Road trip in the 2016 Mazda 6

I'm a proud mini van driving mama but our current mini van is nearing it's end of days with nearly 150,000 miles and at the ripe old age of 12 years old.  
I like to joke that large money decisions usually take my husband 1 month for every $1,000 that is involved.  It took us three years to replace our last mini van {yep, my previous ride was a mini van we called the pickle because of it's awesome 90's hunter green color.  Be jealous.}.  Sadly, I'm anticipating the same long process as we prepare to replace my current van and since technology has quickly progressed and there are so many new features on cars {holy cow it's like The Jetson's!  I had no idea you could start a car with a push button!} I've started test driving cars to find out what features are important to me and deciding if now that my kids are all car seat free if my options have opened to allow for an SUV or a sedan. You can read our review from last month of the Mitsubishi Outlander here.
This month, my oldest son Aidan and I test drove a 2016 Mazda 6 {zoom zoom} on a road trip {what better way to break in a car than on a road trip!} to Walla Walla, Washington for The Gentleman of the Road music festival {Foofighters and Mumford and Sons...the perfect mother/son bonding!}.

Because I care less about the nitty gritty of how a car works and more on how easy a car is to drive, Aidan will be writing up his thoughts on the cars features. I will be giving my two cents on what I loved and what I didn't love about this classy sedan after driving it for a week so that you can use our insights in case you find yourself car shopping.  
For those of you who aren't familiar with our great state of Washington, Walla Walla is best known for it's wine tasting weekends and their delicious sweet Walla Walla onions.  Just over the mountain pass in Eastern Washington and about five hours from home, Walla Walla makes for a great weekend getaway.
Aidan and my husband are the ones that typically call out a car and talk about how nice it looks. Cars usually look like cars to me, but when I saw the Mazda 6, I couldn't help but think that it had a really nice shape to it and it was indeed a pretty sweet looking ride. The car also had some pretty sweet two toned leather sports seats with accent stitching making the car not only good looking on the outside but on the inside as well.
After driving the Mitsubishi Outlander, I sort of fell in love with the adaptive cruise control feature. The Mazda 6 has adaptive cruise control as well and it made it really easy to road trip. Adaptive cruise is high on my list of features that I want to have in a new car.  I also really liked the blind spot detector.  The Bose® sound system was a really nice feature too, especially since we were amped up after hearing some good live music.
Now that I've hit on the most important features {for me at least!}, Aidan will give you his run down and thoughts on the car.

Aidan here. In the last review that my mom and I did of the Mitsubishi Outlander, I spent most of my time describing the Outlander as a good car that just fell short of its competition. This review, however, will be much different because while the Outlander had competition to try and live up to, the Mazda 6's competition must try and live up to it. 

First and foremost, I have to address how good this car looks. Most of the cars in its class all look like simple, run of the mill family sedans {which I guess is to be expected as they are family sedans}. The Mazda is different.

To find a car that looks similar, one must travel far out of the family sedan class and into the realm of high end luxury sedans like the Maserati Ghibli or the Mercedes C class. Inside, the car continues to play the luxury part with the two tone leather seats with accent stitching, a head up display that pops out of the dashboard when the car starts, a tablet-like navigation screen, and extra electronic assists that make driving easier and more fun.

During our road trip, we were able to test out the car in pretty much every setting possible. We took it on city streets, long interstate stretches, mountain passes, and winding country roads and I found the Mazda 6 to be comfortable and luxurious in every setting. There were, however, some minor issues and one not so minor issue.

To start, the voice control system was utterly incompetent and basically unusable. Second, the GPS was very hard to program and I couldn't ever manage to find out how to turn up the volume on it, and lastly the center console controls seemed less driver friendly and more passenger friendly {though I'm sure they would get easier to use with time}.

The most major problem of them all, however, was the lack of an engine upgrade. The four-cylinder engine was just fine in the city, but when we had to go for a pass on a two lane highway in the middle of the night, some get-up-and-go would have been nice. Additionally, for a four-cylinder, the gas mileage wasn't even that great. We averaged 31MPG consistently on the freeway stretches which really isn't that great considering my turn-of-the-century Toyota Camry V6 gets roughly the same under similar circumstances.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a fast or fuel efficient car, this may not be the car for you. If, however, you are looking for a car that looks nice, has features that its competition just can't provide, will last a long time, and has room for your whole family at a good price {use this to determine what a "good" price is for you}, the 2016 Mazda 6 is the perfect choice for your next car.
Thanks Aidan!  Some great insights from the road trip passenger.  I loved driving the Mazda 6, but even though my kids are getting bigger, I probably don't see us replacing our van with a sedan, simply because it's just not a comfortable option for a family of five. Three big kids lining the back seat just isn't my idea of a good time, especially if we had a long trip to make.  It would be a great car if you don't often have the max seating capacity full the majority of the time! 
To see what else I've been driving
Mitsubishi Outlander
Kia Sedona

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