Ace of Base - 2017.5 Mazda 6 Sport

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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  • 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.

  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.
  • Cprescott I assume that since the buses will be free to these companies that these companies will reduce their bus fare.
  • Scott Mopar4wdthanks for those stats. But if 40% of suv buyers are 65+ that is not a long term strategyat 70 I’m perhaps not germane as I have only 2 cars now and replace only when they’re stolen
  • Mopar4wd I think the real question is when every EV can be optioned to be startlingly fast, you need something else to differentiate. Handling features etc, outright acceleration may not be as much a measure as it once was. That's the real problem I see for Dodge, their best bet would seem to be making them look way better than the competition.