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Grand Touring Reserve - 1700 mile review
I posted in the newbie forum a small review after a few hundred miles, but I just went on a long trip of over 600+ miles each way so figured I'd post a more extensive review.
About the Reviewer
I am in my low 40s with kids and wanted something funner. I have always been a Mazda fan, when I was a kid my mom had a 626 and that car got totaled or I would have gotten to drive it when I turned 16. My last car was a 2010 Sonata which served its purpose as I needed a commuter car. At the time I purchased it, I hadn't had a car in quite a while as I lived in a city where I hadn't needed a car until then. I thought I was going to get a Mazda 6 then, but they had just changed the body style and didn't like it at that time. I now live in a different city where we have to have 2 cars. I got my wife a CX-5 about 2 years ago and found myself driving it all the time so it was time to get something for me. I am not a brand guy, I like what I like, never been a fan of paying for the brand name. The other car I liked in my search was a Kia Optima SXL (their top of the line Turbo). It had very similar features to the Mazda 6, but there were a few more things I liked about the Mazda 6 and also that it was a Mazda (sorry I guess I am a Mazda brand snob).
The trip I just took was pretty much straight highway the entire way with primary speed limit of 70. I was consistently in the mid to high 70s, never really doing anything crazy, passing when I had to. What I really enjoy about the car, like others have said, it doesn't blow you away when starting from a stop, but once you get going it just moves and you don't even realize how fast you are going. Never had any issues with acceleration when I needed it for passing. The car in the 80s feels like its in the 50/60s. The ride on the highway was very quite, I know Mazda made a lot of changes to keep down road noise, but I was skeptical how that would be on the highway, but it really was quiet. The ride was very smooth and never had any issues in that regard.
The handling seems fine to me, don't really notice anything there.
The brakes stop the car fine, but it does seem different to me then the CX-5 so took a little longer to get used to it. Another reviewer called them vague and I can see that a little.
One issue I had on my trip is that I hit some torrential rains, the tires were just OK in that. It could be that any tires would have had issues in this type of weather, it was really heavy. I wasn't experiencing any slipping, but something, someone in another review mentioned squishyness about the suspension which they though could be the tires, that could be it. I think the tires are fine in most weather though. I don't think its necessary to change them immediately, obviously when they wear out I'll put something better on at that point.
As for features in the car - I used the radar cruise control a little and while it works fine, it can take a few seconds when changing lanes to adjust to the new car in front or when a car in front changes lanes. I think you just have make lane changes sooner so as to not have the car slow down so much. I really didn't use it much on the trip because I feel like it makes you a little complacent and I like to adjust speed as needed, never been a big cruise control user. There were stretches with very little traffic and it was good to stretch my legs. I think it probably would be more useful in stop and go traffic so you don't have to keep pressing the break.
The lane keep assist seems a little sensitive, but I am getting used to it as I haven't had it on a car before.
Seat comfort was fantastic, 9 hours with very little stops and no back pain, big plus there. The ventilated seats are awesome and work really well cooling you off. It was mid to high 90s during the trip and cooled me well.
The heads up display is fantastic, this is my first car with one and love it
I haven't used sport mode yet, but now that I am out of the break in period will start pushing it a little more and will try that out as some point soon. I probably will never use the paddle shifters though.
Overall I LOVE this car and am very happy with my decision, every time I look at the car when parking somewhere, I think it looks amazing. I am not an enthusiast, but with this purchase, I wanted something that was luxurious, sporty, and fun to drive and still able to transport the kids safely and I definitely found it. I don't think there is a better value on the market for everything that you get in this car and to me the Reserve was the sweet spot.