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Red Hot Mazda6

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It may look like the posh car you’d like to be driving in the city, but the Mazda6 2.5L Skyactiv-G is one of the toughest road warriors around. We know. We took it for an off-road drive around the sandy shores of Calatagan, Batangas

Waking up to find the Soul Red Mazda6 2.5L parked in my driveway was one of the best birthday presents ever. Sex on wheels, I thought. It scared me a little.

As I pulled out onto the road, heads turned, cars slowed down, the clouds parted, the birds started singing—you get the picture.

I had driven off so fast, I had forgotten to check the plates to see if the car was banned by number coding that day. So I pull up to the pavement and get out.

The minute I do, the car behind me slows to a stop. I can see it’s a male driver. Surprise: He doesn’t honk his horn. He just waits

Another car slows down to a crawl alongside me. A young guy. It was broad daylight but I got the creeps. I quickly check the plate (Safe!), hop back in behind the wheel, and speed off.

This red hot car was giving men the wrong impression. Or, more likely, they just wanted to ogle the car, never mind the crazy woman driving it who gets out to look at the license plate.

Form Plus Function

The Mazda 6 goes beyond sexy. It is a powerful road warrior that handles like a sports car. But it is just high enough not to catch on stones (or surprisingly high speed bumps), but rides low enough so that you look sexy hopping in and out of it.

A sports car’s height would be under 1400 (e.g., the Genesis Coupe is 1385mm). The Mazda6’s ground clearance is just 50mm above that, but it’s still lower than a Camry (1470mm) or a Kizashi (1480), which explains the low, sexy profile responsible for turning heads.

The elongated bonnet, which denotes a large engine, is another reason the Mazda6 almost gets the same attention a Porsche would on the road.

The previous evolution of the Mazda6 drew lots of flak for its wide turning radius. Well, the old battleship handling around corners is gone in the latest Mazda6. We didn’t have a problem turning tight corners even on sand and rocky roads.

Check out the 5.5m turning radius, exactly the turning radius of a Carens or Kizashi.

Our only bone to pick is with the car’s Bluetooth system. It kept dropping the connection no matter which gadget we used (Galaxy Tab, S3, HTC One, or iPod Touch).

Space Management

The unusual length of the Mazda6 is justified given the 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine, roomy interiors (for both driver and all passengers), and extended boot space.

You can use the deep boot for hauling golf clubs, bikes, your longest luggage (four of them), and even taking a nap. The cabin space is so roomy, two people at a time can change into their swimsuit and two adults and one child can fall into deep slumber in the backseat even with the front seats pushed back.

The headroom, already comfortable even at the highest driver’s seat setting, feels even higher with the sunroof open.

Fuel economy

If you fall in love with the Mazda6, the farthest thing from your mind would be fuel economy. For one thing, you will have to constantly resist the urge to drive faster. But even when you do, you won’t be guzzling that much petrol.

Where else can you get this kind of speed (0–100kph in 8.1sec) and handling for around 8km/liter? That’s the rated city driving, but we found that it performed much better than promised.

With the unpredictable roads in Calatagan, the tendency to floor the accelerator on SLEX, and keeping the AC on at rest stops (in other words, the fuel consumption of an actual motorist, not a car reviewer), we used up 36.17L

for 435km or 12.03km/liter. (Check out the pictures of the gauges.) And guess what? We didn’t even have the fuel-saving i-Stop function on during the entire drive.

The Mazda6 is near perfect. It handles well, looks amazing, and Mazda offers a three-year guarantee (or 100,000km) on parts, service, and lubricants.

 

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