2019 Mazda Mazda6

Performance


#5 out of 19 in Midsize Cars

$23,800 MSRP
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2019 Mazda Mazda6 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

The 2019 Mazda6 provides an engaging driving experience and a comfortable ride. Its base engine is capable, if a little dull, while the available turbocharged engine provides more pep.

  • "The Mazda 6 is the performance machine of the usually ho-hum midsize sedan segment. Superb steering, a responsive chassis and a willing engine mean this is a car for people who actually like to drive." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "The Mazda6 provides a sporty alternative to the conventional humdrum midsized sedan. A coupe-like silhouette stands out with eye-catching looks. You probably won't be bored driving the car, either. Quick, responsive steering contributes to agile handling." -- Consumer Reports (2018)

Acceleration and Power

A 187-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard in the Mazda6. A turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder comes standard in Grand Touring and above trims and makes 227 or 250 horsepower, depending on which grade of gasoline you use. All engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The base engine provides ample power for daily driving, though it’s not particularly exciting. The available turbocharged engine feels much more potent. The transmission is responsive and makes smart gear selections for any driving situation.

Getting up to 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, the Mazda6 has typical fuel economy estimates for the class. Models outfitted with the turbo option earn slightly lower estimates of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

  • "The standard 184-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is powerful enough for most people, but the 250-horsepower turbocharged alternative gives the Mazda6 greater acceleration and passing power. The 6-speed automatic transmission has fewer gears than many rivals, but it’s responsive and well-matched to both engines. The inclusion of a Sport mode is another plus." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The turbocharged engine has enough motivation to pass slowpokes easily enough during freeway driving, it isn’t something that you’re going to throw into the curves and send chills up your spine." -- Jalopnik
  • "… the gap between the two engine choices readily makes itself apparent. The 187 horses in the Touring trim I sampled got the job done in almost every situation, but required prolonged runs at 4,000 rpm in order to summit the frequent long uphill stretches of 2-lane road that I encountered, filling the cabin with a distinct aural indication of the workout occurring under the hood. Conversely … the turbo-four was a willing co-conspirator with each passing maneuver, and felt significantly more buttoned-down as the speedometer swept past 70 mph. It also came across as a better match for the automatic transmission's 6-pack of ratios, never confusing the wrong gear for the right one during my afternoon behind the wheel." -- New York Daily News (2018)

Handling and Braking

Driving the Mazda6 is a fun experience, as this sedan is both comfortable and agile. Excellent steering feedback and cornering capability help distinguish it as one of the most athletic midsize cars. Additionally, the suspension soaks up most road blemishes. Front-wheel drive is standard.

  • "Every contemporary Mazda has some degree of driving fun and many have plenty. The Mazda6 balances high levels of engagement with a family-friendly ride quality. The steering is one of our favorites in this class, with the right amount of assistance and plenty of feel. The G-Vectoring Control Plus system … makes subtle adjustments of engine power and braking to make everything smoother. It also helps during sudden lane changes and other evasive moves." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It might not drive you to the extreme edge of car enthusiasm, but it’s definitely an enjoyable car to ride in." -- Jalopnik
  • "Few cars in this class give this kind of steering feel or handling poise. The Mazda 6 feels glued to the road and it relishes corners. It's responsive to driver inputs and doesn't just plow the front end through turns as most rivals do." -- Edmunds (2018)
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