improved infotainment system and better interior bits.
Up front, the 2016 Mazda6 sedan gets a bolder chrome grille surround with new available LED headlights bisected with more distinctive wings. Around back, new LED taillights and a low-profile shark fin antenna give the Mazda6 a more sophisticated look. The available 19-inch alloy wheels feature a darker color for more visual depth. Two new colors have been added to the paint palette: Sonic Silver Metallic and Titanium Flash Mica. Although the exterior revisions are subtle, the Mazda6 sedan gets greater updates inside. Interior colors include fabric in either black or sand beige or leather in black or black and white, depending on trim level.
The 2016 Mazda6 sedan gets an extensively reworked center stack and center console, including the Mazda Connect infotainment and car connectivity system from the compact Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. Mazda Connect features a center-console-mounted rotary controller with five buttons and volume control, and the larger 7.0-inch infotainment screen now "floats" above the center climate vents. An Electric Parking Brake (EPB) switch is located next to the rotary controller. Additionally, the Mazda3's Heads-up Cockpit with Active Driving Display is also available. The Active Driving Display projects vehicle speed and active safety and navigation information on a small screen above the steering wheel. Mazda also minimized the gaps between higher-quality interior pieces.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the current Mazda6 is among our favorites in the midsize sedan segment. With the mid-cycle update, Mazda reduced NVH by 10 percent over rough roads and 25 percent on the highway. The revised front- and rear-seat structure is said to improve comfort.
A 184-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 is the sole engine option and is mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic Skyactiv-Drive transmission with a new Drive Selection feature, which enables driver-selectable driving modes. We don't expect fuel economy ratings to change much from the 2015 model, which is rated 25/37 mpg city/highway with the manual, 26/38 mpg with the automatic, and 28/40 mpg with automatic and available iEloop system.
The 2014 Mazda6 sedan easily won a recent three-way comparison against the 2013 Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. We called the Mazda6 the best driver's car in the group and concluded saying, "Graceful and athletic, the '6 is a dynamic doozy -- a driver's car that's easy on the eyes." These incremental improvements should keep the Mazda6 competitive in a crowded segment.