2017 Mazda 6 Driving Impressions

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine’s 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque is hardly impressive, but it’s smooth and surprisingly frisky, thanks to the car’s lack of weight. It’s a small joy with the 6-speed manual transmission, which comes with the Sport and is available on the Touring. The engine is happiest when it’s being revved. It’s more than competitive against the four-cylinders in its class.

Mazdas have long been known for good balance and handling, and the Mazda6 maintains that standard, maybe even ups the game. It comes alive on a curvy road, with steering that’s especially alive and communicative and a ride that’s firm on the standard 17-inch alloy wheels, and firmer with the 19s on the Touring and Grand Touring models. If a plush ride is a priority in your midsize sedan, the 6 is probably not for you.

The new G-Vectoring Control is standard. It applies braking to separate front wheels in corners, to shift weight forward and increase grip so the turn-in is more secure; when that’s done, the system releases and weight shifts to the rear for balance. Mazda says the deceleration force is just 0.01 g or less, so it’s undetectable; all the driver feels is security.

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