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#23

in Used Midsize Cars $15K and up

Avg. Price Paid: $15,375 - $21,542
Original MSRP: $20,725 - $29,990
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2013 Mazda Mazda6 Performance

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

Test drivers agree that the 2013 Mazda6’s dynamic handling and accurate steering make it stand out in a class filled with boring family sedans. Though they think the four-cylinder engine is sufficient, they note that the V6 delivers strong acceleration. With either engine, fuel economy is below-average for the class.

  • "Handling, always a Mazda strength, is good on this sedan, but EPA highway fuel economy of 30 mpg fails to impress." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2011)
  • "Driving is a thrilling experience in the … Mazda6, especially with the higher trim level's V6 engine." -- Automobile.com (2011)
  • "But what we like most about the Mazda 6 is its driving dynamics. Underway, it delivers sparkling performance, offering a terrific driving experience among the midsize sedans." -- New Car Test Drive (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2013 Mazda6 has a 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission, though a five-speed automatic with manual mode is available. The s Grand Touring trim is powered by a V6 engine that makes 272 horsepower. This engine is mated to a six-speed automatic with manual mode. EPA fuel economy estimates for the four-cylinder engine and either transmission are 21/30 mpg city/highway, while V6 models earn 18/27 mpg. With a slew of newly-redesigned rivals earning much better fuel economy ratings, the Mazda6’s fuel economy isn’t up to class standards. If fuel economy is a top priority, a redesigned 2014 Mazda6 is coming in early 2013 and is expected to deliver better fuel economy.

Test drivers think the four-cylinder engine’s power is good, but one says it’s underpowered when the car is full of people. Another mentions that the four-cylinder is noisy when pushed hard. Several reviewers prefer the V6, saying it delivers impressive performance. When evaluating the Mazda6’s transmissions, reviewers praise the six-speed manual for its precise throws, while the automatic gets dinged for being slow to respond.

  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Most drivers will find the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder to be a suitable match, but those who want gutsier performance will find the V6 offers a significant boost. Unfortunately, this added performance is tempered by a transmission that is slow to react in both automatic and manual modes." -- Edmunds
  • "The shift and clutch action on the close-ratio 6-speed manual show Mazda's sports car abilities without any sports car compromises." -- New Car Test Drive (2011)
  • "Four-cylinder engine gets loud at high rpm." -- Car and Driver (2011)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers agree that the 2013 Mazda6’s sporty handling makes it more fun to drive than many other affordable midsize cars. Many test drivers think the Mazda6’s ride is composed, though one says it can be a little stiff. One test driver reports that the Mazda6’s brakes are competent and strong.

  • "The 2013 Mazda 6 stands apart from most other family sedans on the strength of its nimble handling. … Its athletic demeanor comes with a ride quality that can be a bit taut, however, and road noise is also more prominent. Still, neither is particularly bothersome, even when riding on the big 18-inch wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "The brakes deliver strong, steady stopping power." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "Although handling can seem a little tight, it's a small price to pay for the generally smooth and enjoyable experience of driving this car." -- Automobile.com (2011)
  • "The Mazda6 leans toward the fun end of the spectrum, while maintaining a good ride quality." -- New Car Test Drive (2011)

Next Steps: 2013 Mazda Mazda6

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