Executive sedans: cars driven by everyone else and not by their owners. That’s for the most part, and I think that’s a bit of a fair generalization. I never understood it, as I’m one to be behind the wheel more, rather than be in the back seat. What I do appreciate, though, is the fact that such sedans do have such great interior amenities that one won’t mind being chauffeured around.
The Mazda6 is one such beast. Interior space and comfort aplenty, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s an absolute looker either. Just look at it, seriously. Fortunately I was able to do just that, as well as ride and drive it, too. For someone who likes driving more than being a passenger, but at the same time one who appreciates the occasional back seat lazing, how did Mazda’s big sedan tickle my fancy?
Let’s start with how it looks. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you’re a driver or a passenger. This sedan is beautiful. Mazda’s design language has grown and changed a lot through the years, with many saying that all their cars have started looking the same. Maybe these people are right. But looking at the Kodo design philosophy and how it’s translated onto the Mazda6, maybe that’s what Kodo was “made” for in the first place. The gaping grill, the massive hood, those fender arches, they all serve to “tame” how, well, long and wide the car really is. Arches on the bumper and a slim chrome accent piece where one would expect fog lights would be, along with a chin spoiler add to an aggressive look up front.
On the sides, your eyes are (definitely) drawn to the curves on the fenders, the lines low on the doors. There is no doubting that the Mazda6 is one long car, but these lines flow front to back to hide its heft. Despite a rather rakish roof, the windows are quite big. It somehow balances its side profile; and the black trim and chrome accents break what could be the monotony of the wide silver panels of our test unit.
At the back, the tail lights sweep from one side to the other, complemented well by a long chrome piece that spans the length of the trunk, and serving as its garnish, too. Speaking of which, the smallest “panel” that you’d see on the Mazda6 is probably the trunk lid. Don’t let it fool you, though. Despite it not bulging up and out of the rear bumper (which has the same svelte lines of the front bumper corners), the space it hides within is absolutely cavernous; but more on that later. The icing on the rear end cake: dual exhaust pipes. Can this really be a sporty executive sedan? Let’s see.
Once you step into the Mazda6, it only gets better. Again, whether you’re driving or are a passenger in front or at the back, there is no shortage of “executive” and ”class” in the cabin. Granted, the layout of the dash is pretty much standard across Mazda’s lineup, but the 6 is something special. How so? Materials. The piano black accent pieces are still there, as are the brushed aluminum trimmings. But what makes it stand out is their choice of interior color, which they call deep chestnut nappa leather. While most executive sedans go the black or beige route, the Mazda6’s upholstery of choice makes it stand out among its peers. How often do we see a dark brown shade in a Japanese car’s cabin, right?
There’s also no shortage on Mazda’s attention to details for their executive sedan. The dashboard itself has what looks and feels to be Alcantara suede spanning its entire width. Finishing it off, and on top, is the familiar brushed aluminum piece running to the bottom of the side air-conditioning vents. Look closer and you’ll see that on the side, it is perfectly aligned with that of the door opener, and its own accompanying aluminum trim – the same goes with the rear and its door opener, too. Now that is subtle and elegant at the same time.
The seats have all the makings of a proper D-segment car, too. Firm cushions, ample bolsters, a soft headrest, and best of all, ventilated front seats make rides and drives comfortable and enjoyable at the same time. As for the back seat, every “executive” who opts to sit in the rear will be treated to good headroom, generous leg room, the same cushy seats, rear A/C vents, and arm rest that has its own cup holders, a recess for mobile phones, and USB ports for charging, too. Good reasons for opting to be a passenger in the Mazda6, really.
Now, here’s where we really get to it. Despite being an executive sedan, is the Mazda6 a car that begs to be ridden, or is it something that can also be driven by the same discerning individual? I did mention earlier that I’d rather be behind the wheel, and at the same time I appreciate being driven around while lounging in the back seat, too. My verdict: this car just begs to be enjoyed whilst being driven, but you should also take time to be a passenger in it. What an oxymoron that is, but just hear me out.
Unlike (most of) its competition, this Mazda6 is diesel-fed. Now that may be off-putting for most enthusiasts but believe me when I tell you that the pull on this car is something you must feel. Once you mash that accelerator, both the torque and power are more than enough to satisfy even the most discerning gear head. It is by no means a machine meant for high-performance driving, but it holds its own on a straight line and in the corners. Add the fact that it goes up to around 11.5 km/L even with horrendous traffic, your yuppy (or upper echelon executive) wallet isn’t feeding a guzzler at all. That’s what’s great about the Mazda6.
The not-so-good: its price tag. At PhP 2,250,000, it is a bit steep. That being said, the cost alone would leave it more for the executive rather than the enthusiast class of owners. But if the extra coin is of no consequence, or if you, regardless of your sneaker-wearing or tie-toting attire and lifestyle just want the best of both worlds as both a driver or a passenger, then it’s worth remembering that with the Mazda6, no chauffeur is required to enjoy it.