2012 Mazda MAZDA6
Great ride and handling; fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine; class-leading acceleration with V6; top safety; standout technology
The MAZDA6 comes in two different model lines, designated by their respective engines. Economy-minded "i" models get a 170-horsepower, 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, while sportier "s" models come with a 272-hp, 3.7L V6.
The base 4-cylinder comes with plenty of power to move the MAZDA6 quickly in almost all driving conditions, but the V6 brings truly authoritative performance and the smooth character of a luxury sedan; Mazda says that it's the most powerful V6 in its class. A 5-speed automatic transmission is optional on the 4-cylinder version, while all V6 models come with a 6-speed automatic. Both automatic transmissions come with a manual shift mode and have adaptive shift control.
The MAZDA6 has a relatively firm ride, and compared to most other mid-size sedans it has very responsive handling, while also permitting a very tight turning circle for easier parking. Interior space is vast, with enough headroom and legroom in the back seat for all but the largest adults despite the sportier, rakish styling. Trunk space is the largest in the mid-size sedan class, according to Mazda, at 16.6 cubic feet, and the rear seatbacks fold forward.
Fuel economy estimates are up to 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway with the automatic transmission and 4-cylinder engine, and 17 mpg city /25 highway for the V6.
The base MAZDA6 i is one of the lowest-priced mid-size sedans and includes air conditioning, power locks and windows, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver's seat and split folding rear seat, among other features. Safety equipment on all models of the 6 includes front side airbags, side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Bumpers are rather tall for a sedan, to help reduce minor parking lot damage from taller SUVs.
The MAZDA6 i Sport adds keyless entry, cruise control and steering-wheel-mounted controls, while the i Touring includes a CD changer, leather trim, fog lamps, a power driver's seat and larger 17-inch alloy wheels. V6 s Touring and s Grand Touring models add extras like dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and a Bose Centerpoint surround-sound system, plus showier 18-inch wheels. A Tech Package adds a push-button start system and advanced keyless entry, along with a multi-information display.
The mid-size MAZDA6 sedan is unchanged for 2012.
The previous version of the MAZDA6 was already established as a fun-to-drive mid-size sedan. When the new, revised model went on sale in 2009, Mazda made the 6 especially spacious and safe, making the interior more luxurious and adding some new tech features.
The automaker says the MAZDA6 is the only car in its class to achieve top 5-star results in all five tests from the federal government. The MAZDA6 also has class-leading cargo volume, and according to the manufacturer, the best coefficient of drag in its class, and the tightest turning circle. Additionally, it's the first car in its class to have an optional blind spot monitoring system. The base MAZDA6 comes with a 6-speed manual transmission standard and is one of the lowest-priced mid-size sedans in its class, along with providing fuel-efficiency and a high fun-to-drive factor.
* EPA mileage estimates and EPA fuel economy methods based on models beginning with
the indicated model year. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models
before the indicated model year. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how
you drive and maintain your vehicle.