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2009 Mazda 6 S Grand Touring Design Evaluation

[singlepic id=87 w=320 h=240 float=left]Story and photos by Chris Jones

In 2008 I had the pleasure if driving a 2008 Mazda 6 as a rental car. I had it for a month. It was a base model and didn’t have an auxiliary for my Ipod. I normally decline cars that don’t have this feature, especially when renting for so long. I’m not a big fan of everyday radio stations. The Mazda 6 was so much fun to drive, that I couldn’t bear to return it. I was very impressed with how it cornered. Combine that with the manual shift mode and let the fun begin.

Now enter the 2009 Mazda 6 S Grand Touring. Much better than the base model rental I drove last year. 2009 brings change to the 6. It has been redesigned to fit Mazda’s new design DNA. It’s much more sculptural than before. Front end cues are sleeker and give the car a definite feel of motion. The lit Interior display of blue and orange is an eye pleaser. Mazda’s claims of bigger, faster, smarter are certainly true. The overall size has increased. There is an extra 4.5” added to the wheelbase and width has gone from 70.1” to 72.4”. This makes for a slight increase in interior as well as luggage space.

Performance has greatly improved. Mazda has a new 3.7 liter V-6, which puts out 272 hp and 269 lb ft of torque. Variable assist steering responds to the drivers changing needs. The suspension is comfortable enough for everyday and firm enough for sportier drivers. Traction control and ABS are added to the mix. Combine that with Mazda’s Dynamic Stability Control and you have a winning recipe. The Mazda 6 performed nicely through winding roads and held its place. It definitely goes where you put it. I appreciated the ergonomic placement of the shift handle in manual mode. It tips to a slight angle and feels natural.

More on the intelligent side of things, the Mazda 6 has its Blind Spot Monitoring System.. A warning light is displayed in either side mirror as vehicles approach. A beep goes off if you attempt to lane change. I found this to be an excellent feature. However, some situations may cause for lane changes in tighter conditions. There were times that I knew I was at a safe distance, yet the audible warning alerted me. The Bluetooth combined with convenient steering wheel controls, makes for a welcomed feature. This is especially useful for those who are on the go.

The Mazda 6 has something for everyone. From everyday drivers to those who like to zoom zoom, you will find the Mazda 6 to be a definite winner.

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One response to “2009 Mazda 6 S Grand Touring Design Evaluation”

  1. J says:

    Im going to rant about about this because I am completely dissapointed that Mazda NA redesigned the 09 Mazda6 specifically for America this time around.

    Compared to the gen2 mazda6 the rest of the world gets, the design of this car looks completely wonky and dumbed down from what it was meant to look like. Basically, its not even the same car.

    I read that the 2009 mazda6 for north america shares no sheet metal whatsoever with the jdm/euro versions. The gen1 mazda6 for usa was the same mazda6 the rest of the world got, but with slightly extended bumpers to meet usa’s crash-safety standards. And was also offered in 3 trim levels. Sport (5-door), Sport Wagon, and Sedan. For america since its not even the same car, they are only able to produce the sedan version.

    The jdm/euro 2009 mazda6 is a beautiful car that truly shares mazda’s design DNA. If anything, the gen2 mazda3 shares more similarity to the jdm/euro mazda6. especially the tail light area.

    I think the American mazda6 does not look right in the mazda line-up. The single opening lower grille is very altima-esque, headlights are too vertical (also like altima, or ford fusion). The jdm gen2 mazda6 has a more horizontal slant, paying homage to the gen1 design cues. The entire back end of the american mazda6 is completely all over the place with its drooping tail lights and completely random bumper exhaust tips.

    I was actually very looking forward to the 2009 Mazda6. Especially a gen2 5-door. but since Mazda usa completely crapped on it for America this time, ill look somewhere else.

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