By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2009 Mazda Mazda6. It competes with the Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu.
(upbeat rock music) Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com. If you're looking for a mid-size family sedan, you may have already checked out the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Mazda's redesigned the 6 mid-size family sedan for 2009.
And now it's better equipped to compete with those models. Thanks to distinctive styling, a roomy cabin and a solid overall driving experience. Let's take a closer look at this model. One area where I think Mazda really got it right with the new 6, is the car's exterior styling, which is very distinctive and draws on some styling cues seen in recent Mazda concept cars like the Ryuga. You can see these bulging front fenders, these slit like headlight elements. And though I would have liked to see some chrome in the front grill design, Mazda's gone with the body color look. As you go around to the back of the car, the sleek well proportioned looks carry on there, which is something you can't say about some of its competitors, like the new Chevy Malibu. As before the Mazda 6 is offered with four cylinder or V-6 power. The engines though, for 2009, are larger and they make more horsepower. The base engine is a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder, and it's rated at 170 horsepower. You can step up to this optional engine. It's a 3.7 liter V-6 and it's rated at 272 horsepower. If you're looking for the best gas mileage, it's the 4 cylinder with the automatic transmission model. It's rated at 21, 30 miles per gallon, city highway. But the V-6 you see here that figure drops to 17, 25 city highway. And that's probably one of the Mazda 6's bigger shortcomings is that a number of competitors get better fuel economy than this car. Mazda 6 redesigned cabin features a premium appearance, thanks to upscale dash materials, like this soft touch surface here, high quality control knobs as well. And it features a four gauge instrument cluster that's very similar to the company's CX-9 crossover. Like the CX-9, the Mazda 6 can be equipped with a blind spot monitoring system. And what that does, it keeps track of the sides of the vehicle to let you know when there's a car on either side of you. And if you intend to move into the direction of where that car is, it'll emit a warning tone to let you know that may not be the best idea at that time. The new Mazda 6 is significantly larger than its predecessor, and that translates into more room on the inside for passengers. You can see here with the cars back seat, that there's plenty of space for taller adults and with a nicely reclined back rest angle, comfort is also good. The Mazda 6 now has one of the larger trunks in its class. It measures 16.6 cubic feet, and the car also comes standard with a 60/40 split folding backseat. The back seats release by straps on either side of the cargo area. And when the back seat is down, it's flat with the cargo floor. After scrutinizing the new 6, it's clear Mazda's hit practically all the right buttons with its new sedan. What we don't know yet is how reliability will be over the longterm, but if that proves to be good, it'll only enhance what's already a strong contender from Mazda. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog "Kicking Tires"