DETROIT — In a shrinking market for cars, automakers are doing everything they can to keep consumers interested in sedans and coupes. At Mazda that meant making i-Activsense safety and driver-assisting technologies standard across all trim levels.
The i-Activsense safety features now standard in the Mazda6 Sport include Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Smart Brake Support and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop-and-go function.
We had the top-of-the-line Signature trim line and it came with a lot of equipment. Under the hood was a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that made 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
Cylinder-deactivation technology is standard on Mazda6’s 2.5-liter engine, which shuts off its two outside cylinders in cruising conditions for even more efficiency.
The engine was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The midsize sedan got 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. On startup, this engine sounded a little wimpy. But once we put our foot to the gas pedal all thoughts of weakness left.
The Mazda6 accelerated well. Gear shifts were precise and the midsized sedan was not overwhelmed by traffic. As a colleague of ours says, the 2019 Mazda6 was roadworthy.
The ride was great, the car smoothed out the roads. It had an independent front and rear suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and electric power steering.
The cabin was quiet and the sightlines were unobstructed. The Mazda6 provided a pleasant driving experience. The only quibble we had was that for some reason the audio system had a lag time. It took a few seconds between startup and it coming on line. However, we had it set on satellite radio; that may have been the cause.
The interior was clean and without a lot of clutter. There was a floating touch screen infotainment system. The instrument panel had three large circular dials. The odometer was on the left, the speedometer was in the middle and the fuel and temperature gauge filled the third one. They all were black with white lettering.
Fit and finish were great. There was parchment stitching which was the same color as the bottom half of the dash. It was so nicely done that it was difficult to tell whether the stitching was real.
The heated and cooled front seats provided plenty of support. The dash was soft-touch, there was a moonroof and both front seats were power-operated.
We’ve always said that it is the little things that can make a big difference. With the 2019 Mazda6, we thought that all four power windows being one-touch up and down was a nice touch. You would be surprised how often that feature is limited to the driver’s window.
And we were really surprised by the back seat. There seemed to be no fall-off. They had the same thickness as the front seats. There was plenty of headroom and since the Mazda6 was front-wheel drive, the tunnel didn’t seem like it was an intrusion in the interior.
What really caught our attention was when we pulled down the armrest there was a pod inside with two USB jacks in it. If that did not cause glee enough, we saw the controls for the heated back seats.
This 2019 Mazda6 was chock full of features. It had 19-inch alloy wheels, heated folding sideview mirrors with turn lamps, a heated steering wheel and a rear lip spoiler. There were automatic deeming mirrors and a heads-up display.
There were adaptive LED headlights, there was adaptive cruise control, LED taillights and dual exhaust. We had no need to use neither the navigation system nor the paddle shifters.
The car had Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Bluetooth, blindspot monitoring, automatic high beams, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and front and rear parking assist were among the equipment.
It had dynamic stability control, a traction control system and hill launch assist.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety bestowed its top rating on the 2019 Mazda6 for the car’s LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system for ease-of-use.
The 2019 Mazda6 was impressive. And when we saw the $36,520 sticker as tested, that was even more impressive.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.