The Mazda Mazda6 is a midsize, front-wheel drive five-passenger sedan. Introduced in 2003, the Mazda6 brings much-desired verve to a crowded segment, forever disproving the tired notion that mainstream family sedans must be boring.
2014 to Present: Mazda Mazda6
The third-generation Mazda6 arrived on the market for the 2014 model year. Unlike the earlier versions of this sedan, only front-wheel drive is available. The latest generation features Skyactiv technologies, which are defined as a lightweight vehicle structure complemented by advanced engines and transmissions.
The Mazda6 is one of the few midsize cars still offered with a manual gearbox. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque is standard, and paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
An athletic presence best describes this sedan’s demeanor. From bumper to bumper, the Mazda6 projects energy with its active flowing lines. Its broad grille is accented by sleek, wraparound headlamps and a lower air intake punctuated by stylish embrasures housing the available fog lamps.
Along its sides, the beltline rises to the raised rear deck while the roofline sweeps back to that same deck. Distinctive profile character lines, body sculpting and sport wheels advance this sedan’s powerful persona. When viewed from the rear, the Mazda6 is marked with a trunk lip spoiler, wraparound combination lamps and dual exhaust tips.
Inside, the cabin is airy and bright. Mazda’s Kodo (Soul of Motion) design language is exhibited on the outside, and similar styling is found across the dash, as well as on the door inlays and seats. The instrument panel is composed of tachometer and speedometer displays as well as a digital driver’s information center. The center stack is neatly arranged with an available color display sitting on top of the dashboard with switches and knobs controlling the audio and climate control systems underneath. The transmission stick, an available drive mode knob and a covered storage area split the front seats. A 60-40 split-folding rear seat offers access to the trunk.
All models are equipped with keyless entry, push button start, a tilt and telescopic steering column, power accessories, and air conditioning. Each model comes with two 12-volt outlets, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port. Available equipment includes a rearview camera, a navigation system and a Bose audio system.
This model has 99.7 cubic feet of passenger volume, which is about average for the segment. The Mazda6’s trunk measures 14.8 cubic feet.
The top selling sedans in this segment include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Other models to consider include the Chrysler 200, Subaru Legacy, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion, Volkswagen Passat, Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata.
Earlier Mazda Mazda6 Models
The first-generation Mazda6 was built from 2003 to 2008; the second-generation model was produced from 2009 to 2013.
The first-generation model was available as a sedan, wagon and a five-door hatchback. All first-generation models offered two engine choices. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is standard. A five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission were initially offered with this engine. A five-speed automatic replaced the four-speed starting with the 2006 model year.
A more powerful 3.0-liter V6 engine was the second engine choice. Paired originally with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission, Mazda swapped the automatic with a six-speed automatic transmission starting in 2005.
A special Mazdaspeed6 edition was sold for two model years beginning in 2006. That model has a turbocharged 2.3-liter four cylinder engine making 274 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The Mazdaspeed6 offers a tight suspension, communicative steering and a 0-to-60 mph time of just 5.4 seconds.
The second-generation Mazda6 was offered as a sedan only, and is powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. An available 3.7-liter V6 generates 272 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder is paired with a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.