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New Mazda6 Is Still The Sportiest Mid-Size Sedan But It's Losing The Best Attribute

The Mazda6 could be the sportiest mid-size sedan available, but its best attribute is going away forever. If you have a passion for driving you should still check out the 2019 Mazda Mazda6.


We took the 2019 Mazda6 Signature out for the week to see if it’s a sedan you should put on your shopping list. We found out it’s the sportiest midsize sedan on the market even though it’s losing the 6-speed manual gearbox. If you are a driving enthusiast and you want a car for more than a commuter, this still could be your best fit.

Mazda definitely is about entertaining your passion for taking the curves a bit faster than the average commuter. This sedan also looks the part on the outside. Mazda designers cranked up their styling juices and have given the car a good dose of sleek. It’s also one of the safest sedans on the road.

2019 Mazda6

What’s new for 2019?

The Mazda6 stays the same for the 2019 model year but there a few changes. Unfortunately, the sporty sedan is losing the six-speed manual gearbox and is no longer available and we are sad to see it go. The Sport trim gets Mazda's i-Activsense safety suite as standard equipment, and G-Vectoring Control Plus is now standard.

Features & Options

This week we drive the 2019 Mazda6 Signature trim ($35,100) that comes standard with upgraded LED lighting, silver-painted 19-inch wheels and rear spoiler, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, and driver-seat memory functions. There's leather seating along with heated and ventilation for the front row and heating for the rear.

The top-of-the-lineup Signature trim improves the look and feel of the interior with higher-quality materials such as microfiber suede, wood, bright silver finishes on various controls, and upgraded leather, along with a frameless rearview mirror. Other feature additions consist of a digital gauge cluster, a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors, and a navigation system. Total MSRP including destination: $36,815.

Interior Highlights

The material quality is high and the improved styling inside sets this Mazda6 Signature trim apart. The Chestnut Nappa leather interior on our tester looked rich and upscale. The first thing we noticed was a sweeping dash crowned by a bright new seven-inch infotainment display screen.

The Mazda Connect infotainment system is quick enough, but the control device is somewhat uncooperative and the mapping isn’t as good as some rivals. The sport seats offer excellent support for spirited driving, and the leather gives the sedan a luxurious feel. The ventilated front seats and heads-up display made this sedan feel like a more expensive sedan.

There’s impressive interior space up front, and there is good leg and knee room in the rear, even for taller adults. The sporty styling does cut down on rear passenger headroom with the raked roofline, however. The split rear seats fold forward for additional cargo room, and the trunk offers 14.8 cubic feet of space with a wide opening.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The Signature trim is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 227 horsepower on non-premium fuel, and 310 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated with a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

EPA fuel mileage comes in at 23/31 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg.

Driving Dynamics

True to Mazda vehicles being known for their good balance and handling, the Mazda6 maintains that standard, and even ups the game a few notches on the fun-to-drive meter. The new 2.5-liter turbo engine makes quite a difference when compared to the standard, naturally-aspired powerplant. 

Overall, the 2.5-liter turbo is smooth and powerful, and it’s a joy to drive with the six-speed automatic and steering wheel paddle shifters. This engine likes to rev and the paddle shifters give you the ability to get the most from this engine. The Mazda6 came alive on the curvy roads we tested it on near Evergreen, Colorado. The steering felt solid and communicative, and the ride was firm and planted with the 19-inch wheels on the Signature trim.

If you are looking for a plush sedan ride, the Mazda6 is probably not for you. If you like to drive, it’s the best in this segment. With the new G-Vectoring Control, the Mazda6 now applies braking to separate front wheels in the corners, shifting weight forward and increasing grip so the turn-in is more secure. When it releases, weight shifts to the rear for improved balance.


The top-of-the-line 2019 Mazda6 Signature ups the comfort and luxury level a few notches, and the new 2.5-liter turbo feels even better when you get behind the wheel. The sedan handles exceptionally well, the ride is firm and sporty, and the response from the steering and automatic transmission is what driving enthusiasts will enjoy on the commute. The one thing we are sad to see go is the 6-speed manual gearbox.

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Photo credit: Mazda USA


Drew (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 3:12PM

Does the 2019 model come with the standard Mazda rust at the time of purchase or is that a 1 year waiting period. Mazda has really upped their game in a lot of ways but they are lousy with rust and that shows a lack of attention to detail. I drove a 6 speed 2014 and really wanted to like it but after opening the hood and seeing rust on every bolt I could see I said no way. My 2006 Mazda6 fell apart from this cancer. Not from the outside but underneath and under the paint.

Mancini Ellen (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 8:54PM

On my 4th (or is it my 5th?) Mazda. I will miss the manual, as I’ve always driven one. Just bought a 2019 Mazda 3 hatchback. Figured at my age (old!), I might as well go out having fun.

crabbyolddad (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 10:13PM

Since Formula 1 already has sent the manual box to its grave, we drivers of street vehicles will have to learn to accept the demise of them for us too. I do have an older Miata with a 5 speed and will keep it until either of us kicks off but my other vehicles have been automatics for decades.

The times they are a' changin'