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2012 Mazda MAZDA6 Photo
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$19,343
BASE MSRP
$20,480
Quick Take
The 2012 Mazda6 is just as comfortable, practical, and refined as most other mid-size sedans, but it's a little more enjoyable to drive. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

There’s a hint of RX-8 in the front fenders, the fast rear roofline and backlight suggest speed, and the sheetmetal is wrapped tightly around the 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Car and Driver »

sloping roofline, RX-8-inspired fenders and optional LED taillights, which lend sportiness to the sedan

Forbes.com »

it's an attractive package from just about any angle

Autoblog »

Inside, however, the odd decorative trim pieces resemble piano black trim that's been mauled by a bear.

Edmunds »

The exterior styling stands out a little, with pronounced front fenders.

CNET »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$20,480 $29,810
MSRP $20,480
INVOICE $19,343 Browse used listings in your area
4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport
Gas Mileage 21 mpg City/30 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I4, 2.5L
EPA Class Midsize
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.2 out of 10
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The Basics:

The 2012 Mazda6 is one of the best-packaged and fun-to-drive mid-size family-worthy sedans—one of the best-looking, too, we think—but it's a shame that it never even makes it on most shopping lists.

Though it's essentially the same size as the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord, the Mazda6 manages to appear a little leaner and more purposeful. It's attractive from any angle, but the sculpted front fenders and broad wheel arches give it an especially aggressive look from the front. It remains a little more conservative (which some might appreciate) from the front compared to other recently redesigned models like the Mazda3 and Mazda5. Inside, the Mazda6 feels sporty, even in base trims, with flowing lines, hooded instruments, and a smaller-size three-spoke steering wheel.

You shouldn't have any reservations about sticking with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that Mazda6 'i' (including base SV, Sport, and Touring) models get. It's reasonably fuel-efficient (not nearly as much as class leaders like the Hyundai Sonata though), and it feels perky whether you go with the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Step up to the V-6, however, and you might not be able to go back; the 3.7-liter engine churns out 272 hp, along with plenty of accessible low-rpm torque, making the Mazda6 feel like a muscle-sedan. It's a hoot to drive, but it's also quite a bit thirstier. No matter what, you get nice capable brakes with a firm pedal feel, reasonably good, athletic handling, and a ride that straddles the line pretty well between comfort and sharpness. Those expecting a serious sport sedan, or moving up from a Mazda3, might want things even tighter though.

The 2012 Mazda6 won't let you down in any way with respect to seating comfort, cargo space, or ride quality. Front seats are a little more supportive than most in this class, the backseat is good enough for adults, and the trunk is the largest in this class, at 16.6 cubic feet. Although the release for the rear seatbacks is a little clunky, they fold forward to a flatter position than most, too. And for those used to the higher levels of road noise in some of Mazda's other vehicles, the 6 is surprisingly refined and quiet inside.

Safety is one point of concern. The Mazda6 hasn't been crash-tested under the revised federal system, and it earns only 'acceptable' in the IIHS roof strength test and 'marginal' in the seat-based rear-impact test.

But it's very well-featured for the money, and especially in four-cylinder form, a bargain (at around $20k for the base SV) compared to some segment leaders--especially when you consider the Mazda6's more entertaining steering and seating comfort. Bluetooth is still lacking on base models, but the Mazda6 does include air conditioning, a tilt/telescopic stsering wheel, power windows and locks, rear-seat heated ducts, and a six-speaker audio system with aux input. At the top of the range, Grand Touring models gain items like leather upholstery, heated front seats, a multi-information display, keyless illuminated entry, cruise control, a dual-zone climate control system, fog lamps, and a power moonroof.

 

Likes:

  • Confident steering feel
  • Tasteful, sporty styling
  • Better-than-typical seating
  • Strong acceleration (V-6)
  • Cargo space

Dislikes:

  • Bluetooth still off the list for base SV
  • Not a safety leader
  • Unimpressive gas mileage
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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