By KBB.com Editors
Mazda has long been known for its dramatic styling and unconventional ideas. What Mazda has not been known for is an ability to compete in the mid-size family sedan market, a territory that up until now has been dominated by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But the new MAZDA6 may find an audience here, offering commendable marks in the areas of interior space, fuel economy and performance, while demonstrating styling both inside and out that takes it to the top of the class.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a family sedan that favors the driving enthusiast, the 2009 MAZDA6's cockpit-like interior, aggressive look, athletic suspension and eager powertrains make this four-door a real eye-opener.
If your idea of the perfect family car is one with a softer ride and limo-like rear-seat room, you might want to look into the Honda Accord, Chrysler 300 or Chevrolet Malibu. While on paper the MAZDA6's interior is numerically larger, the sloping roof and high beltline make it feel, in some ways, a little more cramped.What's New for 2009
The 2009 MAZDA6 has been completely redesigned from the ground up. Changes go beyond the cosmetic, with two new engine choices, a host of near-luxury like amenities and dimensions that place the MAZDA6 at the top of its segment. By offering the four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission in the Grand Touring trim, Mazda does not penalize drivers who prefer the fuel-efficient four-cylinder over the pricier V6. The new Mazda MAZDA6 is so good that about the only thing we'll miss from the previous generation is the funky five-door hatchback model.Driving It Driving Impressions
The 2009 Mazda MAZDA6 is sportier than the last generation, with an eager V6 engine and a firm but comfortable suspension that makes the car feel more like a sporty coupe than a mid-size family sedan. With more horsepower and torque, the MAZDA6 climbs hills with little effort and approaches freeway speeds in a relatively short time. Mazda increased the structural rigidity and refined the suspension, with part of the benefit being enhanced steering precision and reduced body roll in corners. The tuning improvements are immediately apparent, as the car feels secure through the tightest of turns. In the cabin, there is minimal road and wind noise, which makes for a quiet, if not luxury-car quiet, ride. If we could make one request of the Mazda design team it would be that the comfortable leather seats could do with more aggressive side bolsters. The MAZDA6 looks and feels much sportier than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but its interior seems less spacious, and its four-cylinder engine isn't as powerful as those offered in some other Japanese competitors.Favorite Features
3.7-liter V6 engine
Providing 60 more horsepower than the 3.0-liter V6 from the previous-generation MAZDA6, the 3.7-liter V6 propels the car with ease, whether it be darting through intersections or doing some spirited driving.
Blind Spot Monitoring System
A little light on each of the side mirrors indicates when another vehicle is in your blind spot area. And, when the turn signal is on, a beeping sound further indicates that the blind spot isn't clear.