Best Bet
  • (4.7) 72 reviews
  • Available Prices: $12,015–$20,803
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 29-30
  • Engine: 184-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2015 Mazda Mazda6

Our Take on the Latest Model 2015 Mazda Mazda6

What We Don't Like

  • Steering feedback
  • Gas engine's lack of low-rpm power
  • Touch-screen is on the small side at 5.8 inches available
  • No engine temperature gauge

Notable Features

  • Gas engine gets up to 38 mpg highway
  • Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Low-speed collision avoidance system with auto-braking available

2015 Mazda Mazda6 Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

Editor's note: This review was written in February 2013 about the 2014 Mazda6. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2015, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

I've always liked the driver-focused nature and distinctive design of the Mazda6 midsize sedan, but its sales have languished far below the class leaders. For 2014, Mazda makes another charge at the segment heavyweights with an all-new version.

Besides sharp styling and a sporty driving experience, the 2014 Mazda6 comes armed with something even more important that positions it to challenge the segment leaders: fuel economy that's at the top of the class.

At an event held by the automaker in Austin, Texas, I tested both manual- and automatic-transmission versions of the 2014 Mazda6. The base Sport trim with a six-speed manual transmission starts at $21,675 (all Mazda6 prices cited include a $795 destination charge). The as-tested prices of the models I drove — a six-speed manual Sport and a top-level Grand Touring with a six-speed automatic — were $21,675 and $31,490, respectively. To see the Mazda6's specs compared with the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, click here.

The New Face of Mazda
The 2014 Mazda6 adopts a shieldlike grille that's tamer than some of the brand's recent designs. It works to good effect, giving the sedan a certain pugnaciousness. For many brands, grille design has become a way to both distinguish models and maintain a family resemblance, and the new face of Mazda accomplishes that on the Mazda6 and other models like the CX-5 small crossover.

Some of the Mazda6's prior styling cues, like the bulging front fenders, have been retained, but one of the car's prettiest aspects is its rear styling. Some cars' tails don't look like they've received much design attention. Not so with the Mazda6, which gets an intricate trunk lid, wraparound taillights with smoked lenses and a tidy chrome strip running the width of the car. It's a design that wouldn't be out of place on the back of a luxury sedan.

Ride & Handling
The Mazda6's suspension tuning keeps with Mazda's sporty focus. The result is a taut ride that reveals many details about the road — and whether it's well-maintained or not. The car also exhibits admirable body control, with limited body roll during hard cornering. Beyond that, the Mazda6 feels like a smaller car than it truly is — in a good way — and this goes a long way toward establishing its nimbleness.

The biggest area for improvement, though, is the steering. While nicely weighted and responsive, the system fails to deliver the kind of feedback you get when driving the compact Mazda3 — a revelation compared with many other models in its class. The new Mazda6 does get a smaller steering wheel and a quicker steering ratio, but the lack of road feel stands out in a sedan that's otherwise engaging for the driver.

SkyActiv Technology
The 2014 Mazda6 is the second Mazda model to get the full suite of technologies termed SkyActiv, which aim to reduce fuel consumption without compromising how the car drives. SkyActiv touches important vehicle systems such as the body structure, suspension, transmission and engine. Mazda says SkyActiv will also encompass alternative powertrains for future fuel-economy gains. One such powertrain — a clean-diesel engine — will be offered in the Mazda6 in the second half of 2013.

With its direct-injection 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine, the Mazda6's performance is comparable to many four-cylinder family sedans. The engine doesn't push you back in your seat, but it gets you up to speed reasonably well. The engine is refined all the way to its redline in terms of both vibration harshness and sound.

What the Mazda6 really needed — and got for 2014 — was better estimated gas mileage. The prior sedan's estimates trailed most of its competitors, but the 2014 version is near the top of the pack with an EPA-rated 25/37 mpg city/highway for the six-speed manual transmission and 26/38 mpg for the six-speed automatic.

Apart from promising better mileage than the stick, the automatic transmission also makes the four-cylinder look good, providing low-speed smoothness and precise shifts at higher speeds. The automatic is responsive; it will kick down quickly if you mash the gas pedal.

More than the automatic, the manual transmission reveals the four-cylinder's lack of low-rpm power. Acceleration is modest from a standing start, even when letting the engine rev to its limit before shifting gears. The four-cylinder feels less stressed when snaking along winding roads at a steady clip.

The manual shifter itself is exceptional. Its precision is rare among midsize sedans, and the light clutch pedal is well-suited to the car.

Cabin Design & Roominess
The cabin's dominant design feature is the vertical-face dashboard. The control layout is simple, and it's easy to understand the controls within a matter of minutes, which is far from a certainty today with the introduction of "advanced" technologies like Ford's MyFord Touch interface. The Mazda6 has its share of available features, but they're self-contained.

Materials quality is mostly good. There are lots of soft-touch surfaces, and the cabin's metallic accents are a good imitation of real metal. The power window switches and the trim around them is of a lower grade than the rest of the cabin, but materials consistency is otherwise good.

Whether you choose the standard cloth or optional leather upholstery, the front bucket seats are comfortable and have just enough bolstering to keep you situated when rounding a fast corner — but not so much that you feel confined during less aggressive driving. In moonroof-equipped cars, there's little extra headroom when the driver's seat is raised.

The backseat ranks among the more spacious ones in the segment, with room to spare for taller passengers like me (I'm 6 feet 1 inch); the seat cushion is high enough to provide some welcome thigh support.

The car comes with a standard 60/40-split folding backrest with release levers in the trunk. When folded, the backrest is nearly flat with the trunk floor, and the lack of a ledge between the two sections provides an uninterrupted surface. The trunk measures 14.8 cubic feet.

Features
Touring and Grand Touring trim levels bundle a range of features in option packages. For $2,000, Touring models can have a Technology Package that includes a Bose premium stereo, a navigation system, keyless entry, automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated side mirrors and the Smart City Brake Support system. This infrared braking system works from about 2 to 18 mph and can prevent or reduce the severity of a low-speed rear-end crash.

For $900, Grand Touring models get radar-based adaptive cruise control and forward obstruction warning. Forward obstruction warning won't apply the brakes if it senses an impending collision like Smart City Brake Support does, but it will warn the driver with an alert.

Beginning in May 2013, Grand Touring trims will be available with the $2,080 Advanced Package, which adds to the adaptive cruise control and forward obstruction features a lane departure warning system, automatic high-beam headlights and Mazda's i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. This system captures energy that would otherwise be lost during deceleration and uses it to power electrical components.

Safety
As of publication, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not crash-tested the 2014 Mazda6, though its status as a mainstream family sedan means it will likely be tested at some point by the agencies.

Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. A blind spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert and a backup camera are optional.

For a full list of safety features check out the Features & Specs page.

Mazda6 in the Market
In a market dominated by two nameplates — the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry — it's not easy for something new to break in. Hyundai and Kia have had some success with the Sonata and Optima, respectively, but the Mazda6 hasn't registered with family-sedan shoppers on the same scale.

Will this latest redesign change its fortunes? The final fuel-economy piece appears to be in place, but the car's debut couldn't come at a tougher time as a number of competitors have recently redesigned their family sedans, too. Regardless, the new Mazda6 is good enough to grow its presence in the segment and is worth a test drive.

Send Mike an email  


Consumer Reviews

(4.7)

Average based on 72 reviews

Write a Review

Very pretty car, comfortable riding

by Sherryt from Portsmouth, VA on November 21, 2017

I didn't want a car, I wanted a SUV. I only wanted American made, very minimal car types of non-american made. Funny how it worked out, I had to excuse myself from my salesman & on the way I passed... Read Full Review

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3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2015 Mazda Mazda6 trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Mazda Mazda6 Articles

2015 Mazda Mazda6 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Mazda Mazda6 i Grand Touring

Front
A
Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Mazda Mazda6 i Grand Touring

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
A
Overall evaluation
A
Retraints and dummy kinematics
A
Structure and safety cage
A

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Small overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
A
Restraints and dummy kinematics
A
Small overlap front
A
Structure and safety cage
A
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Mazda Mazda6 i Grand Touring

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Mazda Mazda6 i Grand Touring

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 3 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $2,200 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

36mo/36,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years