Text: Jude Morte / Photos: Jude Morte | posted March 11, 2008 00:00
Second time's a charm
Resembling its Mazda 3 compact passenger car (as well as maintaining a singular visual identity), the new Mazda 6 is billed as the ultimate definition of adult style, designed to deliver total satisfaction to those who seek life's rewards. The front fenders emphasize the wheels and tires, and the short overhangs complement its projected sportiness. The side styling conveys tension and reflects the inherently Japanese ma (the spaces between things) aesthetic to emphasize design cues such as the deliberate intervals between highlights.
Unlike other executive sedans that subtly remind potential owners to sit in the back seat and enjoy the ride, the Php 1.499M Mazda 6 begs to be driven. The cockpit is laid out for full driver involvement without being cramped, lending itself to quick and quasi-instinctive operation. For example, a sliding center armrest between the front seats allows the driver to rest his or her elbow for greater comfort during long drives or even in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Mazda retained the inline-four cylinder from the previous model (along with its Variable Intake System electronic throttle body control and Sequential Valve Timing), but this time bumping displacement 200 cc more for 2.5L liters -168 hp and 226 NM of torque to be exact - of zoom-zoom. The five-speed a/t now has Active Adaptive Shift for a linear, lively shift feel that adapts to the driver's style and road conditions. A rack-drive Electric Power Assist Steering keeps the nose planted properly, be it in cramped city maneuvers, hard cornering or emergency change-of-lane movement. For supreme deceleration, four wheel ABS, coupled with Dynamic Stability Control, now finds itself within the mechanical and electronic confines of the engine bay for peace of mind during sudden, hard stops.
These enhancements are sure to bring out the close emotional ties between owner/driver and the car, making the second-generation Mazda 6 a charmer for a second time.