The Mazda6 was all-new for 2009, completely redesigned and re-engineered. Its launch was lost in the recession, but it carries into 2010 as one of the most appealing midsize sedans on the market. It looks great inside and out, offers a wide range of popular features, delivers commendable fuel economy, and is very well finished. Mainly, it delivers sparkling performance and is a terrific driving experience among midsize sedans. It's also attractively priced.
The Mazda6 is roomy inside. It delivers plenty of room for four or five adults, along with a big trunk that holds as much as can be fitted under the cargo covers of some SUVs.
It is available with a choice of a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, each one responsive and efficient. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder has 170 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque and is EPA-rated at 21 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway with the six-speed manual transmission and 20/29 mpg with the five-speed automatic. Drivers seeking fuel efficiency over performance will find both with this four-cylinder engine. The 3.7-liter V6 makes 272 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, delivers extraordinary performance and is still EPA-rated at a commendable 17/25 mpg, City/Highway. The V6 is among the most powerful in its class and is a delight to drive.
Versions with the four-cylinder engine are i models, as Mazda6 i, and those with the V6 are s models, as Mazda6 s. There are five trim levels with the four-cylinder engine, with the top two of those trim levels being also available with the V6. Prices begin at under $20,000 and can go to over $30,000 for a full loaded V6, but a very nicely equipped Mazda6 can be had for around $30,000. They are all sedans; no wagon, no two-door, and no MazdaSpeed versions are currently available.
The Mazda 6 is available with a full range of features and technology, including navigation with voice activation and all the expected sound system capabilities. But what we like most about the Mazda 6 is its driving dynamics.
The Mazda6 competes against an impressive group of midsize sedans, but we think people shopping the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, or Hyundai Sonata should have the Mazda6 on their comparison test-drive lists. Particularly, those who enjoy and appreciate a higher level of the driving experience need to consider the Mazda6, because it has a sportiness aspect not matched by the competition.
Changes for 2010 are minimal. A Touring Plus model has been added to the lineup and includes a moonroof, Bluetooth, Blind Spot Monitoring System and other features as standard equipment. The V6 versions of the Sport and Touring trim levels have been deleted. Availability of some options and features has been changed, and the Grand Touring version is now available with a comprehensive Technology Package.