2015 Mazda6
John Goreham's picture

Why all the reviewers pick the 2015 Mazda6 as the top vehicle

The Mazda6 is clearly the favorite mid-size car among those who have tested it in the US market. What is it that makes this car such a clear leader?

The 2015 Mazda6 and the 2014 model year have won pretty much every comparison test they have been in. There is a reason this car is winning all the comparison tests we feel that we can explain. We automotive writers didn’t get into this spectacularly low paying gig because we don’t like to drive. In fact, one of the main reasons we did get into this is to drive cars we otherwise might not have a chance to. We like cars that are a pleasure to drive and the Mazda6 is the best driver's car in this very tough category. If that was all it was it might still be third in the group, but the Mazda6 has more to offer.

2015 Mazda6 is in a Tough Category

When you drive the mid-size sedans in the US market one thing becomes obvious. The top 4 or 5 are all near-great for the money. A V6 Camry or a V6 Accord is a very capable car and can easily run away from BMWs and Audis costing more and even some of the Lexus and Acura models. They both have 0-60 times under six seconds and can also brake and turn pretty darn well. We have driven the Accord V6 manual on a track and were shocked by its capabilities.

The 4-cylinder models are no slouches either. The Mazda6 can run to 60 MPH in about seven seconds flat with the automatic transmission (according to Car and Driver tests). Look back to the glory days of the ‘60s and ‘70s and see just how many “muscle” cars that would beat (many). The Mazda6 goes further than all of these near-great cars though. It is great to drive. That is my opinion, but it is also the opinion of all of the major publications. Like the Mazda3, the Mazda6 has run the table.

Is the 2015 Mazda6 For You?
Does this mean you will love the Mazda6? It depends. Do you place a sporty ride at the top of your list? If not, what about fuel economy? How about the requirement to have a stick shift? The Mazda6 offers the most sporty ride without being harsh. It is at the top of the fuel economy tables for the class, and yes, you can have a stick if you want it. No other mid-size can say that. Is it the cheapest car in one can buy. No, it is not. It is the one with the most dealerships and the flashiest advertisements. Nope. It is however one of the better looking mid-size cars in a field that many say all look alike. Hopefully that helps explain why the Mazda6 won all the comparisons.

Who Loves the Mazda6?
“Who doesn’t” would be a better question. Every comparison test we could find chose the Mazda6 over all the competitors like Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, VW Passat and Nissan Altima. Most recently, the Mazda6 won the July 2014 Motor Trend “All In the Family” comparison. It was also the winner of Car and Driver’s multi-stage test last year that ultimately pit it against the Accord EX-L in the Stanley Cup Finals of car testing. Popular Mechanics picked the Mazda6. Autoguide.com also picked the Mazda6 from a field of 8 cars in a test considering 18 factors. I think you are getting the point.

Mazda6 Ages Well
One last thing. Motor Trend’s Edward Loh in his fifth update on his long-term Mazda6 tester said, “Rowing through the gearbox continues to be a simple pleasure.” He also added that the Mazda6’s steering was “perhaps the '6's strongest quality against its competitive field.”

Mazda has now beaten the pants off the entrenched Toyotas and Hondas in both the compact and mid-size segments in comparison tests by pretty much every publication. If that isn’t a solid vote for the cars and the brand, I cannot imagine what is.

Main Story Image courtesy of Aaron Turpen. Smaller photos by John Goreham.

Related Stories:
Torque News Full Review - 2015 Mazda6
Transmission in the 2015 Mazda6 manual makes us want to hug a Mazda executive

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Great photo. This guy knows how to take a good shot of this lovely car. Kudos to the photo taker who is obviously THE MAN. ;)
Woops. Sorry Aaron. Proper photo credit added. It was so professional I assumed I had grabbed it from the Mazda Media Site.
lol I wasn't fishing for credit, just having fun. Thanks, though. Occasionally, even with my marginal skills, an extremely photogenic car comes along and you can't help but take great shots.
In all seriousness, though, the main thing holding back the Mazda6 is not a lack of reviews, lack of awesomeness, etc. It's a lack of marketing. Mazda needs to step up to the plate and do some real, long-term, steadfast marketing for this car instead of the fit-and-start stuff it does now. Same with the 3 for that matter.
How about reliability/dependability? Can the Mazdas compare to the Hondas and Toyotas in this category? For a lot of people, a good car is not just one that drives good, but also one that will last long, years beyond the financing period.
According to Consumer Reports, the predicted reliability for the 2015 Mazda 6 is excellent while for the 2014 Accord LX it is very good. I was surprised. But, having had a Mazda 3 for almost 10 years and knowing that Mazda is no longer using somewhat inferior Ford components, I believe their prediction.
How does the Mazda6 (2016) compare with the Acura iLX (2016)? handling, quality, price?