Mazda Mazda6

Model Overview

The Mazda6 sedan is one of the sportier models in the midsize family sedan segment and competes against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata.


The first-generation Mazda6 sedan arrived in the 2003 model year as a replacement for the Mazda 626 and Millenia sedans. The original car was powered by either a 160-hp 2.3-liter I-4 or an optional 220-hp 3.0-liter V-6. Four-door hatchback and wagon body styles were added in 2004.

After a year behind the wheel, we said, “The Mazda6 is a pleasant, sportier alternative to a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. The Sport package-equipped, 2.3-liter I-4 five-speed car also is a nice surprise and an even better value. While we’re not sure how many German engineers lost sleep over the 6’s arrival in the marketplace, it at least made the competition take a second look. So should you.”

A high-performance Mazdaspeed6 was introduced for the 2006 model year and was powered by a 274-hp 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4 mated to a six-speed manual and all-wheel-drive system.

Although we were impressed by the Mazdaspeed6 in our comparison test, it finished behind the Subaru Legacy GT spec.B: “This face-off doesn’t come down to a question of good or bad, but rather better and best. Either of these stellar sedans can serve up enthusiast-grade excitement on demand. Despite the Mazdaspeed6’s impressive handling prowess, not insignificant price advantage, and–to many eyes–more attractive styling, the quicker and more accommodating Subaru Legacy GT spec.B is the better choice. It delivers a grander touring experience that’s easier and more enjoyable to live with on an everyday basis–for you and for your significant others.”

The second-generation Mazda6 arrived in 2009 as a sedan only. Engine choices included a 170-hp 2.5-liter I-4 or a 272-hp 3.7-liter V-6. The fire-breathing Mazdaspeed6 didn’t make the cut for the second-generation model.  After a year behind the wheel of a 2009 Mazda6 S GT with the V-6 with the six-speed automatic, we said: “All in, we were happy with this second-generation 6; it did everything required of it and never complained, all while looking nice, performing well, and giving us no service hassle. Staffers here would not hesitate to recommend a Mazda6 to family and friends. It’s not surprising, then, that we were sorry to see it leave the MT fleet.”

In our testing of a 2012 Mazda6 I Sport with the 2.5-liter and six-speed manual, we said: “After our most recent test, we’re still duly impressed. The Mazda6 i Sport remains a solid choice in the midsize segment for a family of five that doesn’t want or need an SUV, has a budget of less than $22,000, and isn’t worried about waiting for the new model.”

The Latest Generation

The third-generation Mazda6 arrived for the 2014 model year with the automaker’s new Kodo design language draped over the new Skyactiv architecture. Power comes from a new 2.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder rated 184 hp and 185 lb-ft backed by either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The Mazda6 finished first ahead of the Honda Accord Sport and Toyota Camry SE in a midsize sedan comparison test. We said: “Graceful and athletic, the ’6 is a dynamic doozy—a driver’s car that’s easy on the eyes.”

Although the Mazda6 sedan has received much praise for its attractive styling, premium interior, and sporty driving experience, Mazda refreshed the midsize sedan for the 2016 model year with a bolder front end and available LED headlights outside and a revised dashboard and updated infotainment system and available Head-Up Display (HUD) inside.

Why You’d Consider One

The Mazda6 has become one of the sportiest and most attractive cars in its segment.

Why You’d Look Elsewhere

The Mazda6 isn’t the most spacious car in its class, and at least so far in this generation, there’s no engine-upgrade option.




Body Types: Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
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Other Mazda Models


25 City / 33 Hwy*


25 City / 31 Hwy*


22 City / 28 Hwy*


26 City / 35 Hwy*


26 City / 34 Hwy*

*EPA mileage varies based on a number of factors including but not limited to model, drivetrain, transmission and bodystyle. Actual mileage varies.