Mazda wouldn’t be where it is today without the original Mazda6. Subsequent models failed to capitalize on the success, however.
The first Mazda6 was a roaring success. Praised by all and loved by many, it was introduced in 2003 and quickly became a mid-size segment favorite. It was a blast to drive, had plenty of engine options, and was just different from other boring mid-sized cars of that period like the Camry and Accord. The Mazda6 enjoyed a ton of success until 2009 when a new generation seemed to kill in one swoop all of its momentum.
The second-generation Mazda6 was bulky, heavy, and lacked the kind of sportiness buyers loved from the original model. It appeared that Mazda had tried to make the 6 more comfy and more spacious to better match up with Honda and Toyota. That was a mistake.
The third generation ushered in a remarkable design change that made the Mazda6 a stunning car, but buyers didn’t notice either. After a facelift in 2018, the Mazda6 continues on as the most beautiful mid-size sedan you can buy, but buyers don’t seem to care.
The Mazda6 is behind just about every competitor in terms of sales. The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have almost six times as many sales, but that’s just the beginning of how bad things are for the Mazda6. It is behind in sales to almost every mid-size car out there including the Subaru Legacy, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and Chevrolet Malibu. Sales are down by almost half compared to last year. Things aren’t good.
If there was ever a head-scratcher, this is it. The car is beautiful inside and out, has an efficient base engine and an optional turbocharged engine with more than any other mid-sized sedan available, it has decent space and although it’s getting older it still feels as modern as any other rival. Let’s take a closer look.
What the 2020 Mazda6 Does Well
1) This is the only mid-size sedan capable of getting looks from other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
2) The base 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G delivers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque with an average fuel economy rating of about 8.0 liters per 100 kilometers thanks to cylinder deactivation. That’s efficient power right there.
3) The optional 2.5-liter turbocharged engine delivers 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. You won’t find a faster mid-size sedan in this segment.
4) There’s 416 liters of cargo capacity in the trunk which is useful and better than average.
5) The Mazda6 achieves the kind of balance between comfort and performance that should make it one of the best-sellers in the segment. It’s a lot more dialed-in than an Accord, Fusion or Camry, and just a tiny bit less comfortable.
What the 2020 Mazda6 Doesn’t Do So Well
1) Depreciation is scary. This car loses a ton of value over time so leasing is a better option.
2) The trunk is fine, but interior space is a little snug, especially in the back.
3) The top-of-the-line Signature model is way to expensive despite having all of that power.
4) The infotainment system is a bit tricky to master, even if you’ve owned the car for a long time.
5) The interior is clean and luxurious, but it doesn’t pop or stand out like the interiors of some of the Mazda6’s rivals.
What We Tell Our Friends
We are not sure why the Mazda6 isn’t more popular. Sure it’s a bit old having been introduced in 2013 and facelifted in 2018, but it should do a lot better. It offers a great balance of comfort and sportiness, and it looks really good doing it. The only real issues are interior space and the price of the mid- and top-of-the-line versions.