2016 Mazda Mazda6

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$12,742–$23,286 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
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Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2016 Mazda Mazda6. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    29-31 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    184-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Fuel economy
  • Responsive automatic transmission
  • Cabin materials and design

The Bad

  • Engine, wind and road noise
  • Lack of low-end power
  • Multimedia touch-screen disabled while driving
  • Fuel-efficient i-Eloop system is expensive

Notable Features of the 2016 Mazda Mazda6

  • Revised exterior styling for Grand Touring model
  • Interior design updates
  • Mazda Connect multimedia system available
  • LED headlights available
  • Collision avoidance system with auto-braking available

2016 Mazda Mazda6 Road Test

Jennifer Geiger

Mid-size cars are often boring, but they don't have to be, and Mazda's is anything but: The 2016 Mazda6 excites with its dynamic looks, sophisticated interior and agile road manners.

For 2016, the Mazda6 sedan gets a mild exterior face-lift along with a revised control layout and upgraded cabin materials. Compare the 2015 and 2016 models here.

The Mazda6 competes in a large class of midsize sedans, including the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry; compare them here.

Exterior & Styling
When I spotted the Mazda6 in Cars.com's parking garage, it happened to be sandwiched between two late-model midsize sedan competitors, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It easily out-styled them both.

The 2016 model wears a wider, deeper version of the brand's shield grille, as well as LED-accented headlamps with a more upswept design. Bulging front fenders and a more sculpted body combine to create a taut, ready-to-launch look.

How It Drives
I own a Mazda5 minivan, and the fact that Mazda can make it relatively fun to drive should give you an idea of how well the sedan handles. A sporty on-road experience has been a Mazda6 hallmark, and the 2016 version continues to deliver. It's fun to drive overall, with firm, precise steering and a nimbleness around corners that's unmatched by other midsize sedans. Excellent around-town maneuverability makes it feel like a smaller car.

Quiet, however, it is not, especially on the highway. Noise was a problem with the previous generation, and it'...

Mid-size cars are often boring, but they don't have to be, and Mazda's is anything but: The 2016 Mazda6 excites with its dynamic looks, sophisticated interior and agile road manners.

For 2016, the Mazda6 sedan gets a mild exterior face-lift along with a revised control layout and upgraded cabin materials. Compare the 2015 and 2016 models here.

The Mazda6 competes in a large class of midsize sedans, including the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry; compare them here.

Exterior & Styling
When I spotted the Mazda6 in Cars.com's parking garage, it happened to be sandwiched between two late-model midsize sedan competitors, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It easily out-styled them both.

The 2016 model wears a wider, deeper version of the brand's shield grille, as well as LED-accented headlamps with a more upswept design. Bulging front fenders and a more sculpted body combine to create a taut, ready-to-launch look.

How It Drives
I own a Mazda5 minivan, and the fact that Mazda can make it relatively fun to drive should give you an idea of how well the sedan handles. A sporty on-road experience has been a Mazda6 hallmark, and the 2016 version continues to deliver. It's fun to drive overall, with firm, precise steering and a nimbleness around corners that's unmatched by other midsize sedans. Excellent around-town maneuverability makes it feel like a smaller car.

Quiet, however, it is not, especially on the highway. Noise was a problem with the previous generation, and it's still an issue now; the cabin could use more isolation from the road, wind and the engine.

The sole engine, a 2.5-liter making 184 horsepower, is no powerhouse from a stop, but midrange muscle is strong. The six-speed automatic downshifts promptly and smoothly for extra oomph as soon as you need it; a six-speed manual is standard. A selectable available Sport mode alters engine and transmission settings for quicker downshifts and brisker acceleration from a stop.

The Mazda6's EPA-estimated fuel economy is class-leading, thanks in part to their Skyactiv-Drive technology. When equipped with Mazda's i-Eloop brake energy regeneration system, the sedan gets a 40 mpg highway rating. The i-Eloop system captures and stores lost braking energy and then uses it to help power electric systems in the car that would otherwise put a load on the engine (which in turn uses fuel). But the option package isn't cheap at $2,180. Because the i-Eloop design is different from the regenerative braking systems found in hybrid and electric vehicles, the brakes themselves feel normal, with a solid, linear feel rather than dull, bricklike responsiveness.

Fuel economy is still impressive without the system: 26/38/31 mpg city/highway/combined with the automatic. That beats the competition's comparable base models: the 2.4-liter Accord with a continuously variable automatic transmission (27/36/31), the 2.5-liter Fusion (22/34/26) and the 2.5-liter Camry (25/35/28).

The standard manual transmissions in the Mazda6 and Accord sacrifice 2-4 mpg combined versus their automatics.

Interior
Inside, Mazda combines a classy design with upscale materials, and the effect is nothing short of lovely. Upgrades for 2016 are obvious: Padding was added to key touch points, and the new glossy black and aluminum-look trim pop against the black-and-cream color palette. High-quality leather and dashboard stitching in my top Grand Touring trim added an air of luxury. I question how well the cabin in the Touring will age, however. With only 2,000 miles on the odometer of the car I drove, there was a sooty layer of grime on the cream leather door armrest — and that was before my kids got in.

Room in both rows of my Grand Touring is just right, and Mazda said it's improved the seats, front and back. Comfort in front is excellent thanks to great thigh support and cozy bolstering. In back, the seats have long bottom cushions and supportive side bolsters. The middle spot isn't a real option, however. It sits higher, it's hard and legroom there is cramped by the floor hump.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Mazda wisely gives the user choices when it comes to controlling its multimedia interface. Front and center is the latest version of Mazda Connect, with its 7-inch touch-screen riding higher on the dash this year; a console-area knob can also control the screen. The system's menu structure is logical, and I appreciated the controller knob's buttons: Clearly marked "back," "home" and "star" buttons (for favorite presets) flatten the system's learning curve.

One big annoyance: The touch-screen doesn't work while the car is moving. That's counterintuitive, given, in my estimation, using the knob pulls more focus from the road and requires extra steps to do some functions. Another: The audio volume dial is next to the control knob, which is an awkward reach from the driver's seat. Steering-wheel audio controls help, however.

The climate controls also got bumped to a higher, handier position. Also new for 2016 is a head-up screen called an Active Driving Display. It sits directly in front of the driver, and while you can control the information it displays, you can't fold down the thin gray screen, which is distracting. It powers up when the car is turned on and only flips down once the car is turned off.

Cargo & Storage
The center console bin offers a decent amount of room, but it's awkwardly placed. It's set too far back to comfortably rest an elbow on the padded top, and opening it is an awkward maneuver. In the back of my Grand Touring, a flip-down center armrest holds the only cupholders back there, though there's a bottleholder in each door.

Trunk space is small for the class. With 14.8 cubic feet of room, it trails the Accord (15.8), Camry (15.4) and Fusion (16.0). The opening is wide, however, and pulling two levers in the trunk easily folds the 60/40-split seat almost flat. Two shallow, plastic-lined bins on the side of the trunk came in handy for carrying a plant home from the grocery store without a mess.

Safety
As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had not yet tested the 2016 Mazda6. The Camry is a Top Safety Pick Plus, while the Accord and Fusion are Top Safety Picks, disqualified from the "Plus" designation because their optional frontal-crash prevention systems earned basic ratings instead of advanced or superior. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash-testing, the 2016 Mazda6 earned five out of five stars.

We were able to comfortably fit two child-safety seats in the Touring's backseat, but accessing the Latch anchors was challenging due to the stiff leather seat cushions; for details, see our Mazda6 Car Seat Check.

A backup camera is standard on all models except the base, manual-transmission trim; its placement high on the dash is especially helpful.

Optional safety equipment includes two automatic braking systems. Smart City Brake Support automatically applies the brakes to stop a low-speed crash. Smart Brake Support works at higher speeds as a forward-collision warning system that alerts the driver of an impending crash then automatically applies the brakes to prevent or reduce the severity of the crash. Other optional safety features include a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and a lane departure warning system. Click here for a full list of safety features.

Value in Its Class
A base Mazda6 starts at $22,315, or $23,815 with an automatic transmission. That's slightly lower than the base, manual Accord but slightly higher than the Camry and Fusion, which have standard automatics, and the cheapest automatic Accord (all prices include destination charges). With the automatic, the 6 is well-equipped with standards like the Mazda Connect multimedia system, a backup camera, Sport mode and HD Radio.

The Mazda6 almost sounds too good to be true, delivering an excellent blend of value, fun-to-drive sportiness, knockout styling and family-friendly practicality. But will the updates for 2016 be enough to move its sales needle? I hope so. Competitors handily outsell it month after month, but this overlooked sedan really deserves some attention.

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2016 Mazda6 Video

Family-car shoppers often ignore the Mazda6 but maybe they shouldn’t. Mazda’s midsize sedan has some updates on the outside and pretty significant changes within for 2016; we think it’s a bit of an overlooked jewel. Check out the video for more.

Latest 2016 Mazda6 Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Latest Reviews

(4.0)

Very nice car all around

by Lilmissams from Callaway on July 11, 2018

Very nice car for the price. Lacks a couple common features but I can live with it. Not a big fan of the v4 but it gets great gas mileage and isn't as slow as I thought it would be, having sport mode ... Read full review

(5.0)

Perfect Sedan for office and long drive

by Mazda 6 GT from Louisville on July 10, 2018

This car met all my needs over and above when i purchased; I am looking for a midsize SUV as we have another compact sedan Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2016 Mazda Mazda6 currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2016 Mazda Mazda6 i Sport

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
poor

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

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

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

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

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
acceptable
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
acceptable
Structure and Safety Cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Mazda

Program Benefits

At Mazda, everything we do is designed, engineered, tested and retested to make driving better. And our Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are no exception. Each one comes with the confidence to greet every turn, on- ramp and green light with the same driving enthusiasm Mazda owners know so well.

  • Limited Warranty

    1 year / 12,000 miles

    Each Mazda Certified Pre-Owned vehicle comes with a 12-Month/12,000- Mile Additional Limited Warranty with no deductible on covered components, which begins when the factory warranty ends. If it's out of warranty, the 12-Month/12,000-Mile Limited Warranty begins on the certified retail date.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Mazda quality inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Mazda6 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

C

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Booster

(second row)

B

Latch or Latch system

B

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker