Some make their presence felt, while others make an impression. Mazda’s 2017 Edition Mazda 6 and the new CX-3 compact crossover achieve both.
Beneficiaries of Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion design philosophy, both cars are iterations of the harmony between form and purpose.
They may be different in purpose and intent, but both cars carry the same impressive bearing that sees them stand out in their respective classes.
The standard bearer
As the flagship of Mazda’s impressive line-up, the Mazda 6 has won accolades for its blend of suave masculine good looks and sophisticated lines.
When I first saw the car, it took a while to look past the car’s front, with its dynamic front grille, signature wings and LED headlights. Looking beyond that, I was taken by the elegance that flows through the rest of its executive-sized form.
But this confidence is more than skin deep, as I experienced first-hand the car’s ability to tackle the demands of Singapore’s jam-packed roads. Fortunately, I had the privilege of being cocooned in an extremely well-appointed cabin.
In its Super Luxury form, the 2017 Edition Mazda 6 offered an inspiring drive with its 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine offering 192PS and 256Nm of torque on tap. Mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, performance came effortlessly as the car revs to speed smoothly.
Mazda’s SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY combines power from the engine with its transmission and chassis set-up to offer greater fuel efficiency.
In this most powerful form, the car took on whatever the roads threw at it with greater athleticism. And while the ride was supple enough to soak up the bumpy imperfections on the roads that I drove on, Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system enhanced the ride comfort, in particular around tight bends, enabling the car to remain balanced and respond precisely.
There was minimal movement of passengers comfortably ensconced within its plush cabin.
Inside, the Active Driving Display (head-up display) for speed and directions, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) were most welcome. The Super Luxury variant also features a Driver Attention Alert function (DAA), as well as a front and rear Smart City Brake System (SCBS) that kicks in when necessary to ensure a smooth and safe journey.
The engineering and design teams at Mazda have created an interior cabin that appeals to the senses. Each of the car’s multiple touch points — from door handles to centre console — are encased in leather.
For the active ones who prefer a little more boot space, the 2017 Edition Mazda 6 is also available in a more versatile wagon form that offers an impressive 522L of real estate in the boot with the hatched fifth door make loading gear and even furry friends a breeze.
The city slicker
The ultra sporty CX-3 stands out for the way it has made motoring in the city fun.
Under the bonnet, the car packed a very sprightly 2.0-litre engine and six-speed automatic transmission that readily channelled 156PS and 204Nm of torque to the front wheels, seamlessly matching the pressure on the throttle.
During my drive, thanks to Mazda’s SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, the car delivered a lively performance. Flicking the switch to Sport mode saw it react to my inputs with extra vim and vigour. The CX-3 handled whatever I asked of it like a champ. Most times, it was as if I was willing the car into motion, taking corners easily with sure-footedness.
The CX-3’s interior is minimalistic, yet wonderfully comfortable. Leather and Lux Suede seats offered a touch of style while metallic finish parts along the dashboard exude a futuristic vibe.
The car features Mazda’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control System (TCS) — these functions provided an added confidence boost.
To further stretch my tank of petrol, there was Mazda’s i-Stop idling stop system that cuts the engine at traffic lights.
Like the 2017 Edition Mazda 6, the CX-3 also has an Active Driving Display (head-up display) which allows for easy access to essential driving information. The commander control also makes navigation on the MZD Connect infotainment system a breeze. Adding to the overall premium feel, the deluxe variant also comes with a 7-speaker Bose system, enhancing the overall driving experience.
Looking past the CX-3’s utilitarian first impression, I was very impressed with its honest-to-goodness nature that connected me with the joys of driving a car that is comfortably spacious, nifty and spry.