Weeklong Road Test: 2010 Mazda6 Flatters Family Sedan Drivers

April 5, 2010
One of the biggest fights couples get into during trips in the family car is over the way the vehicle is being driven. Most often the passenger (otherwise known as the back-seat driver) will complain that the car is being driven too quickly and aggressively. Unfortunately many family sedans are tuned in such a way that they exacerbate this problem by making the car seem like it is going much faster than it actually is. What is the family car buyer to do then if they are suffering from this malicious malady?

Well, first off you can sell that old jalopy you call a family sedan and buy yourself a 2010 Mazda6. Every aspect of this car from the styling to the engine to the deliciously smooth six-speed manual transmission available on four-cylinder models like the iTouring variant we tested is seriously honed to perfection. To describe the 2010 Mazda6 iTouring in word would be to call it “fluid.” Fluid by design and fluid in the way it moves on the road. This is one seriously slick family sedan.

The 2010 Mazda6 iTouring model starts at $20,900 and comes standard with all the essentials like air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, stylish 17-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel mounted audio controls, 6-Disc in dash CD player, 8-way power driver’s seat, aux-input jack, cruise control and a 2.5 liter 170 horsepower four-cylinder that loves to rev.

A five speed automatic is optional but by no means necessary as the manual transmission calibration with this motor is so smooth you will never again know the shame of a harsh shift. In fact, this transmission has such a fluid (that word again) clutch calibration that no one in the car will even know you are shifting. That, along with a ride that would shame many a magic carpet conspires to make the 2010 Mazda6 a truly covert speed racer. No one in the car will ever be able to tell how fast you are going ever again.

Although the 2010 Mazda6 iTouring is not lavishly equipped you never feel like you are missing out on anything. All of the materials chosen for interior plastics and fabrics are supremely durable ensuring that even the family dog won’t be able to cause any untoward damage that a vacuum couldn’t fix. The stereo, although not the Bose unit available on higher spec 6 models, delivers rich sound through all six speakers.

Although a car’s exterior styling is always something that can only be looked at subjectively, the lines of the 2010 Mazda6 are easily the most sensual in the family sedan class. Come on, you are going to say that a Camry is better looking? Interior room is plentiful and the 16.6 cubic feet trunk is usefully shaped and has a usefully low load in height.

With the six-speed manual/four-cylinder powertrain combination the 2010 Mazda6 returns 20 miles per gallon city/29 highway. Automatic variants return 21 city/30 highway. If you have to drive an automatic the best four-cylinder Mazda6 from a value perspective is the iTouring plus model which has a standard auto as well as Bluetooth, power moonroof, anti-theft alarm, nifty electro-luminescent gauges and a Blind-Spot warning system all for just $23,750. No matter which way you add it up the 2010 Mazda6 is a lot of car for the money.

Now, the 2010 Mazda6 will never be able to solve all of your relationship issues with your significant other. But if the Mazda6 can keep you from having just one fight over the way you are driving there is no way you can deny that this qualifies it, at least in your family, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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