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Sunday, December 22, 2013

2014 Mazda Mazda 6



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PRICE : Manual Sedan Manual i Sport $20,990
      PRICE : Manual Sedan Automatic i Sport $22,695

The 2014 Mazda6 is proof positive of two things: that Mazda can scale its 'zoom-zoom' personality up into a mid-size car, and that the company's core SkyActiv initiative—aimed at keeping cars lean and frugal yet engaging to drive—works. The outgoing 6 was an often-overlooked model that we've consistently rated one of the most enjoyable to drive models in its class. As for the current model, it's now one of the best-driving mid-size sedans, wrapped in a far more charming, almost sexy exterior.

From the new corporate grille and front end (more of a refined, masculine face than the clownish smile of some other recent models), to the rippled, muscular-looking front fender lines, the arched roofline, and the smooth, surprisingly refined tail and rear lights, the 2014is just gorgeous. Pacing around at 360 degrees, it's impossible to find an awkward angle on this car. The proportions are the best they get in this class, and it's a knockout. Open the driver's door, and what you get is a little farther from fantasy. The Mazda 6 interior isn't going to flat-out seduce you the way the exterior does, but it's neat and quite attractive, with tastefully coordinated materials, just enough brightwork, and trims that place just enough soft-touch surfaces in the places where hands are likely to go.

Again perhaps at odds with the sexy sheetmetal, the Mazda 6 has a rather simple powertrain lineup; it's powered by a new 2.5-liter 'SkyActiv' in-line four-cylinder engine, fitted with direct injection, variable valve control, and a very high 13:1 compression ratio (unleaded gas is just fine)—altogether making 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, and good for up to 38 mpg on the highway. All versions have front-wheel drive, and the engine is fitted to two all-new transmissions: a six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic. But it does get better once you're behind the wheel. Mazda has cut lots of weight while strengthening the body, and with a curb weight of just 3,200 pounds the new 6 feels friskier than the output numbers suggest.

 The new SkyActiv engine needs to be revved in order to access most of its torque; luckily both transmissions tap into that character easily. For the automatic, you get crisp, very quick shifts and almost the feel of a dual-clutch unit; and the manual (our favorite) has short throws and clean, precise action. The Mazda6 isn't sport-sedan firm, yet it handles near the top of the mid-size class; steering is quick and well-weighted, too, although somehow it loses its feel of the road.

If you've spent any time in the new Ford Fusion, or even the new Nissan Altima or Honda Accord, it's likely you'll concede—like we did—that the Mazda6's interior appointments aren't quite on the high ground that those models set. The seats in the Mazda6 are the exception. They're excellent, and even if you go for the base Sport model you'll find great lateral support. The rear bench seat lacks the headroom that taller adults.


EXTERIOR


























2014 brings Mazda’s new corporate grille to the Mazda6, and I have to say, it’s a beautiful schnoz. I was a little worried the gaping maw would be too large in person, (in pictures it looks enormous) but up-close-and-personal it has to be the second most attractive front end after the Fusion. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but during the week I was unable to find anyone who disagreed with me. So my opinion reigns supreme. 

I’m worried however, the proportions look perfect on the Mazda6, so what will the Mazda3 be like? Why am I worried? Because if you park the Mazda6 next to a CX-9 or CX-5, the crossovers look more cartoonish than if they park alone. Just like your girlfriend seems pretty until you park her next to Megan Fox. Although the 2014 model looks longer than the outgoing Mazda6, overall length has been cut by about two inches. Adding “visual length” as well as much-needed rear seat room, the wheelbase has been stretched by two inches to 111.4.

Mazda’s nose may be a notch below the Ford in my style-guide, but out back it’s a different story. I find the Fusion’s rump to be a little awkward. It’s almost as if Ford ran out of time and “hurried” the back end of their family hauler. Not so with the Mazda6 which has a finished look from the “raised eyebrow” tail lamps to the twin chrome exhausts. Thanks to the best butt in the business, I call the Ford v. Mazda beauty contest a tie. How about the Koreans? I never warmed to the Sonata, but the Optima is aggressive and attractive, just not as emotional as the Mazda6. Thanks to the low sales volume, the Mazda is also a step outside the ordinary, something that attracts me.

EXTERIOR SUMMARY

 Body-color front and rear bumpers
 Chrome/bright trim around side windows
 Day time running lights
 Body-color driver and passenger power door mirrors with turn signals
 External dimensions: overall length (inches): 191.5, overall width (inches): 72.4, overall height (inches): 57.1, wheelbase (inches): 111.4, front track (inches): 62.4, rear track (inches): 62.0 and curb to curb turning circle (feet): 36.7
 Headlights: halogen with projector beam lenses
 Alloy-look trim
 Mica paint
 Fixed rear window with defroster
 Tinted glass
 Weights: published curb weight (lbs): 3,232



INTERIOR












































The British would have called the old Mazda6's interior “cheap and cheerful” with shapes that failed to offend, but plastics that were far from premium. For 2014, Mazda increased the plastic budget and coated the interior with soft injection moulded material. Bucking the latest trend, Mazda skipped the stitching treatment on the dash, although you will find sewing machine tracks on the doors. ZoomZoom also nixed the faux-tree in favor of a black-cherry (or just black) plastic trim panel that bisects the tall dashboard. Aside from the infotainment binnacle that seems a bit too large for the screen, this is the most harmonious and simple dashboard in this segment. I hate to beat on the old Mazda6, but “simple and harmonious” is not a phrase I would have used.

Front seat comfort was excellent for my average six-foot frame, regardless of the trim level. In an interesting move, Mazda chose to make the base manual seat adjust in all the same ways as the optional powered seats. The inclusion of manual lumbar support on base seats is a nice touch as well, something the competition often skips in “stripper” models. In keeping with Mazda’s self-proclaimed sporty image, the front seats feature aggressive (for a Camcord segment car) front seat bolsters and are therefore quite different from the Barcaloungers in the Camry, Accord and Altima. The bolsters aren’t as pronounced as a C63 AMG, but the “like a glove” fit was a huge selling point for me. On the down side, seats like these are less comfortable for larger folks as they provide precious little muffin top accommodation.

Rear seat legroom is up thanks to the increased wheelbase and is now competitive with the CamFusCord. Because the way that car companies measure leg room varies it’s hard to go by the published numbers. According to the numbers the Mazda6 delivers the same rear legroom as the meat of the competition but skimps on front legroom. In reality the Mazda6 felt roomier than its old cousin the Ford Fusion while the Camry still feels larger somehow. Some of that is thanks to the Camry’s generous rear headroom, something that sexy sedan profiles take a toll on. Thankfully Mazda didn’t cut the rear doors as low as Ford did making it easier to get in and out of the Mazda. With more room on the inside and a shorter overall car, it’s no surprise that the looser in this battle is the trunk. At 14.8 cubic feet the 2014 model looses two cubes compared to last year shifting it from one of the larger trunks in the segment to among the smallest.

INTERIOR SUMMARY

 Two 12V power outlet(s) in front
 Climate control
 Element antenna
 Audio system with AM/FM radio, CD player (reads MP3 format) and digital radio
 Cargo area light
 Cargo capacity: all seats in place (cu ft): 14.8 and EPA
 Trip computer: includes average speed, average fuel economy, current fuel economy and range for remaining fuel
 Floor console with covered storage, overhead console
 Cruise control
 Front cup holders
 Outside air temperature indicator
 Carpet floor mats
 Intelligent driver and passenger front airbag
 Driver bucket front seat manual height, manual lumbar and manual tilt, front passenger seat bucket front seat
 Height adjustable driver and passenger front seat belts with pre-tensioners
 Front seat center armrest
 Headlight control
 Two active height-adjustable front seat head restraints, three height-adjustable rear seat head restraints
Internal dimensions: front headroom (inches): 38.4, rear headroom (inches): 37.1, front hip room (inches): 56.1, rear hip room (inches): 56.1, front leg room (inches): 42.2, rear leg room (inches): 38.7, front shoulder room (inches): 57.1, rear shoulder room (inches): 55.5 and interior volume (cu ft): 99.7
 Low tire pressure indicator
 Rear camera parking distance sensors
 Remote power locks
 Power steering type
 Front windows with one-touch on one window, rear windows
 Front and rear reading lights
 Rear seat belt, passenger rear seat belt, 3-point center rear seat belt
 Rear seat center armrest
 Split-folding rear seats:
 Rear view mirror
 Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls
 Remote control trunk/hatch release
 Front and rear curtain airbag
 Seating: five passengers
 Cloth upholstery
 Front side airbag
 Smart card/smart key includes keyless starter
 Six speakers
 Alloy & leather-trimmed, tilt telescoping steering wheel
 Tachometer
 Telematics
 Driver and passenger vanity mirror
 Ventilation system with micro filter
 Voice activating system for phone



SKYACTIV ADVANTAGE


The new Mazda6 is the second vehicle to be designed from the ground up using Mazda's SkyActiv technology philosophy. This approach employs careful engineering to reduce weight while upping rigidity, which reaps benefits in fuel economy, performance, handling and safety.

Thanks to an increased amount of ultra-high tensile strength in its structure, the sedan boasts a lower curb weight and 30 percent increased torsional rigidity compared its predecessor. Mazda also optimized the under-floor design to improve aerodynamic floor, resulting in a class-leading (and mileage-boosting) 0.26 coefficient of drag.

Another efficiency-aiding measure is a world-first capacitor-based regenerative braking system. Dubbed i-ELOOP, it's similar in principle to the regenerative systems seen for years in hybrid vehicles - it recaptures kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. Unlike a traditional hybrid setup, which stores energy in a bulky battery before sending it to an electric motor, i-ELOOP gathers energy in a comparatively lightweight capacitor and uses it to power the sedan's electric components (including A/C, headlights, radio, etc.).



PERFORMANCE



While you might not find the straight-line performance that's hinted in leaping-forward form of the 2014 Mazda 6, this is a satisfying, sporty-feeling car, considering what it also is: a frugal, practical family-oriented sedan.

The new Mazda 6 has a rather simple powertrain lineup; it's powered by a new 2.5-liter 'SkyActiv' in-line four-cylinder engine, fitted with direct injection, variable valve control, and a very high 13:1 compression ratio (unleaded gas is just fine)—altogether making 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. All versions have front-wheel drive, and the engine is fitted to two all-new transmissions: a six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic.

Through Mazda's SkyActiv initiative, it's cut weight from the body structure, made transmissions more efficient and direct-feeling, and found all sorts of other ways to make efficiency gains of up to 30 percent. In all, the new 6 weighs a rather light (for the class) 3,200 pounds with the base setup and manual gearbox, and only slightly more with the automatic—making it feel very peppy, considering what it has.

In all, the Mazda6 is as quick as most gas-mileage-minded shoppers will ever want; although at the same time, the new SkyActiv engine needs to be revved in order to access most of its torque. Luckily, it's smooth and well behaved when it's revved or pressed. Mazda has this time given the 6 a sturdy accelerator pedal with a floor-hinged feel, as well as a solid-feeling (German-style) detent that clicks reassuringly at full throttle.

The new six-speed automatic slips very little at low speeds, like a dual-clutch gearbox, and has a knack of raising revs and downshifting only when needed, and smartly hitching onto the highest gear whenever you’re only cruising—or even accelerating lightly. Some models get steering-wheel paddle shifters to supplement the manual gate for the shift knob—allowing you to select your own gears, except at full throttle, where the transmission forces a downshift to the lowest available gear.

As likable as the new six-speed automatic is, we’d still rather be in the manual version. Unfortunately, as much as the 6 is trying to appeal to driving enthusiasts, you can only get the manual gearbox if you opt for one of the lower trim levels. The shift action is the best it gets, with short throws and a neat, precise linkage. These versions get Hill Hold Assist, too.

Overall, the Mazda6 handles near the top of the mid-size class. With entirely new suspension geometry aiming especially at eliminating dive and squat, Mazda has given the suspension a little more travel, and also raised the pivot point for the rear suspension, which reduces the impact shocks making their way into the cabin while also increasing controllability under load and near the limit.

Mazda boasts that the 6's steering ratio (15.5:1) is nearly as quick as the Miata's (15.0:1), and that results in a quick, responsive feel; the new electric power-steering system provides weighting that's just right—well-centered, and with effort that builds nicely—but road feel is surprisingly a little lacking.

Some might want a little more power and accessible torque to go with the Mazda6's sweet, forgiving chassis; for that, there's a brawnier—and more fuel-efficient—turbo-diesel engine on the way later this model year.


ENGINE






For now, the Mazda6 is available exclusive with a four-cylinder gasoline engine, although a diesel mill will be available in the second half of 2013.
The standard motor is a 2.5-liter "SkyActiv" four-cylinder that produces a respectable 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. Better yet, fuel economy is estimated at 26 mpg on the highway and 38 mpg on the highway when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission - just a smidge behind the Nissan Altima's class-leading 26/38 mpg figures. Add in the optional i-ELOOP system, and those figure rise to 28/40 mpg.

For those looking for a more engaging driving experience, Mazda also offers a six-speed manual that was modeled after the legendary MX-5 Miata's smooth-shifting transmission. It decreases the sedan's official fuel economy ratings to 25/37 mpg.

The oil-burning option will be a 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that is estimated to produce 173 hp at 4500 rpm and a stump-pulling 310 lb-ft at 2000 rpm. While fuel economy figures are not yet available for this motor, it has a good shot at rivaling the 43-mpg highway rating of the only other diesel-powered midsize sedan on the market, the Volkswagen Passat TDI.
Unlike some competitors, the Mazda6 is not expected to offer a turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder or a V6 as a range-topping engine.


SPECIFIATION



 Make:Mazda
 Model:6
 Price:$20990
 Engine:inline-4
 Transmission:Six-Speed Manual
 Horsepower @ RPM:184 @ 5700
 MPG(Cty):25
 MPG(Hwy):37
 Torque @ RPM:185 @ 3250
 Displacement:2.5 L
 0-60 Time:7.6 sec.
 Top Speed:125 mph (Est.



COMFORT & QUALITY






If you've spent any time in the new Ford Fusion, or even the new Nissan Altima or Honda Accord, it's likely you'll concede—like we did—that the Mazda6's interior appointments aren't quite on the high ground that those models set.

The seats in the Mazda6 are the exception. They're excellent. You get sport seats with a little more side support than you might expect in an affordable mid-size sedan, even at the base Sport level, and there's more thigh support than typical, which helps tremendously for longer-distance drives.

In back, the bench feels somewhat high up, and that conspires to make getting in a little more challenging than you might expect. Even once you’re in you may find your head surprisingly close to the roofline—made worse if you decide to sit in the middle by a sort of upward hump. Although we appreciated the fold-down center armrest with cupholders.

Trunk space is plentiful, with a wide load opening, and the split-folding rear seatbacks fold forward for more space; although there are some sharp edges that may snag items that brush the top of the cargo space.

Ride quality is impressive, but not quite luxury-car quiet. There's a little more road noise than you'll find in some models in this class, but the ride is about perfect for most roads—firm, yet absorbing the most jarring impacts. Our drive was during some particularly strong crosswinds, and it’s worth noting that the 6 seemed unflustered, tracking well and blocking out the sort of wind noises we might have expected. The coefficient of drag is as low as 0.26, which probably helps with that


BRAKE




Braking is linear and pedal feel is pretty good. They aren't the most aggressive of brakes, and a couple of time I found myself not braking as much as I thought I was, which resulted in more pressure and a bit of a jerky stop.P

However, when braking and downshifting in the automatic model, I noticed something a little strange. A slight vibration was present in the pedal when the car downshifted. It didn't impact the braking performance at all and once I got used to it I barely noticed, but it isn't the most confidence inspiring trait in the world.

 Brakes (Front)                         Disc
 Brakes (Rear)                         Disc
 Driveline                                Front Wheel Drive
 Driveline (Opt)                         N/A
 Steering                                 Rack & Pinion
 Steering Diameter Left         36.7
 Steering Diameter Right         36.7
 Suspension (Front)                Independent
 Suspension (Rear)                Independent
 Tire                                            Type Passenger
 Tire Width                                 225 mm.
 Tire Aspect Ratio                55
 Tire Construction                Radial
 Tire wheel Diameter        17 in.


SAFETY


The 2014 Mazda 6 is one of the better picks in this class for safety--although doesn't get ratings that are quite class-leading.

In addition to all the usual airbags, plus stability control, and four-wheel disc brakes with Brake Assist, some Mazda6 models are offered with Blind Sport Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert—a system that helps spot cross traffic as you're backing out of a parking space, or warn of an adjacent vehicle when changing lanes. There's also Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Obstruction Warning, which detects vehicles ahead and sounds a warning; Smart City Brake Support is also offered—helping prevent collisions due to inattention, at speeds between 4 and 19 mph. Adaptive Front Lighting and High Beam Control are also on offer.

The Mazda6 hasn't been rated by the federal government; but it fits in among the safer models on the market, as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Although with its 'acceptable' rating in the tougher new small overlap frontal impact test, it's not quite up to the standards of a few other top achievers in the class.


FUEL CONSUMPTION


We're rating the Mazda6 based on the presence of its clean-diesel engine, a 2.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, in the lineup; although this engine hasn't yet been given official EPA ratings and won't arrive until later in the model year—likely October or November 2013. Expect a city rating of around 30 mpg, with highway numbers well into the 40-mpg range for the diesel, which will be available with either a manual gearbox or the six-speed automatic.

That said, the 2014 Mazda 6 is a very fuel-efficient car with its base four-cylinder gasoline engine—incorporating a suite of so-called SkyActiv technologies that include direct injection, variable valve control, and a very high 14:1 compression ratio. Based on what we've seen with both this 2.5-liter version in the Mazda6, as well as the smaller 2.0-liter version that's going in the Mazda3, this engine delivers excellent real-world mileage—perhaps 3 to 5 mpg better in real-world driving than other vehicles that have comparable EPA ratings. Like many cars in its class, the Mazda6 now does better with the automatic than with the manual in the official test as well as in real conditions—mostly because the automatic is so good at quickly bringing engine revs down when they're not needed.

In brisk driving, over 125 miles of suburban boulevards and country two-laners, mostly, with some expressway driving, we averaged nearly 31 mpg in an automatic Mazda6.

Add the GT Technology Package, and you get the capacitor-based i-ELOOP system, earning 2 mpg better in both the city and highway cycles—for a net 28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway--32-mpg Combined in a mid-size sedan; no clunky hybrid battery pack. This brings a phenomenal 656-mile highway range.


DRIVETRAIN



The aggressive lockup is noticeable out on the road, especially in hill driving where the Mazda6 feels more connected to the drivetrain than the competition. “Connected” is a word that repeatedly came to mind when driving the Mazda6 in the real world and during an event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where Mazda had the guys to let a writer’s group flog a sedan on the track. 

The Zoom-Zoom brand has long been known for an emphasis on handling, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the Mazda6 is one of the most enjoyable front wheel drive cars on the road, but it also proved amusing on the track. No, not as amusing as the BMW X1 that was on hand, but the Mazda delivered surprising agility, well controlled body motions, little roll and just a hint of brake fade after 6 laps. For a CamFusCord competitor, there is no higher praise. Ultimate grip is easily the equal of the new Ford Fusion, the only other entry in this large segment with any handling prowess at all. Another feather in the Mazda6's cap is steering with the vaguest hint of feeling, a quality that would have been laughable a decade ago, but in our age of electric power steering even the suggestion of feedback is welcome.

I was a bit less impressed with the Mazda6's manual transmission, yes it has possibly the best shift feel in the segment, but is that saying much? The clutch pedal feel is superior to the new Accord as well, but with only 184HP on tap and 3,200lbs to motivate the automatic does a better job on the average commute. Boo! Hiss! Another manual hater?!? Not at all, I love the fact that Mazda builds most trim levsls of the Mazda6 with a manual. The problem is the slushbox is moderately engaging and gets 1MPG better mileage (26/38 for the auto). 

It’s easy to see why the average shopper would let the car row the gears. At the stop-light races, the 2014 model feels stronger than the outgoing model despite the modest bump in power, this is thanks to the improved torque curve, weight reduction and that SkyActiv transmission. Proving that CVTs are the performance king (seriously) the four-cylinder Accord spanks the ZoomZoom to 60 MPH with a 6.83 second score to the Mazda6's 7.4 but both of those are faster than the Fusion’s base or 1.6L Ecoboost options by over half a tick.

The i-ELoop micro hybrid system is part of a $2,090 option pack on the top trim of the Mazda6. This is similar to BMW’s active alternator, in that the system is only capable of recovering a portion of the kinetic energy and provides no motive assistance. When braking, a variable voltage alternator charges a large capacitor, the system uses this to power vehicle systems. When accelerating, the system disengages the alternator to reduce the load and runs the accessories on the reserved charge. Mazda claims the system is good for an extra 2MPG on the highway bumping the mid-sized sedan to an impressive 40MPG. I was unable to get my hands on one for testing, but I easily beat the 30 MPG combined score despite driving it more aggressively during the week than the competition.

So if the Mazda6 handles well, delivers decent fuel economy and is priced and featured in line with the competition, why are the sales so slow? After a week with the 2014 incarnation I’m no closer to answering this automotive enigma. Many have conjectured the ZoomZoom brand lacks the advertising resources to push their wares, that is certainly true when you compare their marketing budget to Toyota, but then again Kia and Hyundai have raised themselves from obscurity on budgets that started small. 

Some posit the lack of a stout V6 option is to blame, but 90% of the cars in this segment are four-bangers, so toss that logic out the window. Even with the most aggravating infotainment system sold in America, the Mazda6's other attributes compensate enough to put it near the top of my list, just under the gadget loaded, 2.0L Ecoboosted Fusion and the four-cylinder Accord. Why doesn’t the Mazda6 sell? Will the diesel engine turn the Mazda6 into an oil-burning Passat killer? These are questions we may never have answered. What do our readers have to say?


FEATURES



















The 2014 Mazda 6 is offered in three different models: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Sport and Touring models are offered with the automatic or manual transmissions, but the Grand Touring is automatic-only.

Standard features on the base Sport include air conditioning, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, push-button start, a USB audio input, and 17-inch alloy wheels (there are no steel wheels in the lineup). Get the automatic-transmission Sport and you add Bluetooth, HD Radio compatibility, and a rear-view camera system, with a 5.8-inch color touch screen. Touring models get dual-zone climate control, a power driver's seat, blind-spot monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, rear-seat vents, leatherette seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, and the so-called Commander Switch with alternate controls for the screen. And at the top of the lineup, Grand Touring models add leather upholstery, heated front seats, a memory driver's seat and power passenger seat, a fog lamps, steering-wheel paddle-shifters, satellite radio, a power moonroof, bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lamps, and adaptive front lighting.

Options are limited to a few packages. The Touring Technology package ($2,000) adds Smart City Brake Support, Bose premium audio, the navigation system, heated mirrors, advanced keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, and a universal garage-door opener to the Touring, while an Advanced package ($2,080) adds Radar Cruise Control, Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Control—as well as the new fuel-saving i-ELOOP system—to the Grand Touring. Separately, Radar Cruise Control and Forward Obstruction Warning can be added to the Grand Touring for $900.

The TomTom navigation system that we experienced in an early drive left a lot to be desired. Mazda notes that the system has “premium maps,” but we found the resolution, the detail, and the appearance of the system to be inferior to just about any other in-car navigation system we've used as of late. The system is essentially the same one that Mazda's using in the CX-5 compact crossover, and the so-called Command Controller that upper trims get, located just ahead of the center console bin and armrest, is a disappointment as well. What looks promising from a few feet away unfortunately only provides a few redundant controls for the navigation and entertainment system—and ends up feeling like a BMW iDrive knockoff

We also found the audio features in the Grand Touring to be among the most sluggish we’ve encountered recently (tuning satellite radio, dialing up tracks). For instance, the system grabbed track info from satellite radio in a laggy way, as if it were loading it a character at a time from a slow internet connection. However, the system has a great-sounding Bose audio setup, with 11 speakers and Centerpoint 2 surround, and works very well with Pandora Internet Radio—better, in fact, than we've noted from far more advanced state-of-the-art infotainment systems. Selecting Pandora from the touch screen, it right away asked us on the iPhone for accessory control and within a second or two was playing music—with full track info, the opportunity to thumbs up/thumbs down, and easy switching between stations.

SMS text capability is built in, although it won't work with the iPhone. There's voice control built in, too; but don't expect to simply start using it. It’s structured with a system of syntax-intensive commands nested in menus, so you'll need to learn those first.

        

MAZDA 6 ( VIDEO )

          

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By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

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