The 2019 Mazda6 midsize sedan has a rare ability to reconcile conflicting virtues. This is a mainstream car, but its styling and equipment roster lean toward to the luxury side. The driving experience is fun and engaging, yet fuel consumption is impressive and safety scores are high.
You'll Like The 2019 Mazda Mazda6 If...
First, congratulations for thinking outside the crossover-SUV box. The 2019 Mazda6 midsize sedan is stylish, well equipped, fuel-efficient, safe, reliable, comfortable, upscale and fun. If that sounds like your ideal car, then your search has ended.
You May Not Like The 2019 Mazda Mazda6 If...
You want the most trunk space. The Honda Accord offers 16.7 cubic feet of luggage area, compared with the Mazda6’s 14.7. For those requiring all-wheel drive, the Subaru Legacy has it as standard; the new-for-2019 Nissan Altima offers it as an option. Or maybe you want a hybrid. Check out the Accord and Camry variants.
Those now-standard driver aids include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. G-Vectoring Control Plus is another standard feature, making cornering safer, smoother and more efficient. A Grand Touring Reserve expands the trim levels, while the 6-speed manual transmission is discontinued.
Despite younger rivals, the 2019 Mazda6 still has one of the best interiors in its class, with clean design, impressive materials and upscale décor. The front seats are accommodating and comfortable, while the rears are also well-cushioned. Rear legroom of 38.7 inches seems good in theory, but in reality it can feel a tad tight. The infotainment system employs an 8-inch display, along with a rotary control dial in the center console. As mentioned earlier, 14.7 cubic feet of trunk space is not so impressive, but at least the rear seats split and fold in time-honored 60/40 fashion.
Replace the Mazda badge with Audi’s four rings, Tesla’s T or Jaguar’s leaping cat, and this exterior design would still look absolutely right. There’s a certain skill to giving a car a premium appearance and Mazda’s designers have that skill by the truckload. The Mazda6 is a prime example. There’s a cohesive quality to the shapes, lines and proportions, giving the impression that it was designed by one person with a strong vision, as opposed to styling by committee and market research findings. On either side of the grille are standard LED headlights, while at the rear are LED taillights and dual exhaust pipes.
Every contemporary Mazda has some degree of driving fun and many have plenty. The Mazda6 balances high levels of engagement with a family-friendly ride quality. The steering is one of our favorites in this class, with the right amount of assistance and plenty of feel. The G-Vectoring Control Plus system might sound daunting, but a driver never has to worry about it. The system makes subtle adjustments of engine power and braking to make everything smoother. It also helps during sudden lane changes and other evasive moves. The standard 184-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is powerful enough for most people, but the 250-horsepower turbocharged alternative gives the Mazda6 greater acceleration and passing power. The 6-speed automatic transmission has fewer gears than many rivals, but it’s responsive and well-matched to both engines. The inclusion of a Sport mode is another plus.
The 2019 Mazda6 Sport has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $23,000, plus a destination charge of $920. We’d recommend coming in at least at the Touring level for $27,320. Grand Touring is $30,420, Grand Touring Reserve runs to $32,920, and Signature tops the range at $36,020. The Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Subaru Legacy are less expensive. The base Nissan Altima is virtually the same as a Mazda6 Sport, while the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry start out higher. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Mazda6 midsize sedan. Resale values are expected be average for the class, not performing quite as well as the Accord and Camry.
A new trim level joins the 2019 Mazda6 lineup: Grand Touring Reserve. As its name suggests, it’s near the top of the lavishness ladder. But even the entry-level Sport trim comes well stocked. In addition to the driver-aids package, G-Vectoring Control Plus and LED lighting, the Sport model comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth phone and audio, and two USB ports.
To obtain more equipment in the 2019 Mazda6 is not a case of ordering from a list of options, but choosing a higher trim. For example, Touring has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, heated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, power moonroof, 19-inch alloys, and a couple more USB ports for the rear quarters. Grand Touring adds the turbocharged engine, uprated brakes and an 11-speaker Bose audio system among its extra features. Things become ever grander until we reach Signature trim with Nappa leather, real Japanese Sen wood accents, 360-degree-camera system, configurable driver display, and many other luxury touches.
RADAR CRUISE CONTROL WITH STOP-AND-GO
This advanced cruise-control system is standard in the 2019 Mazda6 as part of the i-Activsense array of driver aids. It maintains a safe predetermined distance from the vehicle ahead, works at all speeds, and features stop-and-go capabilities, so it’ll apply the brakes or throttle in traffic.
TOP SAFETY SCORES
The Mazda6 received the highest safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with a 5-star overall score. And it aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-test program to become a Top Safety Pick.
Under the Hood
The basic engine for the 2019 Mazda6 range is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit. Unusual for the class, it has a cylinder-deactivation feature to help save fuel when not under load. Its fuel-economy figures are impressive, averaging 29 mpg with regular gasoline. At the Grand Touring trim level and above comes a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine endowing the Mazda6 with 250 horsepower (on 93-octane gasoline; 227 horsepower with the 87-octane stuff), yet able to achieve an average of 26 mpg. Both engines link up to a 6-speed automatic transmission (Mazda engineers reckon six well-chosen ratios is still the optimum setup) and front-wheel drive is the sole configuration.
184 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
185 lb-ft of torque @ 3,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg
2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
250 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
310 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg
The 2019 Mazda6 midsize sedan is so good it could be from a premium marque. While acknowledging that taste is subjective, we think the Mazda6 has a style about it that sets it apart from rivals like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Yet this impetus to offer buyers something special goes far beyond the superficial. The cabin is an example of more high style, in conjunction with quality materials and build, bringing an air of luxury to the driving experience. And on the subject of driving, Mazda has an approach of always improving things like the suspension (for greater precision as well as comfort) and the engines (for better economy as well as output). The company also makes safety a major consideration, as it should. For this model year, the array of driver aids becomes standard throughout the Mazda6 range. Just one thing: An all-new Mazda6 is expected in 2020.