2015 Mazda 6

What's new for 2015? For 2015, all Mazda 6 sedans come with a full set of one-touch up/down power windows, and keyless entry and ignition is now standard on the Touring trim level. In addition, a new option package for the Touring combines an upgraded sound system, sunroof and satellite radio.

Shoppers looking for midsize sedans are spoiled for choice these days. Many of the cars in this class offer appealing combinations of fuel economy, interior space and upscale amenities. The 2015 Mazda 6 checks all these boxes while also bringing in unexpected benefits like sleek styling and a sporty driving feel. These aren't exactly critical elements in a family car, but they help the Mazda 6 stand out from the crowd.

Although we're fond of the 2015 Mazda 6's distinct design, this sedan actually gets more impressive when you look beyond its sheet metal. Its fuel economy, for example, is outstanding for this class. When equipped with the i-Eloop system on the Grand Touring trim, it earns an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in combined driving, which is tops among non-hybrid midsize sedans with a gasoline engine. Without i-Eloop, the Mazda rates 30 mpg combined, which is still a great number for a family car. Furthermore, the 6 is quicker than most other midsize sedans that we've tested with a base four-cylinder engine, and most buyers will find its acceleration more than adequate in cutthroat urban traffic. On top of that, Mazda's sedan has precise steering and a firmly tuned suspension that make it fun to hustle along on the occasional back road or highway on-ramp.

Exterior Highlights
Five-passenger midsize sedan available in Sport, Touring anf GrandTouring trim levels

The 2015 Mazda 6 is a five-passenger midsize sedan offered in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.

Standard features on the base manual-transmission Sport include 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a 60/40-split rear seat, a 3.5-inch multi-information display and a six-speaker sound system with a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. If equipped with the optional automatic transmission, the Sport also includes Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera and audio upgrades (voice commands, HD radio, Pandora, text message display function and automatic emergency notification).

Stepping up to the Touring trim adds 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, premium vinyl (leatherette) upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sliding console armrest and a six-way power driver seat. For Touring models with an automatic transmission, there's an option package that adds a sunroof, an upgraded 11-speaker Bose audio system and satellite radio. This package is required if you want to equip the Touring Technology package, which adds automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, heated side mirrors, a navigation system and the Smart City frontal collision mitigation system.

The Grand Touring includes all of the above as standard, as well as different 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, foglights, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar support), a four-way power passenger seat, driver memory functions and heated front seats.

Optional for the Grand Touring is the GT Technology package, which includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, a lane-departure warning system, automatic high-beam control and an energy capture system called i-Eloop ("intelligent energy loop") that improves mpg by storing energy captured during deceleration to a capacitor, which can then power air-conditioning, lighting and accessories for about a minute while the stop-start system shuts the engine down at a stoplight.

Clean and functional interior design, polished aluminum trim accents, user-friendly controls, plentiful rear legroom and headroom

With plentiful rear legroom, the Mazda 6's rear passengers will feel as if they've been given access to a first-class cabin rather than coach. There's also generous headroom, even for those taller than 6 feet. There's decent luggage space, as the efficiently shaped trunk offers 14.8 cubic feet of capacity.

In general, the 6's interior design is clean and functional. Polished aluminum trim accents the cabin, while the Grand Touring's leather upholstery features contrasting stitching. Materials quality and fit and finish are among the best in the class. Most controls are simple and user-friendly. On the upside, a multipurpose knob located south of the Mazda's shifter grants a welcome level of control redundancy.

Standard safety features for the Mazda 6 include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Standard on all trims other than the manual-transmission Sport is a rearview camera, while rear parking sensors are optional across the board. The Touring and Grand Touring trims additionally include blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring.

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