With a few well-established vehicles dominating the midsize sedan segment, and numerous likable competitors trying to unseat them, it's tough for any particular vehicle to stand out. But the Mazda 6 has often offered something most competitors don't: charisma.
While just about any car in this segment will get the job done, the Mazda 6 manages to engage the driver in the process. This was particularly true of the first-generation 6, which had a relatively compact, European-size footprint and sporty suspension tuning that gave the car a remarkably nimble feel. For the second- and third-generation 6, Mazda enlarged the dimensions but retained much of the original model's handling panache. Whichever vintage you choose, the Mazda 6 is a solid choice as a midsize sedan.
Current Mazda 6
The Mazda 6 midsize sedan comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Two transmissions are available: a six speed manual or a six-speed automatic (with shift paddles on the steering wheel).
Sport, Touring and Grand Touring are the three trim levels for the current Mazda 6. Standard equipment on the base Sport with the manual transmission includes a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a 60/40-split rear seat and a six-speaker sound system. The automatic transmission-equipped Sport gets Bluetooth, an infotainment touchscreen and a rearview camera.
Stepping up to the Touring adds items such as keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control and a power-adjustable driver seat. Options for the Touring include automatic headlights, a sunroof, an upgraded sound system, navigation and a frontal collision mitigation system. The Grand Touring gets all the standard and optional features from the Touring, plus bi-xenon headlights, foglights, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Notable options for the Grand Touring include adaptive cruise control and the i-Eloop system that improves fuel economy by 2-3 mpg.
Visually, the 6 is no wallflower, with a distinctive face and a sleek profile that stands out in a crowd. In terms of practicality, the Mazda 6 also stacks up well against class leaders such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with regard to passenger space and cargo volume. Moreover, most midsize sedans can't match the Mazda's entertaining character on twisty back roads. The car's main downsides are an electronic interface that's a little behind the times and a ride quality that some drivers might deem a tad too stiff.
Read the most recent 2015 Mazda Mazda6 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Mazda Mazda6 page.
For more on past Mazda Mazda6 models, view our Mazda Mazda6 history page.