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Friday, September 08 2017 15:42

Test Drive: Rockin the Road - 2017 Mazda6 GT

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When I really started working with cars on a frequent basis a few years back, Mazda was a nameplate that didn't immediately strike me as interesting. For some reason, the cars of their past were largely stuck in my head - images of the 1980s that I just couldn't shake. But once I had a real chance to experience what Mazda is now, I really became a fan. In fact, I love their CX series - with last year's CX-9 ranking among my favorite vehicles of the year. Now comes a look at the 2017 Mazda6 GT.

2017 Mazda6 Review

The Mazda6 is offered in three trims - Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. While each offers five-person seating, a 2.5L Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder engine and a combined 30 MPG (27 city/35 highway), those packages make for a big swing in price and styling despite having a lot packed in as standard. Like the CX-9 I enjoyed so much last year, the interior is gorgeous, yet sporty. The one thing that I still hope for is that they will eventually do away with any remaining infotainment screens that appear perched on the dash. This one still has that, and it's been a long-time quirk of mine.

2017 Mazda6 Review

I should note that while sedans in this class tout that "5-person seating," the back seat will be really tight with a fifth person in there. Automakers need to just start calling what these are - cars built for a family of four. Much like Kia has upped their game over the past few years, Mazda is also creating vehicle interiors that feel a bit above-class, and I dig that. The GT comes loaded with a BOSE stereo system, 7" touch screen, heated seats and mirrors, along with all the safety and security features that a family could want.

2017 Mazda6 Review

Due to my own travel schedule, I didn't get to spend as much time on the road with this one as I'd hoped, but I had enough to tell you that it's fun to drive, looks great and is a vehicle I'd happily park in the driveway. For a family car, the size is good and the mileage is absolutely excellent - to the point that they estimate a fuel cost savings of $1K over five years compared to the average new car. Highly-recommended!

The 2017 Mazda6 starts at $21,945. Grand Touring edition as-driven: $34,530

Build and price yours at https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/mazda6

2017 Mazda6 Review

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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