Mazda, the Hiroshima-based auto manufacturer of cars great-to-banal, has just released some half-year updates to its bread and butter 6-Series lineup. This, doing things halfway through a year, is rather rare now, but lots of car makers used to do it with regularity. Ford’s Mustang, for example, came out as a half-year introduction; the first Mustangs being neither 1964s or 1965s, but actually were sold as 1964-1/2 Mustangs.
So what does Mazda bring to the Mazda6 menu halfway through 2017? For a start, lots of leather.
Unlike the previous versions of the Mazda6, the 2017.5 now comes with leather seating surfaces along with other trim changes for both the entry level Sport and mid-trim Touring models. You also get Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. The Mazda6 Sport comes with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats, power windows, keyless entry, a backup camera, and an electronic parking brake (no more handbrake turns for you, young man).
The Mazda6 Touring, which is the mid-level trim for the range, comes with 19-inch wheels and “leatherette” seats. Touring models also come with Advanced Keyless Entry, dual-zone automatic climate control (nice!), rear HVAC vents, a 6-way power driver’s seat, and Smart City Brake Support (which is one of those low-speed automatic braking deals so you don’t look like a complete dork on hills and such). And there are automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers if you’re one of those forgetful types.
Navigation and heated front seats are now standard, and yes, the Mazda6 Sport has the newly available leather seats. If you’d like to upgrade the Touring package even further, there’s an available Bose/Moonroof/Satellite Radio Package, which carries on that fine Mazda tradition of cramming disparate features into one package option.
You can also add to the “normal” Touring Package with the Touring Premium Package. You get all the Touring goodies plus LED daytime running lights, self-leveling LED headlights, the Adaptive Front-lighting system, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror (because you’re lazy), a Homelink garage door opener, heated side mirrors, and an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror. The Touring Premium package comes with your choice of black or Parchment leather seats and an 8-way power driver’s chair with adjustable lumbar support.
Sitting at the very top of the 2017.5 Mazda6 range is the Mazda6 Grand Touring. On top of all the previously mentioned perks, the Grand Touring comes with an Active Driving Display heads-up unit, LED interior lamps, LED fog lights, an LED signature grille surround, driver’s memory seat, 6-way power passenger seat, a car alarm, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for your base-level racing instincts, dark-painted alloy wheels to be cool, and a rear lip spoiler (also for the cool factor). Finally, the Grand Touring includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Control, and Smart Brake Support.
If that’s not enough for you, tick the box for the GT Premium Package and you’ll get Mazda’s i-ELOOP regenerative braking technology, rear outboard heated seats, heated steering wheel, Nappa leather seats with contrast piping, bright finish metallic switches and handles, and a hand-stitched “chidori” steering wheel. There’s also tons of tech goodies strewn about, befitting a car of this new century.
Performance & Availability
Regardless of which trim level you pick, all 2017.5 Mazda6 cars come with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or, in Sport and Touring models, a 6-speed automatic. That 6-speed automatic is standard for the Mazda6 Grand Touring. Other niceties include improved sound insulation, G-Vectoring Control, and an available Machine Gray Metallic paint.
The 2017.5 Mazda6 is in dealerships as you read this. Here’s a handy little chart showing the available packages, costs, and colors:
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias toward lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.