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 newest 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.
If you're looking for a family sedan that favors the driving enthusiast, the 2010 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.
A new Touring Plus model is added to both the i and s trims and includes a power moonroof, ground illumination, Bluetooth connectivity, Blind Spot Monitoring System and anti-theft alarm. Sadly, the lovely six-speed manual transmission option for the Grand Touring has been dropped, although still available on the lesser equipped SV, Sport and Touring trims.
Driving Impressions The 2010 Mazda MAZDA6 is the sportiest iteration to date, 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.
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.
From the base SV trim level to the top-of-the-line Grand Touring model, the 2010 Mazda MAZDA6's interior has a refined polish and a sense of symmetry unmatched in the mid-sized segment. The comfortable seats are offered in cloth or full leather trim and are heated on Grand Touring trims. Beyond its generous rear seat knee and legroom, and full complement of front and side-impact airbags, the MAZDA6's interior exudes a feeling of solidity and thoughtful construction. Gauges are clear and easy to read, with colored backlighting that is easy on the eyes. The optional equipment roster reads not unlike a Lexus check-list, and includes such notable features as push-button start, voice-activated navigation and auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors.Exterior
The 2010 MAZDA6 has a sleek un-family sedan-like appearance aimed squarely at style-conscious motorists. Borrowing design elements from the RX-8, the MAZDA6 stands out from the rest of the category with a bold front-end design incorporating Mazda's signature five-point grille, angled headlamps, sleek hood-to-fender lines and robust fender flares housing standard 16-inch wheels. The rear fascia has an arched decklid with a subtle lip that accentuates the car's aggressive stance, while little features such as the inset exhaust tips and red and clear LED tail lamps give the car a high-end look that seems at odds with its attractive $20,000 starting price.
The entry-level MAZDA6 SV is nicely equipped and includes a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, power door locks and windows, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes (ABS), automatic headlamps, power mirrors, MP3/SIRIUS satellite-compatible AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers, auxiliary audio input jack, 16-inch steel wheels and two 12-volt power outlets. Keeping its occupants safe means standard front, side and side-curtain airbags, LATCH rear child-seat anchors, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control.
Most of the options are available through the higher trim levels and packages. Some of these features include a 3.7-liter V6 engine, five- or six-speed automatic transmission, a voice-activated navigation system, cruise control, remote keyless entry, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, heated seats, power driver and passenger seats, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels and leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel and shift knob. The Grand Touring trims include a power moonroof and Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio with a six-disc CD changer and 10 speakers. The optional Technology Package for Grand Touring trims adds auto on/off headlamps, keyless entry and start, auto-dimming heated exterior mirrors, mulit-information display for audio and Bluetooth, satellite radio, xenon headlamps, power passenger seat, driver's seat memory and rain sensing wipers.
Although not the best in class, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the 2010 Mazda MAZDA6 provides adequate power and fuel economy. For the optional V6, Mazda uses the 3.7-liter engine from the CX-9 crossover utility vehicle. As with the four-cylinder engine, Mazda was able to manage a big jump in the MAZDA6's horsepower and torque without causing a significant reduction in fuel economy. Sadly, the wonderful six-speed manual available with the 2.5-liter engine is not offered with the automatic-only V6.
2.5-liter in-line four
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 (Manual); 21/30 (Automatic)
272 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
269 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25
By Toby on Sunday, March 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,897overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value for price - beats BMW 318i in value"
Cons: "Does not have rear passenger vents"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The car handles beautifully. I have no fear taking the car through tight corners and accelerating. I have left BMW's behind in my wake. The car has excellent use of interior materials - the car is classy. I feel extremely confident in driving this car. The car has a great 6 cylinder engine with very good acceleration. I love the front wheel drive and its low profile - on a windy day it slices through the air with very little buffeting. Instruments are well located and provide many features. Great Bose speaker system. I really enjoy switching from automatic to standard shifting."
By Tracy on Sunday, March 01, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The most fun car ever"
Cons: "only a few tire options available in the market"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My 2009 Mazda 6 Grad Touring still kicks up the 272 horse with no problem after 110,000 miles - I pray I can find an equal to her when it comes time to trade - my next Mazda will have big shoes to fill!"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By DianaJ on Thursday, February 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliability, comfortable cabin, looks good"
Cons: "A slight fast-acceleration lag;"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my favorite, out of all the cars I have owned. My standards are that it has to be reliable and a comfortable ride, accelerate well, get decent gas mileage, look good on the inside and outside, be mid-sized and affordable. This one does well on all fronts. It has been absolutely reliable; not a problem in 5 years, with regular maintenance. I first drove one as a rental while my 2006 Ford Fusion was in for repairs, and thought, "this is the car I should be driving. Before the weekend was over, I owned a 2010 Mazda 6. Fuel economy is fine, at about 29 miles to the gallon. It does have a slight hesitation on sudden acceleration, but not badly. Turning the car around in tight spaces: not the best. Overall, great car. I was told recently by a 15-year old who is already mentally car shopping that it still looks like a nice car. One more thing: the back seats are nicely sized, comfy, and very easy for elderly aunts to get into."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Rick on Monday, January 05, 2015
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Very poor reliability
Pros: "Sporty appearance. Strong but thirsty V6."
Cons: "Engine knock was absolutely terrible."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Owned this car back in 2009. Mine was the Grand Touring V6 w/o navigation. This car was the very essence of a bad dream from the get go! Looks wise, it was great. Always getting compliments and several requests to drive it. However, this is where the good ends and the bad starts! Shortly after taking delivery, I noticed that my Mazada 6 was knocking hard whenever it required torque such as climbing a steep grade. Took it back to the dealership three times and they could never fix it; even when consulting with company engineers! Cleverly they refused to give me any receipts after their first attempt to repair it. This way it would have been nearly impossible to file for a refund under PA lemon law. Took a terrible loss when I traded it in but it's inability to be repaired successfully drove me crazy. Apparently this model wasn't exactly flying off the shelves and the depreciation was astronomical! Never again will I deal with Mazada or buy any of their products. Stick with Honda, Toyota, or Hyundai. There's a reason why these brands have a lion's share of the U.S. mid-size auto market!"
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Isabella on Monday, November 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I actually do love my car, i do have an issue with changing the head lights because you actually have to remove the tire in order to change it, but overall i do like the car."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Tookie on Thursday, November 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautifully styled, handles well"
Cons: "Poor visibility."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"The car handles well and has been reliable; however, between the small, sloped rear window and the headrests, visibility out the side and rear windows is greatly impeded. Even the side-view mirrors block my view at intersections. The low profile tires need to have air added on a regular basis, which is inconvenient."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful