When the four-cylinder Mazda 6 i Touring showed up to our office, I had my doubts that the 170-hp engine could keep up with the larger body style of the 6, especially when mated to the automatic transmission. But 120 miles later, I can say that I was wrong. The Mazda's engine is more than capable, and the five-speed automatic transmission isn't lazy. As a result, the Mazda6 is actually a peppy car.
The interior is fantastic; the quality of materials is pleasant to look at. It's easy to think you're in a much more expensive car than the $24,500 base price. Our test unit was not optioned out very much, receiving only the aforementioned five-speed automatic and satellite radio.
Unusually for a Mazda, however, the 6's steering felt numb on center and tended to float at high speeds. I noticed it a lot on the highway, where the steering wheel took constant adjustment to keep the car centered in the lane. I didn't feel the road like I have in other Mazda products, or even our Four Seasons Mazda 3 for that matter.
Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator