Review and Test Drive: 2017 Mazda Mazda6, Now Featuring G-Vectoring Control

By Paul Riegler on 16 May 2017
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Mazda’s Mazda6 remains one of our favorite cars to drive when it comes for a week-long stay. We last reviewed it a little over a year ago, taking note of the use of the automaker’s Kodo design language – first introduced on the Shinari concept car in 2010. Kodo is something the automaker says is intended to serve as expression of natural energy. Mazda’s head of design, Ikuo Maeda, said at the time that Kodo was intended to give the small carmaker’s cars “a new sense of presence and purpose.”

For 2017, despite a mid-life refresh, you’d be hard pressed to find something that looks new from the outside. Inside and under the hood, however, is a different story.

Perhaps the most important change is the introduction of G-Vectoring Control, a feature that helps the car turn into corners with great enthusiasm. G-Vectoring Control is part of Mazda’s SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics motion control technologies and was introduced on the updated Mazda3 in the automaker’s home market and on the Mazda6 here in the States. It’s part of the company’s plan to instill “driving pleasure” in its vehicles (which, in our opinion, has already been accomplished) through the pursuit of “Jinba-Ittai,” which Mazda explains is a feeling of unity between driver and vehicle.

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When cornering, G-Vectoring Control makes minute and seemingly imperceptible adjustments to torque that induce load transfer towards the front. Even better, it works really well in practice as we found out in our week with the car.

Another feature we noticed is the addition of pedestrian detection in the i-Activsense driver assistance toolkit. It watches out for errant pedestrians when traveling at city speeds and can automatically activate the brakes if necessary. In addition, the automatic emergency-braking feature now monitors the road ahead between 9 mph (14 km/h) and 99 mph (159 km/h), up from 90 mph (145 km/h) at the upper end.

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