Day 6

As I prepare to say goodbye to the Mazda6 5-door there's a lot of good feelings towards the car. I can't see why anyone wouldn't find the vehicle a fun commuter that can handle a lot of cargo while still looking cool. That's a great combination.

I did have some nitpicks. The center stack controls are really not the most user friendly and I prefer those in the Mazda3. Basically both the knobs to turn up the volume and the A/C fans are hard to grasp. They don't stick-out far enough and their slick plastic coating doesn't help matters. Luckily there are audio controls on the steering wheel I used most of the time. But there was no easy remedy for the A/C. Since it's all electronic they should just make one half of the knob a minus sign and the other a plus sign and if you tap the right side the fans go up or down accordingly. The A/C mode button works in that way.

Besides the plastic's overall appearance, control troubles and the door molding not being perfectly flush there was little to complain about. The Bose stereo sounded great at high levels and the overall cabin noise was minimal, even for a hatchback. Hopefully next year the 6 will incorporate some of the styling cues from the 3 and that will solve most of the problems.

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