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#10

in 2011 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,042 - $16,657
Original MSRP: $19,990 - $29,320
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2011 Mazda Mazda6 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers like the 2011 Mazda6’s lively handling. They give praise to the steering, which, unlike many other midsize sedans, actually gives some feedback to the driver. They do note that straight-line performance on four-cylinder models is rather disappointing, though six-cylinder models are peppy.

  •  +"On the road, the Mazda6 makes no attempt to hide its sporty backbone. This isn't another soulless method of basic transportation, but one of the more spirited offerings in a sea of bland family haulers." -- Motor Trend
  • "This four-door is the only body style, and the 6 is among the best family sedans to drive, with a sporty suspension and good steering." -- Car and Driver
  • "How much fun you'll have behind the wheel of the Mazda 6 largely depends on which engine you pick. The base four-cylinder is just fine for the daily commute, but the lively V6 certainly increases the grins per mile." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Mazda6 is available with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 170 horsepower. The four-cylinder model is criticized by reviewers for being a little slow off the line, though the standard six-speed manual is praised for its precise throws.

Most reviewers prefer the optional 272-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. Reviewers are disappointed, though, that this engine is only offered with a six-speed automatic transmission.

According to the EPA, four-cylinder Mazda6’s should manage 21 mpg in city driving, and 30 on the highway (22/31 with the optional five-speed automatic), while six-cylinder models earn 18/27 mpg city/highway.

  • "While the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder will likely satisfy most drivers, its leisurely acceleration and wheezy engine note may be a bit of a turnoff." -- Edmunds
  • "Where the 2.5-liter four feels pretty peppy out on the road, the 272-hp V-6 is downright intoxicating." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Enthusiasts take note: The only way you'll get to row your own gears in the Mazda6 is by sticking with the smooth, rev-happy four-banger. This isn't a gearbox to be missed." -- Motor Trend  
  • "Four-cylinder engine gets loud at high rpm." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Reviewers appreciate the Mazda6’s lively handling. They say it is one of the most engaging cars in its class.

  • "The Mazda6's suspension soaked up the bumps and cracks of the washboard that is Interstate 580 -- a road that rattles even small crossovers -- in Oakland, Calif. The ride was smooth and quiet allowing the optional Bose premium audio system to shine." -- CNET
  • "This athleticism results in a slightly firm ride quality, however, and road noise is also a bit more prominent, but neither is particularly bothersome, even when riding on the big 18-inch wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "It proves eager and quick to turn in, giving the car a somewhat crisp feel in fast lane changes and on curved freeway on-ramps." -- Motor Trend

Next Steps: 2011 Mazda Mazda6

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