Inside The 2019 Mazda 6: Mazda’s Unsung Family Sedan Hero

Mazda hasn’t necessarily been a front-runner when it comes to overall vehicles sales in the automotive industry. The company is most well-known for the Miata, the RX-7, and quite a few other iconic models — the Mazda 3 is a popular one, for example.

The Mazda 6 can’t necessarily compare to the cool factor of a tiny-but-mighty Miata coupe or the utility of the CX-5 crossover, but to dismiss this quality sedan entirely could be a costly mistake.

If you’re looking to replace, upgrade, or even make your first sedan purchase, the 2019 Mazda 6 should definitely be on your shortlist. We encourage you to at least take a look at the information we’ve gathered on the model before you test drive anything. Part of knowing what you do want means weeding out what you don’t, so give our article a peruse before you cruise. And maybe whisper a little “zoom, zoom” to yourself if you do end up test driving this modern, sleek, and capable family sedan.

Performance

Potential buyers will have two engine options to choose from: a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a turbocharged version with quite a bit more horsepower and torque. Speaking of which, the base powerplant produces 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, while the turbo adds on 66 more horsepower and a whopping 125 more lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is the only drivetrain option available.

Trimlines and Safety Features

Mazda offers the 2019 Mazda 6 in the following trim variants:

Sport: Beginning at around $23,800, the base Sport model isn’t as basic as you might think. An 8-inch touchscreen goes well with the standard Pandora and Bluetooth, offset by a six-speaker sound system. Cloth seats, 17-inch wheels, and push-button start are standard equipment as well. Safety features on this base trim include lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, Smart City Brake Support, and Smart Brake Support (i.e. forward-collision warning with brake assist and pedestrian detection).

Touring: At just above $26,000 in price, the Touring model add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, synthetic leather seating, heated front seats, keyless entry, a moonroof, and bigger wheels.

Grand Touring: If you’re looking for the turbo engine as standard equipment, look no further than this trim level. Other standard features include an upgraded 11-speaker Bose sound system and satellite radio, all for just under $30,000. As with all available trims, you can add remote start as an option for only $550.

Grand Touring Reserve: A new trim level to the Mazda 6 this year, the Grand Touring Reserve brings much-needed luxury to this otherwise well-appointed sedan. Highlights include leather seating, ventilated front seats and heated rear, traffic sign recognition, and a heads-up display (HUD). Choosing this trim level only costs you around $2,000 more than the previous trim.

Signature: Go big or go home with this trim level, which comes in just over the $35,000 mark. Upgraded leather seating, navigation, and a heated steering wheel top off the interior accouterments. Outside you’ll find front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view parking camera.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet rated the 2019 Mazda 6. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the model 5 out of 5 Stars for their overall safety rating.

Fuel Efficiency

Given there’s really only one powerplant base for the 2019 Mazda6, the fuel efficiency numbers don’t vary too much between the two engine variants. Naturally-aspirated versions should see around 26 city and 35 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (mpg), while turbo models will see closer to 23 city and 31 highway mpg. Kelley Blue Book ranks the 2019 Mazda 6 in 11th place in its segment for fuel efficiency.

How the 2019 Mazda 6 Compares

Currently in its third generation, the 2019 Mazda 6 faces stiff competition in the dwindling sedan market. Besides the smaller Mazda 3, the larger family sedan is the only representative to compete with brands like Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, and Hyundai in the segment.

The 2019 Ford Fusion’s starting price is just under the 2019 Mazda 6’s, though it does offer various powertrain options in terms of naturally-aspirated, turbo, and hybrid. Chevrolet’s 2019 Impala has a starting price nearer to $30,000, with a strong V6 engine and broad proportions similar to the Mazda 6, making it a close competitor as well. Volkswagen, Honda, and Toyota all offer more utilitarian looks and interior materials, and the trio sticks close to the same price point of the segment, ranging anywhere from $22,000 for base models to $35,000 or so for top trims.

When considered in its own element, the 2019 Mazda 6 certainly has its pros and cons. Edmunds’ experts described the turbo engine’s fuel efficiency as “class-competitive,” which says a lot for the engineers at Mazda. To make a turbo engine fuel efficient and fun to drive takes skill. “Entertaining handling” gave the Edmunds’ crew a memorable ride, though they found comfort a bit lacking in the ride quality department.

Kelley Blue Book reviewers had mixed emotions about the 2019 Mazda 6 as well. They complimented the interior, which brought “an air of luxury to the driving experience.” Mazda hasn’t typically done well with luxury trimmings in the past but even on the outside, KBB experts were sure that if they replaced the iconic Mazda badge with that of brands more known for above-average exterior styling, the model would fit right in. In the end, Mazda may have a lower resale value than other competitors, but the Mazda 6 holds its own in the sedan segment.

Built in Japan, the 2019 Mazda 6 presents quite a few appealing features to the average modern-day family. Choosing between responsible and fun engine choices makes it easier to focus on trim levels and optional features. Standard safety equipment rivals what Honda and Toyota stuff into their sedan models. And between the hum-drum boxy features of the VW Passat and bold, edgy flashiness of the Nissan Maxima, the Mazda 6 appears composed and elegant.

The Good

  • Dynamic styling for a 4-door sedan
  • Cylinder deactivation available
  • Abundance of standard safety features

The Not-So-Good

  • Limited powerplant options
  • Trunk space dwarfed by some competitors
  • 6-speed manual transmission no longer available

The Last Word

The 2019 Mazda 6 isn’t the sports car you dreamed of as a kid. That doesn’t mean it can’t be the family sedan you need as an adult. Add your local Mazda dealership to your car-search itinerary and give the 2019 Mazda 6 a whirl. There’s much more to this four-door than meets the eye.

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