2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring review: The improvements keep coming

2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

The 2017 Mazda6 is further evidence that the Japanese manufacturer does not subscribe to the idea that good enough is good enough.

Refreshed in 2016, the Mazda6 arrived for the 2017 model year with an exterior design that is unchanged from the year before. This might lead a casual observer to believe that Mazda’s work was done until a major upgrade would appear several years down the road.

Mazda6 instrument panel

Mazda6 instrument panel

But the folks at Mazda did not take a break. There are numerous improvements for 2017, many unseen, that make the mid-size sedan even more attractive to a potential buyer this year than last.

But before we get into details, let’s consider another important factor that separates Mazda from much of the rest of the pack.

Mazda6 trunk

Mazda6 trunk

As car-conscious motorists know, the mid-size sedan segment is filled with good choices. A buyer can count on most of them to come standard with high quality materials, durability, fuel-efficiency, competent handling, passenger comfort and room for five.

But Mazda believes its vehicles should go one step further. It believes, as its slogan says, that driving matters, so it builds into all of its vehicles a sporty demeanor that separates it from many of the competitors.

Obviously, the best example of the emphasis on sporty is to be found in the iconic Mazda Miata MX-5 sports car, but this dedication also applies to the 2017 Mazda6.

Yes, the ride is a bit stiffer than the primary competition, but the independent suspension provides sharper handling, too. It takes a little more oomph to turn the steering wheel, but the accuracy and feedback from the road are commendable, especially considering that the rack-and-pinion steering is electrically assisted and the Mazda6 is a front-wheel-drive sedan. Strong four-wheel disc brakes can bring the sedan to a quick stop when necessary.