2011 Mazda MAZDA6 Photo
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On Performance
On Performance
The 2011 Mazda Mazda6 has specs that put it on level ground with most mid-sizers, yet it's more engaging to drive than most.
8.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

the 6 never feels smaller than its size -- you always have the sense that you're piloting a large vehicle

didn't rise above its midsize sedan average character in power train performance

It's sportier than most competitors, though the Nissan Altima is probably more agile.
MSN Autos

The steering and braking are refreshingly straightforward

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that Mazda6 'I' (including base SV, Sport, and Touring) models get is not only the more economical choice but actually feels quite peppy with either the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic in this rather light-weight (for its size) front-driver. But once you drive the V-6 there might not be any going back; with 272 horsepower from 3.7 liters, it churns out the torque and makes the Mazda6 feel like a muscle car from a standing start. Gas mileage isn't great, but it's a hoot to drive.

In either version, the automatic transmission that accompanies either engine is paired well, with manual control plus rev-matched downshifts good for driving on curvy mountain highways. Brakes have a pleasing, no-slack feel as well.

Altogether, it delivers athletic handling and a surprisingly accommodating ride, but steering could be crisper and quicker and feels a little too isolated, especially on V-6 models.


The 2011 Mazda Mazda6 has specs that put it on level ground with most mid-sizers, yet it's more engaging to drive than most.

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