The 2021 Mazda6 is priced from $27,700 in Canada, $24,475 in the US.
2021 is the final model year for the 6.
Despite Mazda’s recent efforts, it was just another sedan.
I first encountered the Mazda6 in 2003 at the wheel of a yellow 2004 5-door GT with the V6 and a manual transmission. I was immediately smitten with the potent and sexy car but when the 2nd generation 6 arrived for 2009, Mazda had all but sapped the flavour and life out of the car. Unfortunately, the current 3rd iteration, and despite a significant facelift in 2018, the 6 never managed to regain the momentum it built in the mid-2000s. And now, it’s gone.
The Mazda6 and its predecessors played a huge role in shaping my love for the automobile. Back in 1981, my best friend’s parents had a 626 which they replaced with another 626 in 1984. Taken, my parents got their own 1985 626 which then turned into an MX-6. The friends remained loyal to the 626 with a few more before replacing them with a new Mazda3.
The Mazda6 (626) was on great
The point to all this? I loved the car and was truly devastated when Mazda launched the new 6 in 2009. Up until then, Mazda had done the midsize car their way as proven by the incomparable 2006 Mazdaspeed6.
The third-generation Mazda6 launched for 2014, and the subsequent 2018, improved the Mazda6’s appearance dramatically. The facelift sharpened the 6’s already dramatic lines but most importantly, the new look hinted at Mazda’s premium aspirations. The Japanese automaker’s design language, where “less is more”, is clearly and tastefully represented both inside and out with the 6.
Attractive and premium
For 2021, Mazda introduced the Kuro which will go down in the 6’s history as potentially the sleekest of them all. Unique to the Kuro is the jet-black exterior mirrors, gloss black 19-inch alloy wheels and the fact that it is only available in either Polymetal Grey Metallic or Jet-Black Mica exterior colours.
The Kuro’s cabin also receives unique touches. The interior is lined in Garnet Red leather-trimmed upholstery with grey and red contrasting thread, and various black accents. The dashboard is sparse, and somewhat dated, featuring only the must-have HVAC controls. Accessing the display via touchscreen control can only be done when the shifter is in Park. While in motion, navigating menus can only be done via the selector wheel on the centre console.
Both rows offer generous amounts of room, and the front seats are especially supportive and comfortable. Three adults will fit on the rear bench with minimal complaints. Truly, the 2021 Mazda6’s interior is premium and well put together.
For the 2021 model year, the Kuro edition of the Mazda6 is the first version, one of two, that is fitted by the torque-rich turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. It produces 227 horsepower (250 with premium fuel) and 310 lb.-ft. (320 on premium) of torque. Mazda’s 2.5T is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The engine’s torque comes in at 2,000 rpm meaning that there’s a huge amount of get-up and go early on. Under acceleration, a drop in oomph is noticeable around the 3,500-4,000-rpm mark as torque tapers off and before nearing 5,000 rpm when power kicks in. It could be said that a few extra gears would help keep the big-4 in the fatter part of its powerband while shifting.
Even so, the Mazda6 is quick. Most automakers offer a sporty version of their midsize sedans. For example, the Hyundai Sonata N Line, Subaru Legacy GT, and Honda Accord Sport 2.0 are all potent and can keep up with the Mazda.
On the road, the Mazda6 behaves as a high-end sedan should. The chassis is tuned for a dynamic driving experience however overall ride quality remains high. The 6 is composed and solid, rewarding the driver with quick reflexes and satisfying agility. It’s not as comfortable or refined as the Toyota Camry but it holds or is that held, its own against the competition.
Farewell midsize Mazda sedan
Or is that until next we meet? By all accounts, the Mazda6 with solely an internal combustion engine is done. Mazda is expected to return to the segment in the near future with an all-new car.
The Mazda6, especially in its 2nd and 3rd iterations, will not have delivered the volumes it should have. The competition was fierce and although it has significantly shrunk over the last few years, the 6 never really managed to make a dent in the segment after 2014. Fiercer still was and is the opposition sedans face from SUVs.
Until we meet again Mazda midsize sedan.