2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

A car in which driving matters
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
May 28, 2017 Updated: May 28, 2017

The Grand Touring is the top-of-line trim in the Mazda6 lineup, positioned above Sport and Touring models.

Ambient overhead lighting and Nappa leather interior trim give the look and feel of luxury. The active grille shutter improves fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag.

Mazda’s goal and desire is for you to develop a good, personal feeling between yourself and the car. Mazda hopes to establish that contract between the vehicle and the driver in the first 100 meters of the drive, and the company has given it the name of “the 100-Meter-Promise.”

Mazda6 offers a performance-oriented experience through the Sport Mode.

Mazda6 offers a performance-oriented experience through the Sport Mode. Activating Sport Mode sharpens throttle response and alters gear shifting for better power delivery, at the expense of fuel economy. Occurrences like curvy roads, steep inclines, and narrow lanes may give you a sudden surprise.

Mazda designed an extra control in the brake system to smooth the transition in g-forces. This feature allows “Madza6’s controllability, simply exceptional.”

Mazda’s SKYACTIV Technology umbrella covers from body construction and engine technology to chassis and transmission engineering, to improve all facets of the driving experience. That is how the Mazda6 sedan achieves an EPA estimated 35 mpg on the highway.

Mazda has come a long way in its latest generation of cars. While the Mazda6 Grand Touring is not the most purchased trim in the company, it still plays a role in the company’s style language and safety features.

Since the Grand Touring is the premium trim there are numerous features that help make a quality experience.

Take lighting, just as an example. High Beam Control (HBC) System encourages the driver to make better use of the high beams at night; it knows to automatically switch to low beam when it detects oncoming traffic and/or vehicle ahead. The Adaptive Front-lighting System automatically adjusts the angle of the LED headlights according to the steering angle and vehicle speed.

Going through intersections at night, the headlight beams clearly illuminate where the car is heading. As I have gotten older, and judgement of distance is sometimes a challenge, better lighting is paramount to a safer drive. Admittedly, floor lighting could use some improvement.

The interior of the 2017 Mazda6. (Courtesy of Mazda)
The interior of the 2017 Mazda6. (Courtesy of Mazda)

In 2016, Mazda6 was the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for midsize cars. Part of the reason for this selection was the i-ACTIVSENSE System.

There were 10 safety features in this i-ACTIVSENSE System, including Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Smart Brake Support.

One available safety feature called Traffic Sign Recognition System was the most intriguing. It uses a front-mounted camera that actually detects and reads road signs such as speed limit, stop, and do not enter. This information shows up in the Active Driving Display which is strategically placed in driver’s view, so you make the best decisions without taking your eyes off the road.

Inside, every action that requires a physical command is easily accessible and close at hand. The gauge cluster allows you to process information quickly and effortlessly, with minimal distraction.

Seats could be a little wider and the sides less restrictive. The front of the cabin is desperate for a little open nook for phone or key storage. However, the arm rest is wide and head clearance is good.

The back seat has more than adequate foot and knee room. Quite comfortable for two, plus a possible third passenger if small of stature.

Mazda provides a great sound with an 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System that analyzes stereo content and converts it into multiple channels, steering vocals, and instrument to the front sound stage. Get great sound out of CDs, MP3s, AM/FM radio broadcasts, and SiriusXM.

The Mazda6 is powered by a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder SKYACTIV-G engine with variable valve timing. It delivers 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,250 rpm. The Grand Touring model is only available with the SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed Sport automatic transmission, but there is also a six-speed manual transmission available on the two lower trims.

Mazda6 has 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The car rests on 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and all-season tires.

The MSRP for the Mazda6 Grand Touring starts at $30,695.

3-year/36,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
3-year/36,000-mile 24-hour Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net

Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey