Although the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have been industry standouts for decades, there are more than a half dozen other midsize sedans that demand a good look.
One of those to check out is the 2021 Mazda6, which features many enviable qualities, including styling, family-friendly interior space, affordability, plus solid fuel economy and performance.
Other notable players in the fiercely competitive midsize sedan class are the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima.
The Mazda6 certainly cemented its inclusion in this club with some broad improvements three years ago. The changes included adding an impressive turbocharged engine, adding an exterior facelift (attractive grille, standard LED headlights) and making smart interior refinements.
A year ago, the Mazda6 was unchanged and not much has been added to the 2021 model. It now comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android integration. It also includes a new upscale Carbon Edition.
Despite the improvements, sales continue to drop for the Mazda6. Sales reached 57,898 in 2015, but have declined for five straight years, falling to a measly 16,204 in 2020, the lowest sales figure since Mazda6 debuted in 2005.
AT A GLANCE – 2021 MAZDA6
- Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 187 horsepower; turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 250 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 26-35 mpg; 23-31 mpg
- Price: $24,600 to $35,900
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance 3 years/36,000; corrosion 5 years/unlimited
Offered in six trims (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, Carbon Edition, Signature), the 2021 Mazda6 still starts at a very affordable price – approximately $24,600.
Oddly, there’s still no V6 option, but the Mazda6 turbo model is a nice addition and should be seriously considered. Even though the price of the base model is attractive, that means going with the less performance-laden engine.
The turbo engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that generates either 227 or 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It has lots of initial power, clocked at 6.1 seconds in 0-60 mpg.
The Mazda6 base model comes equipped with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. For car buyers who are gas conscious, this model gets 26-35 mpg, an improvement over the turbo engine (23-31 mpg). Note that the front-wheel drive Mazda6 has no all-wheel drive option.
What hasn’t changed much is the way the Mazda6 drives. It has a great reputation for its athletic prowess and handles superbly, especially through corners. Drivers will possess a great deal of confidence and find the Mazda6 delivers well in the “fun” department.
There’s also much to admire regarding the Mazda6’s interior. It provides good comfort that should be appreciated in warding off fatigue on long drives. Head and leg room are excellent up front, while rear seating and the cargo area (14.7 cubic feet) are about average for the class.
The Mazda6 is equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen that can be mastered in a short period. Its central control knob is the key to easing any frustrating technology issues.
The 2021 Mazda6 is a notable entry in the competitive midsize sedan class. It’s decline in sales is a bit perplexing, but can at least partially be attributed to U.S, car buyers moving away from sedans in favor of small SUVs.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.