The Mazda6 is now one of the more dated entries in a group of mid-size sedans that's recently seen some redesigned entries.
The Hyundai Sonata has surged to the head of the group, thanks to a roomy design and strong, fuel-efficient powertrains, but its numb steering is a weakness.
The Kia Optima has many of the Sonata's attributes, but slightly better steering and Euro-look styling that some might prefer.
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.
Another all-new entry, for 2012, is the Toyota Camry; while the Camry has been redesigned and given a new instrument panel and a somewhat crisper driving demeanor, it doesn't look much different than the outgoing car.
Meanwhile, the Honda Accord is also due for a redesign; in fuel-efficient four-cylinder form, it's quite a deal, with more of a mature, big-car look and feel.
|2012 Mazda MAZDA6Browse Used Listings||2012 Honda Accord SedanBrowse Used Listings||2012 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings||2012 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings||2012 Nissan AltimaBrowse Used Listings||2012 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 / 32 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|Midsize||Large||Large Cars||Midsize Cars||Midsize||Midsize Car|
|4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||4-Door I4 Manual LX||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual GLS||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX||4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.5||4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (SE)|
|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||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual||Manual||Continuously Variable Ratio||Automatic w/Manual Shift|