$13,390 - $17,031

2015 Mazda Mazda6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Mazda Mazda6 was new.


Performance: 8.6

Test drivers agree that the 2015 Mazda Mazda6’s nimble handling and powerful engine make it one of the most fun cars to drive in its class.

  • "Mazda's ability to design the engine, body and suspension at the same time has created a car that is lighter and stronger than its competitors, and one that offers precise handling, excellent braking and a truly enjoyable driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's no doubt that the Mazda6 is aimed at shoppers eager to occasionally test their car's limits on a curvy road, but that's not to say that traditional midsize sedan buyers won't like the Mazda6." -- AutoTrader
  • "Even with SKYACTIV fuel savings, the new Mazda 6 delivers surprisingly spirited performance. The balance is also good, making it even more agile and entertaining to drive." -- Motor Week (2014)
  • "Fortunately, beyond the cabin lies the most dynamic, assertive driver's car in the midsize realm." -- The New York Times (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Mazda6 has a 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on Sport and Touring trims, while a six-speed automatic is optional on Sport and Touring trims and standard on the Grand Touring model. According to the EPA, the 2015 Mazda6 gets 26/38 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is very good for the class. Models with the Technology package earn an even better 28/40 mpg rating, thanks to active grille shutters and Mazda’s i-ELOOP regenerative engine braking system.

Automotive journalists are pleased with the power provided by the Mazda6’s four-cylinder engine, adding that it revs smoothly and quietly. They appreciate the manual transmission, which they note has short, quick throws and a light clutch, and they say the automatic shifts quickly.

  • "The 2.5-liter engine is powerful enough for most driving situations, especially when paired with the brand's SkyActiv-Drive automatic, which boasts crisp shifts that Mazda says are quicker than dual-clutch transmissions in competitors. Of course, in true Mazda fashion, the 6-speed stick is also a joy thanks to short throws and a predictable clutch." -- AutoTrader
  • "One standout characteristic of the 2015 Mazda 6 is its powertrain. The sedan's 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine produces quick acceleration and is smooth and surprisingly hushed. And although many of today's automatic transmissions quickly upshift to the highest gear possible and are reluctant to downshift (both strategies are used to boost mpg numbers), the Mazda 6's automatic is responsive to gas pedal inputs and never feels flat-footed when you're initiating highway passing maneuvers." -- Edmunds
  • "We admit there were times during our test drive we wished for a V6 under the Mazda6's hood. But, as most buyers in this segment opt for 4-cylinder engines, we feel the Mazda6's 184-horsepower 2.5-liter offering will more than meet most expectations." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine performs admirably, with linear power delivery and is impressively smooth. Throttle response is lively to make rev-matching for downshifts entertaining for a midsize sedan." -- AutoWeek (2014)
  • "The manual shifter itself is exceptional. Its precision is rare among midsize sedans, and the light clutch pedal is well-suited to the car." -- Cars.com (2014)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers agree that the 2015 Mazda6 is more agile than most midsize cars. They say it has good tire grip, well-controlled body motions, sharp steering that provides good feedback and very responsive brakes. However, critics note that the Mazda6 has a firmer ride than many of its competitors, especially models with 19-inch wheels.

  • "With its communicative, precise steering and sporty chassis tuning, the 2015 Mazda 6 feels sharp-witted and willing around corners, with stand-out dynamics for the class. The flip side, however, is that the 6 rides a bit more stiffly than competitors, especially with the 19-inch wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "The fully electric power steering surprised us with its excellent feedback and relatively quick 15.5:1 ratio. As for overall ride comfort, we found the big 19-inch wheel and tire package on the Touring and Grand Touring to feel a bit harsh. Opting for the Sport trim brings smaller 17-inch wheels and a better ride. …" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Zoom Zoom, AMIRITE?! You're expecting a fun handling experience. For a midsize sedan it actually delivers." -- Jalopnik (2014)
  • "The Mazda6 not only delivers looks and power, but it also handles well. This is a sporty sedan with good turn-in at corners and above average feedback via the steering wheel. There's a nice balance here that many midsize family cars are still searching for." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (2014)
  • "Where the 6 really shines is when you toss it around a little. It stays well planted in corners, with the 17-inch Yokohama Advan A83 tires providing good grip and little body roll. Steering is quick to respond to inputs with a fair amount of weight tuned into the electric power steering system. Brake performance is also a strong suit with almost instant bite from the top of the pedal stroke." -- AutoWeek (2014)

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