For a drive down to Temecula for wine tasting with my dad, I wanted something fancy for the weekend. So I was super excited when DriveShop provided me with a 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring—in cherry red—for the roadie. DriveShop provided me with this car in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
When the car was dropped off, I was immediately impressed with the bells and whistles. Here’s the thing: my car is an oldie but goodie. We still hang tough, but it was definitely nice to check out some of the fun, new technology.
Another fun fact: My dad is 6’4”…and we were going on a mini road trip. I needed a car that would have enough room for him (not to mention me, as I am not short) but was still a car that was great for roadtrips. The Mazda6 Grand Touring fit the bill.
Here’s my Mazda6 Grand Touring review:
- Space: Let’s just get this one out of the way. My 6’4” dad had plenty of space in the passenger side of the Mazda. This was a big thing for me, as I knew we were going to get stuck in LA traffic and I wanted both of us, especially him, to be comfortable for the ride. He had legroom and there was still even space in the back for additional riders, had we had any.
- Aesthetics: The car is super sleek. The cherry red was actually really pretty, and the car’s streamlined design made it look like a cool ride. I have to admit I felt a little fancy driving it around.
- Keyless Entry: This is one of my favorite features about the car. Provided that you have the key on you, you can unlock the doors by simply pushing a button on the handle that unlocks the doors. This is super clutch for me because I am constantly 1) carrying too much; and 2) looking for my car keys. Problem solved.
- Navigation: Given that we had never been to Temecula before, we put that navigation to work. We were all over SoCal with the help of the navigator. After playing with the system, I was able to figure out how to see the whole route, which was great for game planning. We really did put the nav to work, as we even made a little side trip with its help.
- Push to Start Engine: No keys, push to start. Enough said.
- Gas Mileage: The Mazda6 Grand Touring has excellent gas mileage. We went about 500 miles over the course of the weekend and only had to fill up once. Not to mention that there was still just under 100 miles of gas left in the car. But the best part for me was the gas monitor that told you how many miles you had left until you had to refill. I am constantly guessing on how long I have to go before I really run out of gas so this was a great feature.
- Blind Spot Monitoring System and Lane Change Alert: The Sky Active technology was definitely a plus to have the system light up whenever someone was in your blind spot. Whenever someone is on either side within a car length, the mirror on that side lights up to let you know someone is there. This is great for road trips (and LA traffic, where they are known to be reckless), to take your driving up a notch. But if you go to get into a new lane, and the mirror thinks you are too close to the car in the next lane it beeps at you. While this is great if you are actually departing from your lane, I live in Los Angeles; there is always going to be someone “close” or closer than the car would like. There are like a billion cars on the roads here (okay, I exaggerate, but not by much). There was a similar alert on the dash that let you know if it felt you were too close to the car in front of you. We are in bumper-to-bumper gridlock; of course I’m not at least a car length away from the car in front of me. 🙂
- Trunk Space: My dad had a huge (one of the biggest I have seen, for some reason) bag and it fit into the trunk with total ease. The trunk is super deep, and it also fit my weekender, tote bag, and a nice haul of wine that we brought back from Temecula with room to spare. I also like that you can let down the back seats from the trunk itself, if you have an oversized item.
- Bluetooth Phone Usage: This is especially clutch in hands-free California. I liked the ability to call using the Bluetooth system in the car. But it could have been my lack of tech savvy but when the car was hooked up to the phone, I didn’t get sound notifications of text messages coming in. It’s like the car muted all other sounds other than the ringing. This was a bit inconvenient, especially when my dad landed at LAX and I was wondering if he had made it yet, but didn’t get a text sound notification because the car was hooked up. Again, this could have been me not knowing how to properly use the technology, so I would need to read up to find out if this is user error (likely). But it was definitely nice not to have to use headsets since California is hands free.
- Rearview Camera: The rearview camera comes up full screen when in reverse and it is remarkably accurate.
- The Ride: We spent quite a lot of time in the Mazda6 Grand Touring, and I can say that the ride was fantastic. It was super smooth, even when accelerating.
All in all, I really enjoyed the Mazd6 Grand Touring. It was a great amount of space for my needs, had Bluetooth and navigation, and that gas mileage monitor was clutch. The car gave me a great perspective on Mazda, and I was pleasantly surprised. And my dad liked it as well.