Ace of Base - 2017.5 Mazda 6 Sport

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2017 5 mazda 6 sport
I’ll be the first to freely admit that I am completely befuddled when an automaker officially markets a car as a “.5” model year. Barring a vehicle receiving notable updates six months before a complete overhaul, I profess to not seeing the point of half a model year. In this case, a new turbocharged engine is on tap for 2018, hence this car’s odd relationship with the calendar.We’ll round this one up, then. The Mazda 6 sedan is an attractive car, offering a decidedly non-wallowy driving experience and – ye gods! – a manual transmission. It doesn’t hurt that one of our scribes just paid his own hard earned money for one. We’ll let you guess who in the comments.The relatively paltry sum of $21,945 is only a few shekels more than the one-size-smaller Honda Civic coupe. That model was considered for today’s Ace of Base but was tossed aside like a battered copy of Forbes magazine thanks to it lacking a couple of options — certain features I can tolerate being missing from its cheaper sedan brother, but not in the more expensive coupe.Anyways, back to the 6. Despite being on sale for the better part of a decade, it remains one of the best-looking cars in the midsize sedan segment and one of the few that can be fitted with three pedals, so long as one chooses the current 184 horsepower inline-four. Once the 227 hp turbo mill shows up in 2018, it’ll only be offered with an automatic, at least with that particular engine.Naturally, air conditioning is standard in a car priced north of twenty grand, but it’s a few other features that nudge this 6 into the Ace of Base parking lot. Push-button start and a leather wrapped tilt/telescope wheel greet the driver, while passengers are placated with all manner of power accessories and a back seat armrest. While some may chuckle at that last item, more than one manufacturer has been known to delete that particular feature in a bid to save pennies on the base model.Infotainment is acceptable, displayed by an electronic billboard which is controlled by a scroll wheel located down on the centre console. This approach does clean up the dash, making the car look more expensive inside than it actually is. Considering that where, y’know, drivers will actually be spending their time, that’s a Very Good Thing.Vexingly, the electronic billboard responds to touch commands … but only up to about 5 mph. I guess the folks at Mazda don’t trust us to drive and jab at a screen simultaneously. Okay, fine; it’s still frustrating for the passenger.Trouble is, of course, few are buying the thing. Only 33,402 of them left dealer lots last year. The Camry? More than 10 times that number. I can’t criticize – I’m part of the problem. In 2006, I bought a brand new four-cylinder stick shift hatchback 6 with a spoiler and smoked lenses from the Mazda dealer on Kenmount Road. It’s replacement in ‘09? A Ford Edge crossover. Oh dear. At least that was then replaced by a Dodge Charger in 2012.Nevertheless, the mix of great looks and a four-door Miata vibe to its handling makes the Mazda 6 a desirable car. It’s price point cements its spot on our list.[Image: Mazda]Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make our automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you’d like to see in our series? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer will probably sell for less.
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8 of 74 comments
  • RedRocket RedRocket on Jan 24, 2018

    Looks like every person who bought a Mazda 6 in North America is commenting here.

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    • Zoomzoomfan Zoomzoomfan on Jan 25, 2018

      @slavuta Yeah. I am the same way about Mazda. I had a 2008 Mazda3 S Touring hatchback for six years and 63,000 miles and it never gave me any trouble. Didn't rust, either, and I drove it year round. It was amazing in the snow. I used it as a moving vehicle twice in college. My wife and I bought her 2013 CX-5 new in December 2012 and it has been great as well. Hasn't needed anything besides brakes, tires, and an update to the PCM which the dealer did via a TSB.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jan 24, 2018

    I have a 2017 Touring model and if I had one gripe it would be that the infotainment system is a bit slow to boot up and get going if using Pandora or Stitcher, otherwise there's really nothing that I can complain about. As for power it seems perfectly adequate for what I need. Anything more and I'd feel like I was wasting the car. My friend has a 2017 Mustang GT with whatever it has for power and it was fun to drive the one time I've gotten to, but knowing myself and the fact that I recognize my limits behind the wheel I don't know where I'd really get to enjoy it safely and without putting others in danger. I live in Minnesota where it's relatively flat and there are no curvy roads and I'm not interested in spending money on trackdays. If I had that much power it would be akin to driving a brodozer and never carrying more than maybe a couch; I'd rather not feed the loud pedal.

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    • LeMansteve LeMansteve on Jan 25, 2018

      I have a 2017 Touring with nav. The slow boot time of the Mazda Connect system is a big gripe, but unfortunately is the way the car came on Day 1. After about 60 seconds everything is ready to go. When you just want to get in and plug in a destination or play some music, it seems like an eternity.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.