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Roseville, Calif. – The 2016 Mazda6 is a fine midsize sedan with a lot of enviable qualities, including affordability, styling, family-friendly interior space, plus solid fuel economy and performance.

Good thing it possesses many strong qualities, because that’s needed in the competitive midsize sedan category, which is one of the most popular choices today among American car buyers.

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The midsize sedan landscape includes the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima. This is such a fine group of sedans that a car shopper literally can’t go wrong in selecting any of the above.

The Mazda6 was fully redesigned in 2014 and has added a few changes for 2016. It is clearly one of the must-see vehicles in this popular class.

Test driven on different road conditions recently between Denver and Laramie, Wyo., the Mazda6 easily passed the test, handling the wet, slick freeways in Denver, then adroitly navigating the mountainous country roads leading into Laramie. The vehicle handled well in all situations and provided good acceleration whenever needed.

Here’s one more reason to like the 2016 Mazda6: You can buy the standard model for less than $22,000. Like most vehicles, the price can climb dramatically when more features are added, which leads us to the upper end price of around $30,000 for the Grand Touring version.

2016 Mazda6

  • Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 184 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate range: 26-38 mpg
  • Price: $21,495 to $30,195
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance 3 years/36,000; corrosion 5years/unlimited

The exterior of the Mazda6 features a curvaceous look with a long hood, wraparound taillights, a bold front end, and a chrome strip running the width of the car. It’s an attractive look that gives the Mazda6 a pleasant curb appeal. Exterior changes for 2016 include a new grille and available LED headlights.

The Mazda6 is the second model (Mazda3 was the first) to come equipped with the SKYACTIV. The goal is to increase gas mileage – now 26-38 mpg – and not compromise the performance.

Both the consistent performance and fuel economy increase can be traced to Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology. The Japanese auto manufacturer says the technology “combines breakthrough innovation and state-of-the-art engineering and is applied to engines, transmissions, body and chassis systems – all lighter, more efficient, with increased responsiveness.”

The Mazda6’s lone engine has surprising performance, considering it’s equipped with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185-pound-feet of torque. It delivers solid acceleration, clocked at 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds. That’s plenty quick for a four-speed “family” sedan.

Despite a fine-performing engine, it would be nice for another offering like several of its competitors – adding a peppy V6 or a turbocharged model.

One can choose from the automatic transmission or go for the six-speed manual. The Mazda6 has a new smaller steering wheel, which no doubt plays a role in the ease of how the vehicle handles.

Some car experts are suggesting that the Mazda6 interior ranks right near the top in the segment. The aesthetically appealing cabin has many soft-touch materials, very readable instruments and gauges, and is quite capable overall.

The Mazda6 provides generous head and legroom for both rear and front-seat occupants. The trunk space is 14.8 cubic feet. This sedan is spacious overall due to its 111.4-inch wheelbase.

The Mazda6 is a very attractive buy, thanks to its stylish exterior, smart interior, and its ability to be fuel-efficient while also delivering performance.

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