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 for a midsize sedan.
Current Mazda 6
Sport, Touring and Grand Touring are the three trim levels for the current Mazda 6. Standard equipment on the base Sport includes alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a Bluetooth-compatible touchscreen stereo and a rearview camera.
Stepping up to the Touring adds items such as keyless ignition and entry, automatic headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, imitation leather seats, low-speed automatic braking and blind-spot monitoring. The Grand Touring model adds a moonroof, leather upholstery, LED headlights, a Bose stereo with navigation, and a head-up display along with higher-speed collision warning and automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. Many of the comfort and convenience features from the Grand Touring model can be added to the Touring, and the Grand Touring can be enhanced with an upgraded interior, as well as the i-Eloop system that improves fuel economy by 2 to 3 mpg.
All Mazda 6 midsize sedans come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The Sport model can be had with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles is optional on the Sport and standard on other trim levels.
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 the lack of a more powerful engine option and a ride that some drivers might deem a tad too stiff.
Read the most recent 2017 Mazda 6 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Mazda 6 page.
For more on past Mazda 6 models, view our Mazda 6 history page.