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2012 Mazda MAZDA6

Overview
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2012 Mazda MAZDA6 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

The 2012 Mazda6 sedan is in the midsize category with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but it presents itself as a sophisticated alternative to the everyday family sedan. With clean lines and RX-8-inspired front fenders, the 2012 Mazda6's exterior remains competitive with newer offerings, such as the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. With a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder engines, the 2012 Mazda6 can deliver on the promise of power or reasonable fuel economy, but not necessarily both, as the 2012 Mazda6 sedan's fuel economy figures don't compare with many competitors whose 4-cylinder models offer more horsepower while approaching 35 mpg on the highway. And, despite the car's rich interior and excellent road manners, the 2012 Mazda6 has not been a sales leader. Still, we think this is a sedan that is worthy of a test drive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a family sedan that displays a more upscale look without the upscale price tag, the 2012 Mazda6 might be for you. Its sporty exterior is matched by its excellent driving characteristics, handsome interior and powerful V6 engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're as much about high-tech audio and infotainment as you are passion and performance, the 2012 Mazad6 sedan falls short of the features offered in the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.

What's New for 2012

There are no major changes for the 2012 Mazda6 sedan.

Driving the MAZDA6

Driving Impressions In the 2012 Mazda6 sedan, you'll find a family 4-door that melds the best attributes of a luxury car with the spirit of a sport coupe to...

create a very un-family-like sedan. The 2.5-liter engine that's standard on i trims (Sport, Touring and Grand Touring) is responsive with one or two people on board, but becomes sluggish with a full complement of passengers. The 2.5-liter's performance cannot match that of the newer, more powerful 4-cylinder engines, such as in the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata. If you value performance, the best choice for the 2012 Mazda6 remains the 3.7-liter V6. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic with a manual mode and Mazda's well-tuned suspension, the V6 has the power to motivate the Mazda6 while still returning decent, but not best-in-class, fuel economy. This, in the final appraisal, is a mid-size sedan with sporting ambitions, although its size and engine/transmission lineup fall decidedly on the side of comfort over performance.

Manual transmission
Although available only on the i Sport trim, Mazda still offers a manual transmission in a mid-size, volume-targeted sedan, and it shall be celebrated; in an era of distracted driving, a component that demands a driver's undivided attention can't be a bad thing, can it? Happily, not only does Mazda still provide the ability to shift manually, but it equips its 6-speed manual with one of the very best linkages. Go forth and shift!

Keyless start and go
Not having to fumble with a key fob to gain access, or worry about finding the ignition slot at night, is the entire purpose behind this option. Simply keep the remote fob on your person and the Mazda6 allows you entry. Starting the Mazda6 requires the mere push of a button.

2012 Mazda MAZDA6 Details
Interior

Inside the 2012 Mazda6 sedan you'll find the last remnants of Mazda's previous design language, a simple and elegant look for which we have high praise. The dash is relatively clutter-free, with simple rotary knobs for the ventilation controls and soothing red backlighting for the gauges and steering wheel controls. The quality of the materials and their applications is first rate, as are the front seats, which offer excellent support on long drives. There's a feeling of great space inside the Mazda6, although that space is more horizontal than vertical, with rear-seat passengers likely to find head room to be a bit lacking. The cargo area, with almost 17 cubic feet of space, can be expanded via the 60/40-split folding rear seats. While even the most basic Mazda6 offers an impressively handsome interior, it's the Grand Touring trims that are the most opulent, with leather seating and available features that include navigation, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry and start. Unfortunately, the Mazd6 doesn't offer any form of telematics (think GM's OnStar) or infotainment system (think Ford's SYNC). The 2012 Mazda6 doesn't even offer an iPod interface, just an auxiliary input jack in the console.

Exterior

The 2012 Mazda6's front fender design is clearly derived from the discontinued RX-8 sports car, which is in no way a bad thing. The sleek sedan profile and long swept-back C-pillars give it a coupe-like stance that is faintly reminiscent of the new class of 4-door luxury coupes, such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS. With the exception of the base model's 16-inch wheel covers, we think Mazda offers some of the most attractive wheels in the segment. With the right wheel-and-tire combo, the Mazda6 sedan leaves the realm of boring family sedans and moves toward Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen CC territory. The Mazda6's aggressively-raked windshield, sloping rear window and smooth side panels look good and contribute to reduced aerodynamic drag.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Mazda6 i Sport has a smoothly responsive 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, Sirius Satellite Radio, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and Dynamic Stability Control with traction control.

Optional Equipment

Moving up from the i Sport to the i Touring trim level adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 215/55R17 tires, fog lights, 8-way power driver's seat, leather-trimmed steering wheel, in-dash 6-disc CD changer and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio features. Going from the "i" to the "s" trim levels adds the 3.7-liter V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission; the V6 is rated at 272 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Options for the Grand Touring include navigation, keyless entry and start, HID headlamps, heated side mirrors with driver's side auto-dimming and rain-sensing wipers.

Under the Hood

If the standard 2.5-liter, 16-valve 4-cylinder engine provides zoom, then it's left to the optional V6 to supply the zoom-zoom. Although not stellar, Mazda's base engine does a very respectable job of motivating the Mazda6, delivering 170 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon on the highway with the manual transmission). The 3.7-liter V6, available only with the automatic, adds just over 100 horsepower while being rated at 27 miles per gallon on the highway. If you value handling balance over outright acceleration, note that the 2012 Mazda6 V6 sedan outweighs the 4-cylinder version by 250 pounds, and most of that weight differential is over the front wheels, so the 4-cylinder version might be expected to be slightly more responsive to steering inputs.

2.5-liter in-line-4
170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
167 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (manual); 22/31 (automatic)

3.7-liter V6
272 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27

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2012 Mazda MAZDA6 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 175 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Great Car

By on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ride, room, trunk, steering, Dependable, Bose."

Cons: "Passing acceleration."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought my 09 Mazda 6 new in 2008 when they just came out.It has been a great car. Very reliable. Very comfortable, i'm 6'3'. Huge trunk. smooth ride. good mileage. could be i little faster. for passing.normal driving fine. I have been extremely happy . would by another Mazda but the 2014 6 has less head room."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Decent midsize vehicle for the price

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Interior room, trunk size, interior design/control"

Cons: "Driving dynamics and feel, interior materials"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"The 2011 Mazda 6i Sport is a decent midsize vehicle for the money. The exterior design is reasonably distinctive, although I would not call it handsome. The interior is well-designed and thoughtfully laid out, but the materials feel hard and cheap. They are a step below their competition. The layout of the controls for the driver and the passenger are favorable, so it makes it easy to live with. The cloth seats leave something to be desired. They provide very little lumbar support and the seat cushion can be uncomfortable on long drives of over an hour. The steering wheel controls are a nice touch and make it easy to adjust the audio and the cruise control. The instrument panel is easy to read and is very logical. It looks like it belongs on a make of a far more expensive car. The vehicle dynamics are very poor. For those familiar with a Toyota Camry, you won't be disappointed, but if you are looking for a sporty "Zoom-Zoom" model, look elsewhere. The steering is very soft and numb, with very little feedback. The steering feels soft through cornering until it suddenly and without warning firms up mid-turn as you cross some magic speed threshold around 30 mph. It can be very jarring and hard to get used to. The suspension is set up strictly for a comfortable cruise, so don't bother trying to make it an engaging drive. There is a lot of dive and squat during acceleration and braking, and the car leans hard into turns as you take a turn with any speed. Quite frankly, this is a very disappointing outcome considering the sporty image that Mazda spent so many years cultivating. The gas mileage is decent though. I tend to drive with a heavy foot and do a lot of mixed driving during rush hour, and I regularly get 25-26 mpg. You can certainly do better with a lighter foot on the accelerator pedal. During long highway road trips, you can easily get 30-32 mpg. The backseat is huge and rather comfortable, with plenty of leg, shoulder, and headroom. You can take long road trips with passengers back there and they won't be uncomfortable. The trunk is impressively large. It is very wide and long, and the opening sits low enough to make putting things inside of it a breeze. I have had mixed luck with regards to the reliability. I invest a fair amount in preventative maintenance for my cars, with full-synthetic oil changes every 5,000 miles and I get all the fluids changed just as the owner's manual recommend. The car has been decent to me, but all of the headlights and taillights have burnt out after 50,000-60,000 miles and there were some odd electronic gremlins in the transmission at about 68,000 miles. The mechanic cleared the codes and it drove just fine, but it was somewhat disconcerting. Overall, it's a decent value for the money as long as you get a good price from your dealer/seller."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Decent midsize vehicle for the price

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Interior room, trunk size, interior design/control"

Cons: "Driving dynamics and feel, interior materials"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"The 2011 Mazda 6i Sport is a decent midsize vehicle for the money. The exterior design is reasonably distinctive, although I would not call it handsome. The interior is well-designed and thoughtfully laid out, but the materials feel hard and cheap. They are a step below their competition. The layout of the controls for the driver and the passenger are favorable, so it makes it easy to live with. The cloth seats leave something to be desired. They provide very little lumbar support and the seat cushion can be uncomfortable on long drives of over an hour. The steering wheel controls are a nice touch and make it easy to adjust the audio and the cruise control. The instrument panel is easy to read and is very logical. It looks like it belongs on a make of a far more expensive car. The vehicle dynamics are very poor. For those familiar with a Toyota Camry, you won't be disappointed, but if you are looking for a sporty "Zoom-Zoom" model, look elsewhere. The steering is very soft and numb, with very little feedback. The steering feels soft through cornering until it suddenly and without warning firms up mid-turn as you cross some magic speed threshold around 30 mph. It can be very jarring and hard to get used to. The suspension is set up strictly for a comfortable cruise, so don't bother trying to make it an engaging drive. There is a lot of dive and squat during acceleration and braking, and the car leans hard into turns as you take a turn with any speed. Quite frankly, this is a very disappointing outcome considering the sporty image that Mazda spent so many years cultivating. The gas mileage is decent though. I tend to drive with a heavy foot and do a lot of mixed driving during rush hour, and I regularly get 25-26 mpg. You can certainly do better with a lighter foot on the accelerator pedal. During long highway road trips, you can easily get 30-32 mpg. The backseat is huge and rather comfortable, with plenty of leg, shoulder, and headroom. You can take long road trips with passengers back there and they won't be uncomfortable. The trunk is impressively large. It is very wide and long, and the opening sits low enough to make putting things inside of it a breeze. I have had mixed luck with regards to the reliability. I invest a fair amount in preventative maintenance for my cars, with full-synthetic oil changes every 5,000 miles and I get all the fluids changed just as the owner's manual recommend. The car has been decent to me, but all of the headlights and taillights have burnt out after 50,000-60,000 miles and there were some odd electronic gremlins in the transmission at about 68,000 miles. The mechanic cleared the codes and it drove just fine, but it was somewhat disconcerting. Overall, it's a decent value for the money as long as you get a good price from your dealer/seller."

My 3rd Mx 6/626 - I keep buying 'em for a reason!

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Value, reliability"

Cons: "slightly noisy in terior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Completely reliable - I put 170k and 193k mies on my first 2 626s [93, 01]- original everything except brakes and tires - even original clutch. Never fails me [my second one needed a fuel pump at one point]. Great cars, exceptional value and reliability. My '10 Mz6 is the same - it just keeps going. LOve them!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This is a beautiful car and loaded.

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It is crimson red. It has beige leather seats, front are heated. It has a bose sound system. It is loaded and beautiful."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love this car...but I really need an SUV

By on Monday, March 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "The MOST fun car I have ever driven! :)"

Cons: "I forgot that I needed GPS until I got lost! :("

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I feel like this car "found me" at the dealership. The paperwork was ready for me to purchase a new vehicle and at the last minute I asked the salesman if he had any other gently used vehicles that he could show me. When he brought this car out I knew this was the one for me. He said that he usually didn't show a manual transmission vehicle to woman but heck, I love to shift!! Anyway, it was a fluke and I love this car. I get so many compliments on it...especially from the young men at the car wash. That makes a middle-aged woman feel young again. Unfortunately, as much as I love my car I need to think about getting an SUV perhaps a Mazda 7, as I have grandkids and need a bit more room. But in the meantime this car has been a nice ride! Zoom zoom!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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