The 2020 Mazda6 is filled with all of the sportiness, comfort, and style that you and your budding family would ever need in a mid-size sedan. And while we can’t sing its praises enough after spending a week with it, it’s still not perfect. Technically, no car is perfect and every one of them will have its fair share of shortcomings. We did like just about everything that the Mazda6 had to offer, however, there was one particular feature that we did not enjoy and we found irritating at times.
The Mazda Connect infotainment system
We said it before and we’ll say it again: The 2020 Mazda6 is an utter joy to drive. The induction noise from the turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine is sublime and the feel of 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque is enough to pull you out of corners with ferocity and dart in and out of traffic with ease, even though we didn’t get to use all of the power all of the time while driving under normal conditions.
On the inside, we enjoyed the look of the elegant interior space and were impressed by the car’s overall interior quality. Mazda has been shifting toward a more upscale feel in all of its models over the past few years and it definitely shows in the Mazda6. Our Signature-trim test car was fitted with the 11-speaker Bose sound system, which proved to be fantastic at any sound volume, however, we just couldn’t get over the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The infotainment system consists of an 8-inch screen that sits in the middle of the dash and is controlled by a knob and a few buttons on the center console.
What’s so bad about the infotainment system?
To give Mazda some credit, we like that the screen is a touchscreen, but it’s too bad it’s only a part-time touchscreen. To clarify, as long as the car is in park or you’re traveling at a speed less than five mph, then you can touch the screen and navigate through the menus. However, once you’re past jogging-speed, the screen must be controlled by the knob. Why couldn’t they just make it a touchscreen at any speed?
We get it, it’s probably for the sake of safety and having the driver keep their hands on wheel and eyes on the road. But if other automakers can do it, why not Mazda? Also, the knob setup isn’t too bad, as there are buttons next to it to get to the “home” screen, navigation, and radio, which makes navigating the system a little easier.
But getting to some menus requires exiting out of the menu that you’re in and pressing the “back” button a few times just get where you want to go. Simply put, they could have laid out the menus in a more user-friendly fashion, and on top of it all, it takes about a full minute for the whole system to boot up and start running smoothly after you start the car. The lag time means that you have to stop in order to safely navigate to Apple Carplay or whatever other menu you want after you have already started driving. What is this? Windows 95?
Maybe we’re being a little too nitpicky
We’re fully aware that complaining about the infotainment menus and boot-up time is trivial in the grand scheme of things. But honestly, it’s actually a testament to how great the rest of the car is. If all we could find fault with is the clunky Mazda Connect infotainment system, then that’s pretty good considering the car competes in one of the toughest segments in the market. The Mazda6 might not be perfect, but at least the one shortcoming that we found was a really small one.