2016 Mazda 6 SkyActiv 2.5

2016 Mazda 6

The Good:
– Decent engine for its class
– Excellent ride and handling
– Class-leading cabin materials
The Bad:
– A/C takes time to cool
– Somewhat shallow boot
– Mild steering feedback

The Mazda 6 has always been a bit of an underdog in the midsize-sedan world, which is odd because they’ve always been decent products ever since the “Mazda6” badge was introduced a little more than a decade ago. However, the latest generation, introduced as a 2014 model, finally made people wake up and take notice. While it had its flaws, we still stuck it on our recommended list. So we were doubly interested to see if this mid-life facelift for 2016 actually addressed those issues.

The exterior already looked upscale, but has now been enhanced with subtle chrome trimmings on the front-end. Mazda has managed to build a well-resolved swoopy-styled sedan without overdoing it, and the now-gunmetal 19-inch wheels and dual exhaust tips, as found on our top-spec model, are a must to keep up the “premium” facade that looks as good as anything out of Infiniti or Lexus.

2016 Mazda 6 7

While the outgoing model’s interior was dull in design, the new model’s redesigned dashboard is surprisingly luxury-grade, with abundant use of soft-touch materials on the dash and all the door sills as well as stitched-leatherette panels on the dash and centre-console that match the light-coloured leather seats. There’s no sneaky cost-cutting like what several other brands do with their low-rent rear compartments, and all hard plastics are banished to below-the-waist areas. With the LCD screen atop the dash and use of actual aluminium trim bits, it actually feels like a mix of Mercedes, BMW and Audi in there.

The Mazda 6 offers good cabin space, with decently-bolstered front seats and a nicely-shaped rear bench with three headrests. However, rear headroom and legroom are a bit less than, say, the Toyota Camry. The boot under that gooseneck-hinged lid is very long, but surprisingly shallow. At least there are several useful storage cubbies, with four covered cup-holders, seatback pockets, and bottle-holders in the doors.

Our Japanese-built car came loaded with updated tech, with the old model’s small touchscreen replaced by an iPad-style screen that’s controlled with a rotary-knob controller near the shifter. The screen is a display for the decent CD/MP3 stereo with USB/AUX ports, navigation, rear parking camera with guiding lines, and Bluetooth phone as well as streaming audio, although it can take a while to learn what is where. Our test car also had a heads-up display, front and side-curtain airbags, blind-spot monitor, a small sunroof, HID headlights, radar cruise control and more. The dual-zone auto a/c with rear vents still isn’t as good as the best, taking about 10 minutes to bring down cabin temperatures in searing September heat, but after that it is freezing cold.

2016 Mazda 6 4

Powered by Mazda’s “SkyActiv” 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, the engine is good for 184 hp at 5700 rpm and 251 Nm of torque at 3250 rpm. We managed a 0-100 kph time of 9.1 seconds and fuel consumption of 10.1 litres/100 km, not hugely different from most of its Japanese rivals. However, the standard manually-shiftable 6-speed automatic has nicely-spaced ratios, so the Mazda 6 feels very spritely in city-driving and on highway-overtaking, where mid-range acceleration is more important.

The spritely drive extends to the handling as well. The suspension, MacPherson strut up front and multi-link in the rear, continues to impress us. The shocks and springs are tuned well, limiting body roll to a bare minimum and facilitating quick direction changes with the directness of a large BMW. There’s some understeer when the 225/45 tyres run out of grip at the limit, but a dab of the brake-pedal into the corner can rotate the rear a bit for sharper turn-ins, when most of its rivals would just continue to understeer. You can’t pull off tail-sliding stunts any more though, as the handbrake has been replaced by an electronic parking brake.

The mildly-weighted steering is good for city driving but offers limited feedback, and the brakes are decent once you figure out how to modulate the somewhat-light pedal. So it’s not quite a full-blown sports sedan, but the controls are still very responsive and feel a bit “European” even — you’d know what that means if you’ve owned European cars before.

The 6 rides very well, with no floatiness and maybe even a bit smoother than before. Apparently Mazda has retuned the suspension for 2016, aside from adding more sound-deadening materials. So while the outgoing car exhibited obvious road and wind noise, this new one is noticeably quieter, though by no means the class-leader in pin-drop silence.

We called the 2014 Mazda 6 a flawed-yet-brilliant car for its class, but clearly Mazda has done well to address of a lot of those flaws in its 2016 iteration. This car is an amazing effort in this generally-boring segment. And it will continue to be on our recommended list, this time without any lingering doubts.

Price Range:
Dh 84,900-117,000

Current Model Introduced in:
2016

Body Styles:
4-door sedan

Engines:
2.5L 185 hp Inline-4 / 251 Nm

Transmissions:
6-speed automatic

Setup:
Front-wheel-drive

Suspension:
Front: independent
Rear: independent

Brakes:
Front: discs
Rear: discs

Curb Weight:
1506 kg

Length:
4850 mm

Wheelbase:
2830 mm

Top Speed:
220 kph

Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
9.1 sec.

Observed Test Fuel Economy:
10.1 litres/100km

38 comments to 2016 Mazda 6 SkyActiv 2.5

  • Zao

    Isn’t it LED headlamps? If I am not mistaken even the fog lamps are LED and an LED strip runs down under the grill in the full option model…not sure if its the same offered in UAE specs….http://youtu.be/j4acekImr1c

  • mudhasir

    Well it is as you say. I got one top end with sound barrier done. Its just gorgeous, so was my 2008 model. Worth the deal.

  • cayanide

    It’s expensive with no proper after sales support. With age it depreciates faster then Korean brands..

    • RayD

      I beg to differ. This one is far cheaper than an Accord(which doesn’t provide you all the options the 6 has) and their service has improved considerably…they offer 10,000km service intervals and the pricing is competitive. Their Customer Service will even call you after a few days to ask whether or not you’ve had a good experience at the service centre.

    • farrukh

      Korean cars are nowhere near to Mazda cars, may be you never experienced the Mazda car.

  • Ahmad

    I dont understand why the ac is not as good as a camry even though my dad had a mazda 626 it was freezing cold in the summer

  • mudhasir

    I havent used the ac in my car to the optimum but i guess it is fine. Moreover the 6 i had before, 2008 had very good cooling. If you are talking about service, then i differ. Please buy an audi(premium priced car) and check out the service they give you. Price depreciation is because of the lack of knowledge the public has in regards to the brand! How many brands are still MADE IN JAPAN???

  • Zao

    It’s a misconception that galadari Mazda after sales is bad…. I am using Mazda cars since last 9 yrs…. Had a 6 before and now a 3… Always maintained and serviced at galadari….I never had any issues with them…. Moreover there is bit of exclusivity driving a Mazda becuz every Tom dick and Harry has got a Camry Corolla Prado Altima Accord….

  • prado

    Mazda 6 is one quality saloon, two things strike me

    1) White interior this can get dirt over time

    2) 19inch alloys can be expensive to replace

    3) resales…. honestly who cares just enjoy the vehicle :)

  • RayD

    I agree with mudhasir and Zao!
    My brother owns a Golf GTi and loves it. However, he doesn’t have anything nice to say about the Dealer. I’ve even heard of people complaining about Toyota’s service as well.

    Like mudhasir said, depreciation is because of a lack of knowledge towards a brand and the general idea of playing it safe by going with the so-called ‘established brands’- this concept is compounded by the used car dealers.

    There was a time when Mazda were a very well regarded brand here. Sadly for them and no thanks to the Dealer they lost their way in the 90s/early 2000s. In that time Toyota/Honda/Nissan managed to increase their market share by bringing decent products and giving good customer service. This started happening for Mazda after the first 6,3,2 and CX-9 came out and has been improving since.

    I’m now driving my third 6 and can say that it is a quality vehicle and that the service experience has been good. Mazda is probably the only brand right now that has all it’s passenger vehicles Made IN JAPAN – except for the maybe the 2 to keep costs down for the content it is offering(have to verify).

    To second what Zao said, there is bit of exclusivity driving a Mazda because every Tom, Dick and Harry drives a Toyota/Honda/Nissan.

    I may sound like a Mazda fanboy but I have owned and/or driven Mitsubishis, a Ford and a Peugeot and these cars have proved their worth in their own way but there is something about a Mazda that draws it to you :)

  • prado

    @ Mash

    is it possible to get a decibel rating on this car?.. this should help us quantify things. Noise level can be a subjective thing. A younger driver is less sound sensitive.

  • mudhasir

    To be frank…..road noise is there. I did the sound barrier thingy and im yet to know the difference as i have to cross 1k kms. But i surely can feel the difference from the test drive i drove b4 da purchase. The brand and type of tyre is also a major contributor to the so called road noise. The softer the better(for normal driving) track speed and handling requires a more harder one and that is what is being offered of the 6. Why a mazda after hav8ng owned a mazda? Cz it is Mazda. Quality wise……imagine you are changing your break pads only twice between 0-300000kms! Lets say 3 times. I have done so on my old mazda. New mazda 6 is more towards mx5 and not cx9- so expect the fun for a saloon car. Unique styling? Never seen a car with the whole line of lighting from the left to the right headlamps except for dodge which falunts only on the rear. Ride quality….pl3ase let me know if there is any other car that boasts the k8nd of semi luxury the cx9 has for the price of……..???u got my point!

  • farrukh

    To be honest if somebody really know the meaning of Quality Drive and Handling on road he will must buy Mazda cars. That is why some parts of world call Mazda as Japanese BMW.

  • Raj

    Ray and Farrukh…
    I totally agree with you guys…Thumbs Up to Japanese BMW..

  • ZUHAIR SAIDU

    Mazda 6 2016….Never underestimate the power of a common car…!! Its surely is a JAPANESE BMW….I have started driving it and surely is an amazing one…..!

  • Mohammed Odeh

    Well,
    I just had my brand new 6 sport trim in Riyadh about a month and half now, and already done 6000 KM, and travelled with it to Jordan

    the sport trim is the basic trim, comes with the same engine, gearbox, and safety that you find in higher trims.

    the car is brilliant in every way, the AC is a total freezer (single zone AC manual), I never operated it more than the half speed, and never set the temp to max. cool.
    the seats are very good, and the cruise control is just a gift from god.

    is short its a great long-distances tourer.

    but, what I didn’t like at all, is the gear box in the standard mode, which is programmed to be super saving for fuel which makes it very lame and slow to response when you need to urgently accelerate on high ways, I really think this would be a sure great car if it was a manual gear box, as the engine is more capable of moving the car noticeably fast.

    and the gear box is totally designed to operate on flat lands, as I drove it for about 1300 KM from Riyadh To Amman, and it was completely great, but when it hit Amman’s Hills you feel like the second gear is very slow for strong hills, while the first gear to strong it spins the wheels

    the trunk can’t be open from the inside while the engine is running, only from outside.

    no central locking control switch, only the lock switch on the driver door, and the passenger seat has no control at all (considering this being a family car)

    it a good deal for the money, but some improvements could have been done without adding any major extra cost.

  • amir

    Hi all,
    Great review as always,, but i wanted to ask if the ipad like navi screen is clear in the daytime or its bright and reflects sunlight?? For anyone who purchased the car already.

    Thanks
    Amir

  • reta

    i had a 2,5 mazda 6 for a month it was using around 8 l/100 or less and i did test 0 to 100 it was 8.8. but the ride was a bit harsh i mean its not as comfortable as camery but over all it is good car

  • mudhasir

    The screen adapts to the surrounding light….which means the screen is very much visible day or night. The map has is really good for a pre programmed one but can also be connected to the internet via the mobile if you want current traffic updates and location searching.

  • J.Syed

    Does the 2016 Mazda 6 come with latest Mazda connect technology ? The screen looks to be smaller than 2016 Mazda 3.

  • Sadham

    what is the cost of Mazda 3 latest model automatic with full option

  • anish

    Does any Mazda model offer remote engine starting or A/c start feature?

  • KIYOSHI MANABE

    The Mazda6 is quite a decent machine, but her ride seems a little stiff for me.
    It incarnates her European personality.

  • niyas

    Whether it has GPS??

  • Kiran

    Bought my MAZDA 6 2016 full options from Galadhari Dubai.

    Heston hit 1000 mark. However I am thoroughly satisfied. Had read reviews and researched for one full month on different cars before entering the Mazda Showroom. It was love at first sight for me.
    I like it so much that I booked it and took delivery without test drive.. Not joking.

    It superb, classy, luxurious and comfortable.

    The ride is smooth and calm. If you want rapid acceleration then u have an option of sports mode.
    Blue tooth, blind spot detector, lane change warning (the steering turns gently to keep u in the lane if you go over the Lane without indicating – very smart), walk away locking, nice bose speakers, leather seats and dashboard.
    Nice central control knob.

    Has any heard on 19 inch for sedan. The gunmetal shade is awsone.

    Mazda 6 is truly the best mid size sedan and its looks (exterior and interiors) are premium and luxurious.

    And yes it’s Exclusive. Not many own one. It’s really fun to drive one.

    Odd Point:
    No auto door lock while driving.

  • Sajith

    I’m considering buying one soon. Can any of the current owners tell me what kind of warning does this have on crossing 120kph? Is it a constant annoying beeping like some cars or some thing else?

    • Adnan

      @Sajith
      Once you cross 120 kmph it gives you 6 warning beeps and then it goes quiet. I have a Mazda 6 2016 Standard model. One superbly designed car. Definitely would suggest it, if you are looking for a mid size sedan that’s not boring. Best of luck and safe driving.

  • Taner

    Thanks to you guys for your comments, and opinipns. I was searching for a family size sedan for a while and checked toyota for cammry, kia for optima, hyundai for sonata, nissan for altima. All were good, but since my main concern was full airbags and isofix connection for my child’s car seat, i decided to go with Mazda 6. Galadari Abi dhabi will deliver the car in few days, and this is my first Mazda. Not the full option, but the one level lower trim. Test drive was satisfying, drive was smooth. Lets see how it will go :)
    I will share my observations about the car, consumption and drive.

  • amir

    hi Taner,
    Just wanted to know how is your expereience with your new mazda six , like to get live feedback from a user. Hows the AC and handling ? hows the average few economy?
    thanks
    amir

    • Taner

      Hi Amir,

      To be honest, AC takes a `little` more time. other than that, handling and all other aspects are fulfill my requirements. I bought mazda 6 because it was the only one providing 6 airbags in it`s segment.
      It`s a good machine. smooth drive, and economic.

    • Taner

      the average consumption now is 8,8 liters / 100 km.

  • Muhammad

    Hi Amir,

    I got the Kudo 6 station wagon for family use , he A/C is perfect as good as a Nissan , the mechanical is still very good after 1.5 years and they offer very good service.

    Backspace in seats the station is a problem if you have big guys there , but by and large its wonderfull very smooth reliable and if you life taking those corners you will love it . I have surprised quite a few people with its handlind in the corners.

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