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In the context of Camrys and Accords and Fusions, the Mazda 6 has been a slow seller; but that doesn't make it less worthy of attention. It's been mostly overlooked, but Mazda hopes a quick refresh in the 2016 model year will help to turn that around.
The 2016 Mazda 6 is an evocative, sleek sedan with some of the best road manners in its class—and a good antidote to the boredom that usually accompanies affordable mid-size models.
The Mazda 6 is easily the most attractive entry in the family-sedan marketplace, and one of the more good-looking sedans today anywhere. With a refined, masculine face and rippled, muscular-looking front fender lines, an arched roofline, and smooth but finely detailed taillights, the Mazda 6 is eye-catching. It's hard to find a bad angle on this car, and the proportions are the best they get in this class.
Design for this kind of sedan has been evolving very, very quickly. Not so long ago at all, mid-size sedans could get away with frumpy and anonymous, but the latest family-size models seem to be in a sort of style-and-design arms race—inching ever toward sexy sheet metal and performance cues, all without removing too much practicality in the process.
Compared to the last-generation 6 sedan, Mazda has cut lots of weight while strengthening the body. With a curb weight of just 3,200 pounds, the 6 feels friskier than other cars its size with similar output.
A 2.5-liter SkyActiv inline-4 is standard across the lineup, fitted with direct injection, variable valve timing, and a very high, 13:1 compression ratio (unleaded gas is just fine). It makes 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, and its good for up to 38 mpg on the highway. All versions have front-wheel drive, and the engine can be fitted to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Manuals are rare enough in mid-size sedans, and Mazda even lets buyers get the stick in something other than the most basic model, which we appreciate.
For 2016, all auto-equipped models receive a new Sport mode, which is activated by a console button. The new Sport transmission mode cuts through the logy shift timing that's made the 6 feel slower than it is; the Sport switch resets every time the car shuts down though, reminding drivers that the 6's normal transmission programming is biased heavily toward fuel economy—and flicking the Sport switch cuts into those real-world gas mileage numbers. The automatic does provide crisp, very quick shifts, with a feel almost as surgical and speedy as that of a dual-clutch unit.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.