On the Road 12/6: 2019 Mazda 6 Signature Edition

2019 Mazda 6 Signature Edition

By: Peter Perrotta

Are mid-sized sedans like middle children – to be seen, but not heard from?

Of being a middle child, Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner says, “I am the model middle child. I am patient and I like to take care of everyone. Being called nice is a compliment. It’s not a boring way to describe me.”

Well, much like the middle child, the 2019 Mazda 6 Signature Edition is the classic mid-sized sedan. It doesn’t make a lot of waves. It certainly isn’t boring and calling it a nice, total package in this model class would certainly be a compliment.

I road tested the Mazda 6 Signature Edition for one week and found it to be exciting to drive, but not over the top and a very well rounded mid-sized sedan that has to be given serious consideration for anyone looking to buy or lease a vehicle in this segment.

The MSRP or sticker price of the Soul Red Crystal colored car I drove came in at $36,815. The base price is $35,100: $75 was added for a cargo mat; $595 for the paint; $125 for scuff plates and $920 for delivery and handling, bringing the total to $36,815.

Mazda makes it easy for their buyers to chose which model they want. Instead of offering up the sometimes confusing option package choices, they offer few option choices. Instead, your options will depend on what model you chose.

The Mazda 6 comes in five trim levels: Mazda 6 Sport ( $24,000 base); Mazda 6 Touring ($26,600); Mazda 6 Grand Touring ($29,700); Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve; and the Signature edition.

The vehicle that I tested comes standard with a 2.57 liter turbo engine with an automatic transmission and a six-speed sport mode option. It’s front wheel drive and puts out an impressive 227 horsepower at 310 pound feet of torque.

I found that the Signature 6 put out more than enough power to get you off the line quickly and smoothly and had plenty of get up and go when you took it out on the interstate as well. It handles crisply and firmly through the sharp turns as well and overall was exciting to drive.

I played around with the gear shift selector a lot, setting it at different drive train settings to see which one I liked the most. The regular drive mode was competent and provided a good all round feel to it. The automatic sport mode kicks the automatic transmission gearing up a notch and provides a bit more bang for your buck – I actually liked this mode more than the regular setting.

But, if you really want to feel what this car can do, I suggest moving the center console gear shifter over to the left and putting it in the six-speed manual paddle shifter mode, whereby you can manually shift it through its gears without having to use a clutch. This car seems to be made to be driven like this, because it really came alive while driving it in this mode.

The engine had a nice low roar as you shift the car through its gears and it was more than just a little bit fun.

Unlike many of its Japanese counterparts, the Mazda 6 Signature Edition features a traditional six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and not the CVT, or continuous variable transmissions that Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Subaru are now using in many of its production vehicles.

This traditional transmission is geared, or more specifically, has internal gears that shift the vehicle through all six of its gears while accelerating, or downshifts while decelerating.

It has been documented in online forums and in some instances, class action suits, that quite a number of these CVT transmissions fail long before the powertrain warranties have expired.

In fact, one of my close friends, recently traded in a fairly new Japanese imported car that featured a CVT transmission because it needed to be prematurely replaced while still under warranty. My friend just didn’t feel confident driving the vehicle any longer even though the dealer installed a remanufactured transmission and extended the powertrain warranty to cover it.

He traded the car in and purchased a 2020 Mazda 3 sedan – which he loves, by the way- solely because the Mazda didn’t have a CVT transmission.

CVT transmissions differ from traditional ones in that they have one continuous gear that transfers power from the engine to the driveshaft via an internal ungeared pulley system.

Standard exterior features on this Signature Edition included: 19-inch alloy wheels; rain sensing wipers; heated power side mirrors with an automatic fold option and a rear lip spoiler.

The standard interior features include: Nappa leather trimmed sport seats; ventilated and heated front seats; 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar; 6-way power front passenger seat; 8-inch color touch screen display; rearview camera; Bluetooth; a Bose AM/FM/HD stereo with 11 speakers; a leather wrapped heated steering wheel; and ultra-suede and Sen wood trim inserts.

Moreover, the Signature 6 Edition comes equipped with some impressive standard safety features including: a 60 month/ 60,000 mile powertrain warranty; 36 month, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; 24-hour roadside assistance; tire pressure monitoring system; lane departure warning system; lane keep assist and a 360-degree view monitoring system.

The EPA fuel economy rating for this vehicle comes in at 23 miles per gallon in city driving, 31 on the highway for an average of 26 mpg all around- that’s hot too shabby.

The average annual fuel cost for this vehicle comes in at $1,450.

In the government’s 5-star safety ratings crash tests it scored an impressive 5 stars in the overall score.

On the frontal crash test it got 5 stars for front seat test and 4 stars for the passenger side test.

On the side crash test, it got 5 stars for both the front seat and rear seat tests. On the rollover test it got a 4-star rating.

Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column will appear weekly. Comments and questions are welcomed. To contact him, please email [email protected]