2009 Mazda6 New Car Test Drive
The 2009 Mazda 6 has moved up. All-new, redesigned and re-engineered for 2009, the Mazda6 has moved up in size, in features, and in power. All this without serious damage to price, fuel economy, or driving dynamics.
Virtually every dimension inside and out has increased with the introduction of these all-new 2009 models. The 2009 Mazda 6, or Mazda6 as Mazda calls it, now delivers plenty of room for four or five adults along with a big trunk that holds as much as some SUVs can fit under their luggage covers. For the first time in Mazda6 history, this one has been designed expressly for the North American market and is considerably bigger than the overseas version.
The 2009 Mazda 6 is offered with a choice of four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines, each larger and more powerful than before. Its new V6 is now among the most powerful in the class, producing 272 horsepower, and it comes standard with an automatic. Meanwhile, drivers seeking fuel efficiency will not be disappointed with the four-cylinder's 170 horsepower.
Four trim levels are offered on the Mazda 6 sedan, with prices ranging from less than $20,000 to around $33,000 for a fully loaded V6 model. All are four-door sedans. There is no wagon, hatchback, or MazdaSpeed version available for 2009.
Navigation is available on the 2009 Mazda 6 with voice activation. Bluetooth and blind spot monitoring systems are offered, as are audio inputs and noise-compensation sound systems. These gadgets are convenient, but what we like most about the Mazda 6 is its driving dynamics.
The Mazda 6 competes against an impressive group of midsize sedans, but we think anyone shopping Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, or Hyundai Sonata should have the Mazda6 on their comparison test-drive list. And its sportiness makes the Mazda6 an alternative to the Acura TL, Nissan Maxima, and Volkswagen Passat. The styling isn't conservative and the manners aren't boring.
The 2009 Mazda 6 comes with a choice of engines and trim levels. The Mazda6 i is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gets an EPA-estimated 21/30 miles per gallon City/Highway with the five-speed automatic transmission. It's also available with a five-speed automatic. The Mazda6 s is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 with an EPA-rated 17/25 mpg and comes exclusively with a six-speed automatic.
The Mazda 6i SV ($20,250) comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio controls, 60/40 folding rear seat, floor and cargo mats, map lights, illuminated vanity mirrors, outside temperature display and Sirius radio-ready. Accessories include auto-dimming mirrors, fog lights, rear spoiler and 6CD in-dash changer. The SV trim level comes only with the four-cylinder engine and manual transmission.
All Mazda 6i manual transmission models come with black cloth upholstery, and are limited to four exterior colors; a five-speed automatic transmission ($900) is optional. All Mazda 6s models also get V6 badging, aluminum wheels, and a chrome exhaust outlet on either side.
Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim packages are available for each model. The Mazda 6i Sport ($20,250) and Mazda 6s Sport ($24,130) get an auxiliary audio input jack, cruise control, remote keyless entry and auto-down front windows. The Mazda 6s upgrades to larger, 215/55VR17 tires.
Mazda 6i Touring ($21,705) models should prove popular, boasting a 17-inch tire/wheel combination and fog lights, power driver seat, leather wheel/shifter, center console sliding armrest, electroluminescent gauges with trip computer, antitheft system, and advanced key with pushbutton start. Packages include moonroof and Bose package ($1760) with Bose Centerpoint sound system, 6CD in-dash, MP3, Sirius; and a Convenience package ($1610) of dual-zone climate control, Xenon headlamps, leather/cloth seats, Bluetooth phone/audio, blind spot monitors, rain-sensing wipers, and welcome mode lighting. Mazda 6s Touring ($25,075) models get all these upgrades plus 235/45WR18 tires on alloy wheels.
Grand Touring ($24,910) trim includes everything on Touring plus leather seats (heated in front) with three-position memory, auto-dimming (heated outside) mirrors, blind spot monitor system, auto headlamps, LED tail-lamps, rain-sensing wipers, Xenon headlamps, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, HomeLink, welcome lighting, and a power passenger seat. Mazda 6s Grand Touring ($28,260) adds 18-inch tires. Grand Touring may be ordered with the moonroof/Bose package and DVD-based voice-activated navigation system ($2000).
Safety features include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control and ABS. The Blind Spot Monitor is standard Grand Touring and available on Touring.
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