Mazda 6 sees chassis, interior enhancements for 2017

August 9, 2016

High on the list of "cars that should sell better, but do not" sits the Mazda 6 mid-size sedan, which the Japanese automaker has refreshed for the 2017 model year. Mazda put most of its focus on updating the 6's interior and its safety equipment, but its chassis hasn't gone untouched. 

Outside, the 6's only update is a new Machine Gray Metallic paint color, which Mazda is very proud of. How proud? They devoted 150 words to the shade.

MORE: Read our review of the 2016 Mazda 6

Here's where you should start paying attention: The 2017 Mazda6 gets a new three-spoke steering wheel cribbed from the automaker's all-new 2017 CX-9 that is available with an integrated heating element for its rim. Opt for the range-topping 6 Touring with the Premium Package i and the wheel features special "chidori" patterning to the thread that holds its leather wrapping together.

A full color TFT screen in the instrument cluster replaces the dowdy monochrome screen in last year's model to display fuel and temperature information. Comfort and convenience also sees an update: A new center armrest and available seat heaters should improve things for back seat passengers, while everyone will benefit from the available, upgraded Nappa leather seating surfaces.

On the safety front, Mazda's available i-Activesense suite of collision avoidance tech is now capable of detecting (and braking for) pedestrians at urban speeds. 

MUST SEE: Watch the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF video preview

Mazdas are about driving, and to that end the automaker has added its new G-Vectoring Control System, which works like "trail braking" by applying engine braking when the wheels are turned to shift weight forward. The end goal is to increase grip on the front tires in order to maximize turn-in tenacity. Once the turn is held, the system releases the torque load to transfer weight to the rear of the car. Mazda says that the deceleration force is subtle—just 0.01 g or less—in order to retain a more natural feel on the road. 

The company also promises improvements to combating noise, vibration, and harshness.

No announcement has been made regarding pricing or just when the updated 2017 Mazda 6 will go on sale.

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