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Mazda Mazda6 Performance

Most critics agree that the 2016 Mazda6 is one of the most entertaining cars to drive in its class thanks to its agile handling, responsive steering and strong brakes.

  • "Among the 11 family sedans comprising this segment, the Mazda6 is arguably the most fun to drive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "… if you're looking for a midsize sedan that's a bit more entertaining than most, we suggest a test-drive of the Edmunds 'A' rated Mazda 6." -- Edmunds
  • "Even with SKYACTIV fuel savings, the new Mazda 6 delivers surprisingly spirited performance." -- Motor Week (2014)
  • "Fortunately, beyond the cabin lies the most dynamic, assertive driver's car in the midsize realm." -- The New York Times (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Mazda6 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. When equipped with the automatic transmission, the 2016 Mazda6 earns an EPA-estimated 26/38 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. Grand Touring models with the Technology package achieve 28/40 mpg thanks to aerodynamic active grille shutters and Mazda’s i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.

Though some critics lament that, unlike most of its competitors, the Mazda6 isn't available with a more powerful six-cylinder or turbocharged engine, they say the Mazda6's four-cylinder has little trouble moving the car through busy city streets or up highway onramps. They also appreciate the Mazda6's quick-shifting automatic transmission and engaging six-speed manual.

  • "Remarkably quick for its 184 hp rating, and fuel-efficient too." -- USA Today
  • "Despite its meager appetite, the 6 manages to be quicker than most four-cylinder-powered rivals. Acceleration is more than adequate whether you're carving through city traffic or getting up to highway speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "We admit there were times during our testing of the Mazda6 that we wished it had a little more oomph. Competitors offer this in the form of larger V6 engines or turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplants. But the majority of family sedan buyers will opt for standard 4-cylinder engines, and as such, Mazda's 184-horsepower 2.5-liter will meet most expectations." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2.5-liter engine is powerful enough for most driving situations, especially when paired with the brand's SkyActiv-Drive automatic, which boasts crisp shifts that Mazda says are quicker than dual-clutch transmissions in competitors. Of course, in true Mazda fashion, the 6-speed stick is also a joy thanks to short throws and a predictable clutch." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

According to automotive journalists, the 2016 Mazda6 offers a very engaging driving experience for a midsize car. They love its sharp handling and responsive steering and brakes. However, they note that is has a firmer ride than most competitors, particularly in the higher trims that come standard with 19-inch wheels.

  • "… it felt as good as ever: solid, tied-down, and responsive." -- Car and Driver
  • "Its sporty suspension, light-yet-strong body and excellent braking ability make for an engaging and enjoyable sedan. The fully electric power steering has excellent feedback and a relatively quick 15.5:1 ratio. As for overall comfort, we found the big 19-inch wheels and tire package on Touring and Grand Touring models a bit harsh." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With its communicative, precise steering and sporty chassis tuning, the 2016 Mazda 6 feels sharp-witted and willing when driven around turns. The flip side, however, is that the 6 rides a bit more stiffly than competitors, especially with the 19-inch wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "Zoom Zoom, AMIRITE?! You're expecting a fun handling experience. For a midsize sedan it actually delivers." -- Jalopnik (2014)
  • "Brake performance is also a strong suit with almost instant bite from the top of the pedal stroke." -- AutoWeek (2014)
Review Last Updated: 5/27/15

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