Car and Driver Mazda 6 I Grand Touring Review: As Accurate as a Sextant

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
car and driver mazda 6 i grand touring review as accurate as a sextant

Even before you read the review, it’s obvious Car and Driver scribe Mark Gillies doesn’t like the new Mazda 6 i Grand Touring. For once, the strapline accurately reflects the author’s take, without prevarication or sugar-coating: “Mazda’s new family sedan offers more of everything except excitement.” OK, the “verdict” below returns us to Car and Driver’s ad-friendly editorial style: “A worthy rival to the mid-size heavyweights” (instead of “Mazda sells its soul for sales”). And the article itself is one-quarter press release, one quarter praise and one quarter pulled punches (e.g. “Subjectively, the 6 feels good on a back road but not as athletic as you might like.”) But the real news arrives late in the fourth quarter. Car and Driver has declared metphorical war on TTAC’s simile-lade prose. And here we go… “The Gran Touring version of the 6 is as loaded as Keith Richards on tour in the 1970s;” “…setting up a Bluetooth phone connection is as simple as a plate of pasta con aglio e olio;” “The highway ride is as supple as an Olympic gymnast;” “Peel into a corner, and the 6’s tires squeal like a pack of preteen girls at a Jonas Brother concert.” Note to Csaba: sprinkles taste like shit on vanilla ice cream. Or something like that.

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  • Mikeolan Mikeolan on Oct 12, 2008

    @psarhjinian: Actually, even the "bloated" 2002 Altima still weighs less or on par with the prior generation- within 50 pounds of a 1997 Toyota Camry LE, over 400 pounds LESS than a 1997 Oldsmobile Intrigue, and 200 pounds LESS than a 1997 Ford Taurus. And if you're basing the 1998-2001 Altima as a mid-size standard, it was largely criticized for being too small and cramped and too slow. Also, Ford launched the Fusion in 2006- well after the 3rd gen Altima, 7th(?) gen Accord, and neck and neck with the new Camry. And finally, what's wrong with a mid-size sedan being able to pull impressive numbers? At one time it meant torque steer city, but that's not an issue anymore. Fuel efficiency has remained consistent through the years, too, which is impressive. I'd say the problem we're facing now is we're seeing automakers bloat their cars further. The current Accord is simply way too big- the last gen was nearly perfect sized given its purpose, and I don't think customers asked for it to be any larger, yet Honda just blimped it out.

  • John R John R on Oct 13, 2008

    @mikeolan: +1 on the Accord. It is too big. All the Honda needed was a competent automanual, but then what would be the point of Acura? @psarhjinian: To be honest, most of the Altimas I see on the road are the 2.5S models. Not surprising. The 4-pot in that thing gets along fine and loves to rev, but can get a little thrashy. What's wrong with four cylinders getting to 60 in less than 8-9 seconds? Yeah, the interior is something to quibble about when Hyundai can do as good or better, but all is forgiven by putting your hands on that steering wheel. As far as driving dynamics are concerned I found it to be more engaging than an Accord or a Fusion. There's a reason Ford never included an Altima in their little "comparison tests" they advertised about a while ago. I will, however, concede the Mazda6 is sublime in comparison. Bottom line, Nissan made a good car. Don't be mad that they found their niche and exploited it. Nissan found their voice with that car, a competent handling & rapid car. So what? That is Nissan. How does it go? Don't hate the playa, hate the game? However, I would be mad at Mazda for trying to do the same. I had my suspicions from looking at the new car. But everything I've read confirmed them. R.I.P. Mazda6 P.S.: LOL at the Camry SE being sick and wrong. I find it pretty amusing. Out of character, yes, but pretty funny that its that fast.

  • SupaMan SupaMan on Oct 13, 2008

    I think Mazda did an admirable job of preserving much of the 6's zoom-zoom character while making the car bigger in order to compete with the other players in the segment. And why not? Nissan did the same thing with its Altima in 2002 and that car was such a shock with its 240hp V6 that the other manufacturers had no choice but play along in order to stay competitive. Mazda tried going its own route with the then new 6 and while it has been a sales success it could never compete with the likes of the Accord or Camry on just sporty flavor alone. I'd love to see a matchup between the V6 Mazda6 and the V6 Altima. These cars define the sporty segment of the mid (or is that full?) size arena. And I agree with psarhjinian; I never really liked the idea of a Camry SE even if it is a car that does pretty well at virtually everything.

  • Willbodine Willbodine on Oct 13, 2008

    One of my hobbies of the last few years has been collecting any number of the Brooklands Press series of marque-specific road test reprints. Talk about a time-warp. The books feature road tests from all over the world (a few too many South African and Australian for my taste.) The best were from the old British Motor from the 60s and 70s. But a close second was Car and Driver from the same period. New readers may be surprised to learn that Brock Yates could actually write well at one time. The contrast with the Car and Driver of today could not be more jarring. Instead of trenchant (and funny) writing that went on for thousands of words in the days of yore, we now have the pathetic (and brief) catalog copy that was produced by the manufacturer (er, advertiser) masquerading as road tests. Sad, that.