However, with the amount of driving that we would need to do once we arrived in CA, I also knew that having a reliable midsize sedan would make life easier on so many levels. Plenty of space for all four of us plus luggage, a push button engine start, better EPA-estimated highway MPG than the competition, an easy to use navigation system, a rearview camera, amazing style, incredible safety, etc, etc?
Without a doubt there was no better car to find all of those features plus much, much more than in the 2016 Mazda6 i Grand Touring from Mazda.
Available in more than half a dozen sleek and beautiful colors, I love that Mazda felt that no shade of red was good enough for their Mazda6, so they engineered an entirely new one with an elaborate three-step painting process. I'm telling you, the combination of the aerodynamic look and the flowing lines with this deep, yet vibrant, Soul Red really does make heads turn!
This car looks great in photos but they really don't compare to how gorgeous it is in person!
After admiring this beauty from all angles on the outside...
...it was time to hop in to see how the interior would compare.
Spoiler alert: it was just as stunning!
The contrast of the Parchment leather (also available in black) was sleek and attractive against against the chrome and trim and there was more than enough room for each passenger to stretch out comfortably — even with popping in two booster seats.
Once inside, I found that the A-pillar design of the Mazda6 made getting in and out of the plush seats easy and that the wide armrest was positioned just right to rest my arm. Not to mention that it easily popped open for great storage as well as a must-have in my book, USB ports for charging on the go.
Looking across the steering wheel and controls, right away I loved that Mazda had made the large gauges easy to read and that there were so many options (Bluetooth, cruise control, etc) all right within reach.
Putting the automatic transmission into drive, it only took lightly pressing on the gas before this car rolled forward and was gliding through the streets. Immediately I adored that the overall ride is extremely comfortable and that the steering is smooth and light. Even the hum of the engine is strong but pleasing!
But boy, does the Mazda6 have some power! While yes, it has been quite a while since I was behind the wheel of anything that could remotely be considered even related to a sports car, being able to accelerate quickly when getting on a freeway or to swerve around a semi brought a feeling of confidence and security to my driving.
Combine that with the 4-wheel disc brakes and the great turning radius and I just can't think of anywhere that this automobile couldn't go!
Plus, making it even safer to drive (and as a good reminder when my foot might have been pushing on the gas pedal a tad too much), I found it fantastic that the 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring doesn't have a traditional speedometer, it instead reflects your speed right up on a little "screen" above the wheel. That made it possible that my eyes never really had to leave the road to see just how fast (or slow, in California traffic) we were going!
Along with providing a great ride and handling very well, the Mazda6 includes just about every possible feature that could make your time in the car more convenient.
The Bose 11-speaker sound system makes rocking out crystal clear; the heated front seats would be fantastic here in the Midwest in the winter; the dual-zone climate control is perfect for the times that I'm turning the temperature down while my husband wants to turn it up; there is plenty of storage and cup holders for everything that you might bring along with you; and much more.
When cruising around, the user-friendly 7" color touchscreen display is right where you need it to help keep you from getting lost with navigation, play your favorite tunes from a multitude of destinations, connect through Bluetooth, and more.
Even better, adjusting your navigation route, phone, music or more couldn't be much easier thanks to the knob controller right on the console that provides a second access.
One of my absolute favorite Mazda6 features, however, is the way that it includes i-ACTIVSENSE®, a series of advanced safety technologies designed by Mazda to aid the driver in recognizing hazards, in avoiding collisions, and reducing the severity of accidents when they cannot be avoided.
This collection of nine different safety features do everything from warning you when you might be unintentionally drifting out of your lane to alerting you when it senses you are approaching the vehicle in front of you too quickly to actually automatically applying the brakes if it determines that a collision with an obstruction ahead is unavoidable. Incredible!!
While we fortunately didn't need or use many of these safety features during our time with the Mazda6, I loved knowing that they were in place to help keep my family secure. Every time the Blind Spot Monitoring Alert beeped to let us know it was unsafe to change lanes or the Rear Cross Traffic Alert notified us that a vehicle was approaching when we were backing out of a parking space, I gave the car a silent thank you!
After a week of driving the 2016 Mazda6 i Grand Touring around California, I had a difficult time saying goodbye to it. It provided great gas mileage (28 city and 40 highway), kept my family very safe in so many ways (3-point safety belts, 24-hour roadside assistance, advanced dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side air curtains, and more), and there wasn't a single complaint about lack of legroom, space or complete comfort.
Instead, we were too busy being in awe of the gorgeous view out of the power moonroof...
...and the way that two booster seats we brought on our trip easily fit in the backseat (two convertible or infant car seats would do just the same).
Plus, popping open the trunk and finding a massively large cargo space is something that comes in handy for absolutely everyone! My husband thought there was no way we were going to fit three large suitcases and multiple other bags in the back, but they slid in there just fine!
|Two more large suitcases tucked in there along with a few other bags that can't be seen!|
All in all, this is one sporty, midsize sedan that I would highly recommend and truly hope that I have a chance to drive again in the future.
Each day that I got in on our trip I found new features that I hadn't noticed before (Heated side mirrors! How awesome would those be in the winter? or Did you see that? The windshield wipers just went on their own! Rain-sensing wipers! Genius!) and the high quality of the Mazda craftsmanship is evident everywhere you look, inside and out.
With an MSRP starting around $30,000, the 2016 Mazda6 i Grand Touring drives well, looks amazing, and is a great choice for families. You can find out lots more on this incredible vehicle by visiting MazdaUSA.com and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Other than the Mazda6 that I was provided by DriveShop in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion about how much I loved driving this car.