2012 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. Its Competition

2011 Mazda MAZDA6 4-door Sedan Auto i Grand Touring Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

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.

2011 Mazda MAZDA6 4-door Sedan Auto i Grand Touring Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mazda MAZDA6
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2012 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited Side Exterior View2012 Hyundai Sonata
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2012 Kia Optima2012 Kia Optima
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2012 Nissan Altima 4-door Sedan I4 CVT 2.5 S Side Exterior View2012 Nissan Altima
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2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid2012 Toyota Camry
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Quick Specs
8.2
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.
8.6
After more than a decade on the market, the latest Hyundai Sonata's an overnight success--thanks to great gas mileage, grabby styling, and exceptional value for the dollar.
8.6
The basics don't have to be boring: the 2012 Kia Optima evades design and driving boredom with suave looks, good performance and great gas mileage and features.
7.6
The 2012 Nissan Altima isn't as roomy as the newest mid-offerings, but as a coupe or as a sedan, it's one of the best-looking and most sporty mid-sizers.
8.0
The redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry remains the most conservative-looking pick among mid-size sedans, but if you want comfort, value, and frugality above all else, it's probably just your style.
MSRP From    
$20,480$19,795$19,500$20,550$22,055
Gas Mileage    
18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
MidsizeLarge CarsMidsize CarsMidsizeMidsize Car
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual GLS4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.54-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (GS)
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
Manual w/ODManualManualContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2012 Hyundai Sonata2012 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2012 Kia Optima2012 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2012 Nissan Altima2012 Mazda MAZDA6 vs. 2012 Toyota Camry