NAPA, CA – If you have been reading CDN’s auto reviews for a while, you’d know that we’re generally fans of the current line-up from Mazda. It’s the only Japanese automaker who hasn’t succumbed to using CVT, has a great design team and builds vehicles that drive well. The 2019 6 Signature is no exception.
The power of this car comes from a 2.5 liter, turbocharged, engine that churns out 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Power delivery to this front-wheel-drive sedan comes by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. There are also shift-paddles mounted behind the steering wheel for more of a manual way of shifting. However, it should be noted that the car does have hard shift points and will force a shift at the red line in manual mode.
Its fuel economy is rather good for a car with its amount of power. The EPA rates it at 23 in the city and up to 31 miles per gallon in the highway – for a combined average of 26. Mazda outfits this Signature model with 19-inch alloy wheels that are equipped with 225/45 all-season tires.
From a design perspective, it’s easily one of the better looking Japan sedans around. Over the past few generations of vehicles, Mazda has really stepped up its aesthetics. It combines a very modern look with stark lines that are bold and elegant.
Mazda has class-leading designs and layout. Their simplicity and use of high-quality materials give a presentation and tactical feel of a much more expensive sedan. The stitched Nappa leather seating and soft rubberish parts on the dash are very well appointed.
While the Bose audio system does offer good sound quality, it’s still a far cry from the JBL-powered audio we find in Toyota vehicles. Using the infotainment interface is a combination of its 8-inch touch-screen and a control knob on the center console. It may take a bit to get used to this setup, but it works rather well, once you get it down. The on-board navigation, while intuitive, looks rather dated at this point.
Seating comfort is very good, however, it’d be great if Mazda cared as much about the front passenger as it does the driver. The driver’s seat is 8-way power-adjustable while the front passenger is only a 6-way. Both provide augmented lumbar support, however. Rear passenger room is ample for children in car seats as well as adults. Plenty of headroom all the way around with a decent amount of leg-room. If the rear middle seat isn’t used, there is a fold-down arm-rest available to boot. Front occupants also enjoy heated or vented seats.
Driver aids include a heads-up display on the windshield, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot indicators, parking sensors, smart braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, traction control, hill-launch assist, rear back-up camera, and a 360-degree view monitor.
Driving this car, you’ll find it behaves and handles very predictably. It handles corners very well, with minimal body roll and has solid acceleration. Its 4-wheel disc brakes never faded, after hours of heavy traffic driving and provide a great deal of braking power.
Really, the only complaint we have with this car is that it was too much power for being a front-wheel drive. You’ll find that, in many instances, the traction control will kick-in with hard acceleration from a dead-stop. We’d love to see all-wheel-drive become standard for all Mazda products. It’s especially noticeable in areas of inclement weather that have wet roads, most of the year.
With the 6, Mazda has a solid contender on its hands that competes very well in its segment. The combination of looks, performance, and brilliantly-designed interior make it a very worthy sedan and one you should definitely test-drive if you’re in the market for a solid car.