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 didnâ€™t have an auxiliary for my Ipod. I normally decline cars that donâ€™t have this feature, especially when renting for so long. Iâ€™m not a big fan of everyday radio stations. The Mazda 6 was so much fun to drive, that I couldnâ€™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 Mazdaâ€™s new design DNA. Itâ€™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. Mazdaâ€™s claims of bigger, faster, smarter are certainly true. The overall size has increased. There is an extra 4.5â€ added to the wheelbase and width has gone from 70.1â€ to 72.4â€. 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 Mazdaâ€™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.