- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2008

The 2009 Mazda6 will “Zoom-Zoom” into showrooms soon as a redesigned mid-sized sedan that has greater length, a wider stance, a more spacious interior, along with powerful engines all packaged in a visually dynamic exterior — which for the first time, is being made in the U.S., specifically for the North American market.

Mazda recognizes that the mid-size automobile segment exceeds that of SUVs, crossovers, minivans, and luxury models by a wide margin.

With its updated 2009 Mazda6, this Japanese automaker focused on designing a car with a sporty appearance and a highly dynamic driving personality, along with a newly styled exterior, an upgraded interior and more amenities. Gone is the cab-forward design, replaced by more “classic” overall proportions, with a long hood and short overhangs. Sharp edges have been synchronized with richly curved surfaces.

The lessons learned from the first Mazda6 and Mazda’s newest and attention-garnering models — specifically the CX-7 and award-winning CX-9-have been incorporated, using a “clean-sheet approach” that also includes a sculpted front fender suggestive of the fenders found on the newest RX-8.

Mazda says this look is synonymous with its “Zoom-Zoom Spirit”.The four-door sedan bodystyle, which includes a comprehensive choice of equipment levels, interior colors and distinct interior trims, is offered in two basic powertrains: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC engine and a 3.7-liter V-6.

An efficient and responsive six-speed Sport AT automatic transmission with manual shift mode is available with both engines.

Fuel economy on Mazda’s I-4 goes up (EPA highway increases from 28 to 30 mpg), mostly from transmission improvements.

Helping the Mazda6 move from the bottom to the top of the mid-size class is a 4.5-inch-longer wheelbase (109.8 inches) with a wider front and rear track.

Length overall is greater by 6.1 inches and width is increased by 2.3 inches. The 6´s larger size also brings an increase in trunk space, by close to 10 percent. Also new are 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch wheel choices.Standard on all models is fully independent suspension; four-wheel disc brakes with ABS; power rack-and-pinion steering; air conditioning with a pollen filter; power door locks and windows; a tilt and telescopic steering wheel; height-adjustable driver’s seat; 60/40 split-folding rear seats; and two 12-volt power outlets. Safety features include six air bags; side-impact door beams; LATCH rear child-seat anchors and tethers; tire pressure monitoring system; traction control; an engine-immobilizing, anti-theft system; and new as a standard feature - Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).

AM/FM stereo receiver, with CD play capability; MP3 and Sirius sat- ellite compatibility; six speakers; and steering wheel-mounted controls are part of the standard sound system.

Updated Mazda6 Touring and Grand Touring models feature advanced keyless entry that automatically unlocks the doors upon approach and enables push-button starting. The 2009 Mazda6 is the first non-luxury, mid-size sedan to offer Bluetooth connectivity for personal audio systems.

Its MP3 equipment can be attached to the vehicle´s sound system via an auxiliary audio input jack.

Besides Performance White and Ebony Black, seven metallic hues-Kona Blue, Black Cherry, Comet Gray, Light Ice Blue, Brilliant Silver, Smokestone and Sangria Red - are available. Inside, cloth, cloth and leather, and leather interiors trim coordinating with beige, gray, and black to enhance the interior.

Available equipment for all models at Mazda dealers includes in-dash 6-CD changer; a remote starting system; a Sirius satellite radio subscription; fog lamps; splash guards; moonroof wind deflector; rear bumper guard; decklid spoiler; wheel locks; automatic-dimming rear-view mirror; all-weather floor mats; cargo net; and an interior mirror with Homelink and compass functions.

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