3.14.2015

That Was Quick: The 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring
The 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring.
Four and a half months ago, we reviewed the 2015 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring, which was just arriving in showrooms.  Now, it's last year's model.

The 2016 Mazda 6 is not all-new, but rather a "major refresh".  So what's new with this perennial inhabitant of the TireKicker's Best Cars list on the right side of this page?




Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring
2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring.
It is still, for our money, the best-looking family sedan on the market, and the '16 changes only enhance that:  There's a new grille and signature wing design, along with new LED headlamps that have a sleeker, more aggressive appearance.

Driving dynamics, already head of the class, are wisely left alone, and refinement is improved through improved sound isolation and seats.

Interior view of 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring
2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring interior.
Inside, there are changes to the shape of the instrument panel and the floor console, giving a more integrated, well-put-together look.  And there's also a very cool heads-up display.

The 2.5-liter four with 184 horsepower and the 6-speed automatic transmission are unchanged, as is the EPA mileage estimate of 28 city/40 highway.  Base price for this model is $30,195, though lesser trims can be had starting at about $22,000.

Choose the 6 i Grand Touring and that $30,195 buys you 19-inch alloy wheels, independent front and rear suspension, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support and memory, an auto-dim rearview mirror, a seven-inch color touchscreen display, paddle shifters, a rearview camera, keyless entry, an electronic parking brake, leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for audio, cruise and the multi-function display, power locks and windows, Bluetooth, USB and HD Radio with a Bose 11-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, blind sport monitoring, dynamic stability control, traction control, hill launch assist, rear cross-traffic alert and tire pressure monitoring.

That's all standard equipment.

Our tester, as usual, had options, including a cargo mat ($75), door sill trim plates ($125) and the GT Technology Package with radar cruise control (which maintains a distance you set between you and the car ahead of you), i-ELOOP regenerative braking, smart brake support, high beam control, lane departure warning and active grille shutters ($2,180).

With $820 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line was $33,395.

Drawbacks?  Only one.  Neither the trunk nor the cabin, front or back, could accommodate some lawn chairs Navigator found on Craigslist.  A practicality sacrificed to create the curves that make the car so utterly alluring.  It's like finding out Kate Upton can't install a water heater.  Who cares?

The 2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring is still a solid member of the TireKicker's Best Cars list and an absolute must-drive for anyone looking for a great family sedan.

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