In this group of vehicles, the Mazda6 arguably has the freshest appearance.
But those looking only at the top-of-the-line V-6 Mazda6 's' Grand Touring should also consider the Nissan Maxima.
The Maxima has an aesthetically appealing package, with an especially well-sculpted exterior, but the driving experience is a bit disappointing with the CVT automatic—as it is with the Altima.
Mazda has a gem in its 3.7-liter V-6, which feels stronger than virtually any of its peers.
Overall, the Toyota Camry rides more softly.
It is the Buick of this group.
The Honda Accord and Nissan Altima are also quite fun to drive, but the Mazda feels the part, with a more cockpit-like interior.
The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima were completely redesigned for 2011; they're both somewhat larger than the models they replace and have much-improved powertrains and refinement.
The standard engines on both of these models get 35 mpg on the highway and make about 200 hp; of the two, the Optima steers and handles better, but it's not quite up to the agile feel of the Mazda6, overall.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2011 Mazda MAZDA6Browse Used Listings||2011 Honda Accord SedanBrowse Used Listings||2011 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings||2011 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings||2011 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings||2011 Toyota CamryBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|Midsize||Large||Large Cars||Midsize Cars||Midsize||Mid-Size|
|4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||4-Door I4 Manual LX||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual GLS *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX||4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.5||4-Door Sedan I4 Manual (Natl)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual||Continuously Variable||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2011 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2011 Honda Accord Sedan||2011 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2011 Hyundai Sonata||2011 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2011 Kia Optima||2011 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2011 Nissan Altima||2011 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2011 Toyota Camry|