Mazda’s Mazda6 Signature
Mazda’s Sign-and-Drive Event
I’ve been a fan of the Mazda brand for the last few years. The lineup has improved since emerging from the dark ages that it spent as a neglected brand under the aegis of the Ford Blue Oval. Since then, it has become a source of exciting (and attractively accessible) cars and crossovers.
The days of the family sedan as a sales leader are rapidly diminishing. FCA, Ford and GM have practically given up on cars, now concentrating on the SUV/crossover segment and trucks. But the Asian and European car makers still think there’s promise in producing cars; for American drivers who still want a car, there are lots of choices. And if you want a car that looks and drives expensive but won’t bust your budget, I suggest starting at the local Mazda dealership, ‘cause I do like saving money.
I got a good look at the top of Mazda’s sedan lineup when I test drove a 2020 Machine Gray Metallic Mazda6 Signature. It sported a Parchment Napa Leather interior along with a $36,620 price tag. The Signature trim is the highest within the Mazda6 menu, with all the bells and whistles that Mazda can include, along with an awfully nice interior to boot. For comparison purposes, a base Mazda6 comes in at $24,100.
That base Mazda6 Sport trim is powered by a 187 hp, 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine. The top-of-the-line Signature gets a 250 hp, 2.5 liter turbocharged engine, a whole lot peppier than the base powertrain. Mated to a standard six-speed automatic, the Signature gets an EPA estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The turbocharged engine is pretty responsive, and even more so when you select the Sport option, which does a good job of holding gears for more power. This engine also has a cylinder deactivation feature, shutting off two cylinders when cruising to save a little more gas. It’s completely undetectable.
The Madza6 press release describes the Signature trim as “aspirational” with a “uncompromised blend of premium styling, dynamic performance and intuitive amenities”. That’s marketing speak to describe a car that’s stylish, fun to drive and loaded with tech. And that’s an accurate description of the Mazda6 Signature. The parchment Nappa Leather interior is elegant, accented by authentic Japanese Sen wood accents. It’s living room quiet at highway speeds, and offers a roomy back seat with a deep trunk.
There are a whole lot of little things that impress me with the Mazda6 overall, from the design of the key fob to the frameless rearview mirror. Little things are what luxury car buyers pay for, and clearly Mazda understands this. When you price shop the Signature with the other Japanese midsize family sedans, the Mazda6 comes out as a very attractive alternative to the rest of the field. In many ways, it’s a field of one.