Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: 2015-2016 Mazda6 Sports Wagon

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Every car enthusiast loves a wagon. Whether or not he’ll admit that in public is another matter, but ask him what comprises his dream garage and 100 percent of the time, there will be a wagon in that list. The common folk now see them as something dorky, especially since you’ve got butched-up wagons called crossovers offering more ‘bang for the buck’. But whatever they put in these raised, cladded wagons, they’ll never be as beautiful to look at or drive. The wagon is essentially the best all-around in the automotive world. It’s a car with all the benefits and none of the side effects; it handles tidily, doesn’t take the space of an entire continent, and offers practical and usable space.

From a bean counter’s point-of-view, it doesn’t make sense to bring in a wagon since it’ll never sell in numbers compared to say, a crossover or SUV. And so, it takes a company with a different mindset to appreciate the merits of bringing one in. It takes some cojones to offer a specialized, almost niche vehicle in the market; and the company that did so had to be Mazda. Not limiting themselves to simply what focused group studies say, Mazda stuck true to their corporate DNA. In every segment they’re in, they don’t simply just build another car; they build a Mazda. This way of thinking is very visible in how the Mazda6 is engineered; and now, more so with the Mazda6 Sports Wagon.



Contrary to what most people think, the Mazda6 Sports Wagon isn’t just a case of automotive cut-and-paste. The dimensions alone tell the story: the wagon is marginally shorter in both length and wheelbase. It’s also slightly taller, but because of the roof rails. Of course, without looking at the spec sheet or brochure, there’s no way of telling. The Mazda6, even in its wagon form, is every bit as sexy. In fact, you can go as far as saying that it’s the better looking of the two. Where the sedan looks a bit stretched, the Mazda6’s long hood and wheelbase are more cohesive with the wagon’s roofline. The move from the formal three-box to a two-box shape actually gives the Mazda6 much needed musculature and bulk giving gravitas to the otherwise slender form. The best part of the transformation is actually the 6’s wagon-exclusive grille. It may not look that different from the sedan, but at night, an LED strip outlines the grille creating an unmistakable presence. As such in this class, it’s the little things that matter.

Despite the reduced wheelbase, there’s no discernible difference to the interior room. It’s the same experience you get in the sedan with generous shoulder, hip, and knee room. Since this is a car made to be driven, not to be ridden (shame if you just review this car from the backseat), the front seats offer the best experience with a great balance between comfort and support. The seats don’t look as plush or wide in pictures, but it manages to make short work of long-distance driving. The rear ones are less stellar, but they’re good nonetheless. The biggest difference between the sedan and the wagon is found in the headroom. While going in and out of the front seats will ruin gel-affixed hipster hair, there’s more headroom at the back simply because of the roofline. It doesn’t feel as claustrophobic. As a wagon, it offers a much larger cargo hold, but this is with the cargo net retracted. With it in place, the loading height is severely cut meaning an object similar to the 6’s 225/45R19 tires will barely fit in the back.



Creature comfort features are the same for both the sedan and wagon. And this equates to a fully-loaded interior with stuff like push-button start/stop, passive entry, powered front seats, a moon roof, and even a Bose sound system (which oddly enough, sounds much better in the wagon when set to identical settings) all as standard equipment. And you can get the 6 wagon with the optional Pure White interior as well (depending on the exterior color). However, if you dread any scuffing or bleeding (from your jeans or otherwise), the standard all-black interior is the one to have. Technically, it’s not really all black since they’re some dark brown inserts scattered throughout including those on the dash and door trims. It does sound weird, but in reality, the combination works well.

Sharing its mechanicals with the sedan, the Mazda6 Sports Wagon gets the same 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine putting out 188 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. It’s slightly heavier though, weighing at 1,491 kilograms versus 1,444 kilograms. Behind the wheel though, the experience is pretty much the same. There’s no shortage of power whatever situation you find yourself in. Whether you’re just puttering in the city or driving high-speed on the expressway, the drivetrain is so well tuned that you never need to reach for the paddle shifters or even the Driver Selector (Sport) mode. Like the sedan, the wagon is largely quiet if just for a tad of noticeable tire noise. Plus, the heavier body also doesn’t seem to penalize fuel economy. The 6 wagon still manages 9.80 km/L in the city (average speed 19 km/h) and 16.94 km/L on the highway.



Having the opportunity to drive both the sedan and the wagon brings about the most discernable difference: the handling. The Mazda6 is already a well-sorted machine in its own right, but the Mazda6 Sports Wagon simply elevates the experience a notch higher. It rightfully deserves the ‘Sport’ in its name with a steering that’s noticeably quicker and a body that feels nimbler with much less understeer than the sedan. It still behaves like a large car when pushed but apparently the slightly reduced dimensions make one heck of a difference. Normally, an executive car isn’t one to carve corners in, but the 6 wagon simply loves these surroundings. It loves switchbacks, allowing you to play with the steering. And it always feels planted and will never feel tiring.

As the segment’s only executive wagon, the Mazda6 Sports Wagon has this segment all to itself. There are some people who won’t dare go for a wagon, wanting instead the conventionality of a crossover. Unfortunately, results with the masses who end up with more of the predictable choices. But the Mazda6 has never been just for the everyday executive.  It’s designed for the one who wants something different, who wants something special. The Mazda6 is for the guy who doesn’t play by the rules and he wants his car to reflect that very persona. The Mazda6 Sports Wagon goes a step further. Essentially, it’s the up-yours in the face of convention and mediocrity.





2015-2016 Mazda6 Sports Wagon
Ownership 2015 Mazda6 Sports Wagon
Year Introduced 2013 (Refreshed: 2015)
Vehicle Classification Executive Car
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Wagon
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.5
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 188 @ 5,700
Nm @ rpm 250 @ 3,250
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 93~
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,865
Width (mm) 1,840
Height (mm) 1,480
Wheelbase (mm) 2,830
Curb Weight (kg) 1,491
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Muti-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Bridgestone Turanza T001 225/45 R 19 (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front and Rear w/ Reverse Camera
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, Active
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights Yes
Auto Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Electric (w/ Memory for Driver)
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes, Dual Zone, with Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
Aux
USB x 2
Bluetooth
No. of Speakers 11, Bose
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

49 comments:

  1. Can't believe Mazda priced this @ 1.8M, Ano sila Honda/Toyota? Dear Mazda, kindly know your place and price accordingly. Not just the 6 but the 3 and 2 as well! Isama nyo na din yung CX5 na napakamahal!

    I'll pick the Accord over this. Honda engine is da best! and yes, I have one!

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    Replies
    1. DEPUTA MAS ALAM MO PA SA MARKETING TEAM NILA! PAKI KO KUNG MAY ACCORD KA! :O

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    2. Stay on topic, sir. Mukhang nag rereply na naman yung mga walang pambili.

      Back on topic, I'd go with the 3.5 Camry. Underpowered kasi yung 2.4 e. Mas sulit din yung camry kesa dito.

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    3. I don't know what this dude is talking about Mazda "knowing its place and price." Of course they know. They're smarter than you in terms of economics. Honestly, if you're already driving a Honda Accord, you would be well aware that this is what Mazda pegs with it. The price is reasonable, except if your your Accord was 1995 model you bought 2nd hand.

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    4. Toyota's and Honda's are fugly. And Mazda has been receiving international awards recently. Even the small Mazda 2 has been the Car of the Year Japan 2014-2015. Did any Honda or Toyota get that award? Also Toyota/Honda designs are dull compared to Mazda. The price is very reasonable and it's a steal for a car Made in Japan.

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    5. The Accord is pretty good looking and the 3.5L is arguably the best in its class. The Camry & 2.4L Accord lags behind the Mazda6 though. Also your argument Mazda winning awards is academic and has no bearing. I can also say that Honda and Toyota is selling better than Mazda but it wouldn't mean jack shit.

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    6. In terms of engine mazda ditched the making a V6 because times have changed. Engines are getting smaller but still have decent power. Like Ford Ecoboost engines 1.0 3 cylinder. The power of that engine is has the same equivalent of power of a 1.5 4 cylinder. Same with Subaru DIT Turbo 2.0 before its 2.5 turbo. They will just put Direct injection or turbochargers with low displacements. Some manufacturers in the future will follow this and leave the V6's for better efficiency and better for the environment

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    7. Why would you even compare a 2.5 engine to a 3.5 engine? Awards may be academic but still, that award is a coveted award by car manufacturers, and Mazda got it. Toyotas and Hondas are better selling than Mazda because they are cars for the masses, cheap and affordable. Mazda's goal is not to sell the most cars, they are like semi-luxury when compared to Toyotas and Hondas. But still, if Mazda isn't around, I would choose a Honda. Toyota/Honda also sell more here because they have been here for a long time and the spare parts are readily available anywhere. But with cars getting very reliable, spare parts aren't an issue anymore unless you want to keep the car for 10 years or so.

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    8. You have a point and why would you want a V6 here in the PH anyway if traffic in manila has the speed of 40km/h or below than that haha. I would just buy a city car like the mirage or wigo.

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    9. I'll pick the Sonata over this. It's looks more mature, more polished and more refined than this Mazda.

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    10. More mature looking, yes, but more polished and refined? I think not. People would choose a Japanese car than a Korean one.

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    11. LOL! Are you people seriously comparing a Mazda6 to a lowly Sonata?!?! There's no argument necessary here, it's universally accepted that the Mazda is superior over any Korean crap.

      Regarding the V6 issue, not everyone lives in Manila and experiences that awful dense traffic of yours. Here in Mindanao you can enjoy your 3.5L midsize sedan because the traffic is not that bad plus there are a lot of provincial highways where you can easily reach speeds 140km/h above. Just don't go to Davao city, they follow the speed limits strictly there.

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    12. I would choose a Korean car over a Japanese car because I'm a risk taker and I hate old business models.
      It's better for me to take risk than be safe and sorry.
      We are in a new era!

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    13. It's not the risk. Read the reviews and rankings of midsize cars from car and driver and several other automotive sites. The Honda Accord and the Mazda 6 are the picks. I think the Sonata ranks 5 or lower. Anyway, if you want a Sonata, then go get it. We stick with the Japanese cars Honda and Mazda.

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    14. I'm also a risk taker but I would choose the Mazda 6 or the Honda Accord over the Sonata anyday.

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    15. To Korean fanboy: Give me one good reason why I'd pick the Sonata over the Mazda 6. Sige nga.

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    16. I would pick the Sonata because of better comfort, better ergonomics, interior quietness and elegant design. I'm not into childish and boxy designs.

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    17. Ergonomics? Comfort? Elegant design? What? Do you think tha Mazda 6 doesn't have those you mentioned? The Mazda 6 has those and more. It has better performance, better fuel efficiency, better exterior design (similar to an exotic aston martin), better interior quality, and etc. Plus it's made in Japan. Try again sir.

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    18. I don't like a made in a debt ridden country!

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    19. The Passat might be a good choice if you are into this type of cars.

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    20. @ first anon

      Shhhh. Your Accord is trash. My Legacy GT will run circles around your Accord even if you have the 3.5 V6 model and you'll lose in a drag race every single time. It's funny how the Accord isn't good at anything. It isn't the comfiest (Camry and Sonata are), sportiest (Mazda 6 is), roomiest (Altima is), nor is it the most powerful (Legacy RS is). Oh? You want to talk smack? K.

      Honda owners in the Philippines are the worst. They have a laughable sense of prestige as if it were the 90s. Deluded fucks think a Honda is comparable to a BMW though honestly I find BMWs overrated. My 320i broke down on SLEX once during my first year of ownership. Embarrassing really.

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    21. You've completely missed the point of the 3.5L Accord. It's one of the most balanced midsize sedan out there. It has the right amount of luxury, performance, and comfort. It's the segment equivalent of a jack of all trades and master of none. Plus it's reliable as fuck, hardly ever breaks down with proper maintenance. Owned one since 2010, never had any problems with it.

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    22. to Mr Legacy GT,

      you know what is embarrassing? you parading that you have a Legacy GT and a 320i in the guise of fake humility. you and first anonymous are cut from the same cloth.

      Anyhow, I think Mazda in general gives good value for your money. Nice styling and features. Skyactiv will save you a lot and help recover some of the vehicle cost. Kojin 3 gets you casa service with minimal/zero expense for the first 3 years.

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    23. Well read all your reviews with the 6. I recently purchased the 6 wagon and I followed all the reviews of top gear, car guide ph and other US bloggers from youtube and US Magazines. They only say one thing. This is one of the best mid size sedan in the market today. It has the best fuel consumption and one of the best exterior as well. I have driven all kinds of midsize cars from camry, accord to sonata. This is really different when you start driving this car. I would advise those People who are not sure what is like to have own one go to the nearest dealer and fo a test drive and check how it really feels.

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  2. The Mazda6 and Accord are priced about the same, just below 1,8M. They are also designed along the same line - a comfortable midsize cruiser but offers an engaging drive. In the Accord's base trim with the K24 engine, the Mazda6 with its SkyActiv 2.5L engine offers more power and usable torque. The Accord is a bit bigger and has a bigger interior but they are about equally matched. However, the Mazda6 2.5L will lag behind the Accord with the bigger 3.5L V6 engine. No wonder, they are the only Japanese cars (plus the Mazda3) to be included in Car and Driver's 10 Best cars for 2015.

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  3. This would be my dream car if I didn't have to drive it over potholes. Alas, a CX-5 remains a more practical option for local conditions.

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    Replies
    1. If you're already dreaming, why not dream that the roads we have here do not have potholes? Alas, you're only thinking of yourself!

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    2. You have a point there. Dreams don't have to be practical or limited to just individual desires.

      Reality is just so harsh sometimes. I can't fathom the amount of babysitting this wagon would require in our country compared to the relative rough and tumble an SUV can endure.

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    3. Haha exactly, I would dream of having a Mazda6 with the roads without potholes

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  4. Nope. Still goofy-looking. Someone give good reasons why anyone would pick this over the CX-5.

    The CX-5 is cheaper, 4x4, same 2.5L engine, and has higher ground clearance.

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    Replies
    1. A Mazda 6 Wagon looks sleeker than CX5.

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    2. Good reason for choosing this over a CX-5? Close-mindedness kills the imagination huh? Here are some:
      1. I already have a RAV4/CRV/Santa Fe
      2. I love to drive fast and take corners at 80-100 kph (if it is safe)
      3. I think the CX5 looks like crap
      4. My passengers are a bunch of 90-ish year olds who will have a hard time getting in a CX5

      Bigger is not always better. If that is your logic, then why the hell do manufacturers build several models? Toyota sells at least 10 models here in the Philippines. Why not just build a single model similar to the CX5? Different folks different strokes.

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    3. Rebuttals:
      1. If you already have a crossover, why would you want to get a wagon? Why not get the much better-looking mazda 6 sedan?

      2. If you want performance and handling, get a WRX instead. They're similarly priced.

      3. Contrary to your opinion, most people do not like the form of wagons. It looks dorky and too family oriented. Looks like something 40 year old fathers would drive. The CX-5 on the other hand, looks rugged while being fresh, youthful and most of all, proportional in its shape.

      4. Well, I have to agree with you, old people do have difficulty getting inside taller cars.

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  5. Kodo design is kinda better than other designs of car manufacturers for me. Some auto makers designs are dull and focused on executive looking cars than making a sporty design Some people like wagons or mid-size sedans than crossovers because of better handling. Drive feels better. People like crossovers because ride height for mild off roading. Mazda 6 buyers buy it because of the ride and space.

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  6. Pictures don't do this model justice. I've seen this car in the showroom and it looks great! Design appreciation is purely subjective so to each his own. But for me, as far as tech stuff and excitement factor go, I'd pick this over a Camry (which I have) and any Honda model you choose to name. From what I hear from my friends, only the Jazz is the Honda model worth owning. Was looking forward to the HRV since last year but having seen it in the metal over a month ago, I felt let down. Looking forward to the CX-3 next. I like the CX-5 too. I agree that it is more practical than this 6 Wagon and would choose that over any crossover in the market right now (until the 2016 Tiguan comes along, maybe). But a CX-5 won't make me give it a second look. This 6 Wagon will.

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  7. Same pa rin ba up till now yung mamahalin variant ng battery specific for Skyactiv engines?

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  8. Maybe I've just been watching too many Hollywood stereotypes, but Wagons give me a "family man" impression. Maybe that's why wagons aren't so popular here.

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    Replies
    1. You're not the only one. I think wagons really give off that stereotypical family man image. Whereas with sedans, you can pull off the smart bachelor look but with wagons, good luck trying to look single, even if you are actually single.

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    2. Superficial. The main reason wagons are not popular in the Philippines is because we share many tastes with the Americans which include big SUVs and sedans. Thankfully people here have a lot less money so smaller displacement engines are popular.

      Btw wagons are most popular in Europe. You can hardly call their tastes bad in general.

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    3. Europeans have great taste; they drive BMWs and attend David Hasselhoff concerts.

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  9. "I own this... I want that.. Compared to my.."
    Sheeesh.
    What a bunch of douchebags.can't anybody actually just give out an opinion without having to praise one's self? (Directly and indirectly) - the amount of proud people in this post is too damn high.

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  10. All these cars each poster is defending are fine -- at least up until one has to wait 45 days for a spare part to arrive from Japan.

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  11. All these cars each poster is defending are fine -- at least up until one has to wait 45 days for a spare part to arrive from Japan.

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  12. I used to be a mid-level executive for a telecoms company when I acquired my ride using our company car plan way back late 90's.....all of my colleagues got high-end Japanese sedans and SUV's.....I didn't....instead, I opted for a black Land Rover Defender 110 at 1.6 million pesos......now, after 20 years, I could still easily sell it for the original price or even higher!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Defender is my dream vehicle. Care to share the real cost of ownership so far?

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  13. hahahhaha // laughing reading the comments .. me? i love Mazda .. hahahha

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  14. FUNNY SO MANY IRRELEVANT COMMENTS. BUY YOURSELVES ONE AND ENJOY IT.

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  15. ANYONE KNOWS HOW TO ACTIVATE THE ACTIVESENSE HEADLIGHTS? JUST DISCOVERED THIS CAR HAS ONE.

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    Replies
    1. Turn your caps lock, please.

      Anyway, if you're referring to the auto dimming headlights, just turn your headlights to high beam. It will automatically toggle it between high and low beam as appropriate.

      You can also turn it off via the settings menu in the Mazda Connect system, I think.

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