2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring: Not All Family Sedans Are Equal [Review]

2017 Mazda 6 Grand Touring
[Photo: Arv Voss]
The 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring sedan fits into the core of the market due to its just right packaging and comfortable five-passenger seating. It’s not too small, nor is it too big. It’s more practical than a sports car but not overly bulky, especially when compared to large SUVs. Financially, the 2017 Mazda6 is within reach of most value-minded consumers, and it returns respectable fuel economy figures. More than that, the Mazda6 has something else going for it. The car tends to stir up one’s emotions, and in so doing it rises above the bland flavor that blights most of its competitors.

The full suite of SkyActiv technologies was first featured in the redesigned 2014 Mazda6. It was the second vehicle to feature such technologies, after the all-new CX-5 model debuted. In its third generation, Mazda’s engineers have showcased more technology than ever in the Mazda6. Among that technology was i-ELOOP, the world’s first capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system to power all the vehicle’s electrical systems. Other innovations for the model included a SkyActiv-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine and the front collision-detecting Smart City Brake Support system that made their first appearances in the North American market.

2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring
[Photo: Arv Voss]


Power for the 2017 Mazda6 still comes from a 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G direct-injection gasoline engine. Also carried over are the six-speed automatic and manual transmissions. Combined with Mazda’s i-stop idling stop system and i-Eloop brake energy regeneration system, the powertrains deliver a balance of linear acceleration, and excellent fuel economy. The engine makes 184 horses at 5,700 rpm along with 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. The engine is standard fare for all trim levels. Knowing their market, Mazda is also one of the few manufacturers to offer a manual transmission in the Mazda6 on its top trim level. Fuel economy for the 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring is rated at 26 MPG City/35 MPG highway.

The front grille fins project a strong impression of horizontal flow. Combined with the dynamic shape and three-dimensionality of the signature wing, they create a bold, elegant front fascia. The LED lighting signature of the rear combination lamps gives the rear view a taut image, while the compact shark fin antenna accents the vehicle’s flowing form and stylish aura. The 19-inch aluminum wheel with high-gloss paint adopts a dark color that emphasizes the brightness and greater depth of its metallic look. Mazda’s also slightly changed the exterior mirror turn signal lamps for this model year.

Entering the cabin, changes for 2017 include a new steering wheel design, a new seat back pocket design and enhanced sound insulation. All details related to texture and qualities have been perfected, elevating the level of quality. Other upgrades include the adoption of Mazda’s next-generation MazdaConnect car connectivity system and an electric parking brake. The interior fuses a driver-oriented cockpit design based on the Heads-up Cockpit and an instrument panel that extends horizontally to create a passenger environment with a sense of breadth and openness.

A freestanding seven-inch center display is mounted on the top of the low dashboard. The Active Driving Display provides vehicle speed and other important driving information, such as that from the advanced safety systems. The MazdaConnect car connectivity system, when paired with a smartphone makes it easier to take advantage of functions including internet connectivity and access to social networking services. The Grand Touring models add traffic sign recognition, a Lane Keep Assist System and a new 4.6-inch full-color TFT display.

G-Vectoring Control and P-ZEV emissions (50 state) are found on all models of the 2017 Mazda6. Package and option changes include a Premium Package. With that, you get new rear seat heaters, a heated steering wheel, and Nappa leather-trimmed sport seats. The 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring offers an impressive slate of advanced safety technologies that further strengthen its safety performance, while delivering greater driving pleasure and peace of mind. You can also get Smart Brake Support as an option, which helps to avoid frontal collisions or minimize damage when traveling mid- to high-speed.

2017 Mazda 6 interior
[Photo: Mazda]


Sporty, bolstered front bucket seats offer a comfortable, yet driving-focused experience, and are available in three different colors. A 60/40-split fold-down feature is standard for rear seats. Six- or eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seats are standard on all but the Sport model. If you opt for the lowest trim level, you get a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat

Mazda didn’t forget connectivity in the 2017 Mazda6 either. A 7-inch in-dash touch screen commands the center console stack featuring intuitive phone, audio and navigation functions (if equipped). Streamlined steering wheel controls enable an intuitive operation of the infotainment system.

Other available features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. USB and auxiliary jack connection ports are standard and located within the center console storage bin. A six-speaker sound system is standard for Sport and Touring models. Upper-level Grand Touring models feature an 11-speaker Bose Surround Sound System with Centerpoint and AudioPilot. With a smartphone connected, drivers can receive text messages in the head unit. An SD-card driven navigation system is available for Touring, and is standard on Grand Touring models. The SD card feature enables consumers to input customized route maps and regularly update mapping content via any personal computer.

Standard safety features for all 2017 Mazda6 models include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain) and whiplash-reducing front headrests. Other equipment include daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, and Hill Start Assist. Touring and Grand Touring models feature a Blind Spot Monitoring system and Rear Cross Traffic Detection as standard equipment. On the Touring, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) is an option. Grand Touring models get BSM and SCBS systems as standard equipment, as well as RCTA and an Adaptive Front-lighting System. Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning System and High Beam Control are available as part of an optional tech package.

My test 2017 Mazda6 sedan came in Grand Touring trim with the 6-speed automatic gearbox and Soul Red Metallic finish. Inside the cabin was swathed in Parchment-toned Nappa leather with Charcoal piping and trim accents. Mazda’s MSRP for the 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring is $30,695, while options and delivery charges increase that price to $34,695. Options included in the test car included a cargo mat, the Soul Red metallic paint, rear bumper guard, door sill trim plates, and the GT Premium Package.

2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring
[Photo: Arv Voss]


From a driving perspective, the 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring is a highly desirable vehicle in every respect. The 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine delivers more than satisfying levels of acceleration – especially for a four-cylinder engine. The 6-speed automatic transmission moves through the gears with silky smoothness, whether in fully automatic mode or when shifting manually.

Handling attributes are stellar, with the ride quality rock solid with minimal body roll. The seating is both comfortable and supportive within the spacious cabin. Piloting the Mazda6 Grand Touring sedan borders on the experience one would normally only expect from an upmarket sports sedan.


The Mazda6 is a hugely appealing choice in its class. However, there is a new version coming out soon. It’s not hugely different to the current model, but there is one major change. If you feel the 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine doesn’t deliver enough punch, the new version will be turbocharged. In the 2018 Mazda6, you’ll get 250 horsepower (with premium fuel) and 310 lbs-ft of torque, similiar to what’s in the CX-9. So, if you’re wanting for power, wait for Mazda to ship the new Mazda6 to dealers.

If you can’t wait for the new model, the 2017 Mazda6 is still a great option. All Mazda vehicles come with the Mazda Certified Roadside Assistance Program. In addition, the New Vehicle Limited Warranty includes a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty, which covers every part of the vehicle except those subject to normal wear, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

Base MSRP: $30,695
Price as Tested: $34,530
Engine:  2.5-liter DOHC SkyActiv-G four-cylinder
Horsepower: 184 hp @ 5,700 RPM
Torque: 185 lbs.-ft. @ 3,250 RPM
Transmission:  SkyActiv-DRIVE 6-speed automatic w/ Sport Mode
Drivetrain: Transversely-mounted front engine, front-wheel drive
Suspension: Front: Independent MacPherson strut w/ coil springs and stabilizer bar
Rear: Independent multi-link w/ coil springs and stabilizer bar
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) w/ ABS, DSC, Traction Control, Hill Start Assist and TPMS
Tires: Dunlop SP Sport 5000 P225/45 R19 92W
Fuel capacity: 16.4 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 26 City/35 Highway/29 Combined MPG (27 City/35 Highway/30 Combined MPG w/ i-Eloop)
Drag Coefficient: 0.26


Wheelbase: 111.4 inches
Length:  191.5 inches (w/o license plate holder)
Width: 72.4 inches
Height:  57.1 inches
Turning Circle: 36.7 feet
Curb Weight: 3,250 pounds