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2012 Mazda 6 Sedan: Features, Prices, Performance, and Rivals

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Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist May 22, 2020 at 02:27 PM
The Mazda 6 is a part of the mid-sized sedan bandwagon which has been a highly competitive space for years and in 2012 the story is no different. It faces stiff competition from the likes of Toyota’s all-rounder, the Camry, and Honda’s established Accord. Let’s find out if the 2012 model is worth your attention.

The Mazda 6 Sedan is known for its fun to drive nature, sporty handling and powerful engine options. The car is not just a vastly practical, capable, and reliable sedan in this segment but at the same time provides great cabin space and comfort. The car looks great and has class-leading driving dynamics. Out of all the models, the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is still going very strong and has a high demand in the market.

2012 Mazda 6 is a striking vehicle to look at

Currently, the latest 2020 Mazda 6 also gives strong competition to its rivals such as the Accord, Malibu, and the Fusion. How well does the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan perform against the competition? Let’s Find out.

How well does the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan stack up?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan faces stiff competition from rivals like Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, and the Chevy Malibu. The 2012 Mazda 6 gets great build quality and reliable powertrain options. The car is powerful and after-sales support is great too.

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan Trims and Features

The 2012 Mazda 6 is available with two engine options. The models powered by the 2.5-L engine are known as ‘i’ models while the models powered by the 3.7-L engine are known as ‘s’ models. Furthermore, the car is available in 4 trim options – Sport, Touring, Touring Plus, and Grand Touring. These engines are mated to a 6-speed MT, 5-speed AT, and 6-speed AT, based upon different trim and powertrain options.

Trim

Sport

Touring

Touring Plus

Grand Touring

MSRP (Manual)

$20,480 (i)

N/A

N/A

N/A

MSRP (Automatic)

$21,480 (i)

$23,125 (s)

$24,730 (i)

$27,570 (s)

$27,310 (i)

$29,810 (s)

Key Features

Advanced Front Airbags, front side impact airbags, and side-impact curtain airbags

In addition to or replaces Sport trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Touring trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Touring Plus features with:

 

Tire Pressure Monitoring system

17-inch alloy wheels

Chrome dual exhausts

18-inch alloy wheels

 

Engine immobilizer

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Power sliding moonroof

MID For audio and Bluetooth with a rearview camera

 

Dual body-colored power remote outside controls

Centre console adjustable sliding armrest

Dual folding ORVM

Bose 10 speaker surround sound system

 

Clear lens halogen headlights with auto shut off

8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

A blind-spot monitoring system

Optional Technology pack

 

AM/FM/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers

In-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 Player

Antitheft alarm system

Optional navigation pack

 

Centre console armrest with covered dual storage compartments

Bluetooth

   

 

The rivals for the 2013 Mazda 6 include its latest generation, i.e the 2020 Mazda 6 followed by the extremely popular 2020 Honda Accord, the ultra-reliable and popular 2020 Toyota Camry and 2020 Chevrolet Malibu.
 

Engine and performance

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is powered by two engine options. The first engine is a 2.5-L inline-4 gasoline-powered engine that churns out 170 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. This engine is available with a 6-speed MT or a 5-speed AT. The second engine on offer is the 3.7-L V6 gasoline-powered engine which churns out 272 hp and 269 lb-ft of peak torque. This engine is mated to a 6-speed AT gearbox.

How does the engine feel?

Both the engines present in the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan are highly powerful and refined. The engines offer a linear power delivery and are not too vocal in the initial rev band. The low end of the car is great and driving it in the city traffic is not a major hassle. The AT gearbox is smooth and gear shifts are fast while the MT provides maximum pleasure to the driver with its slick and accurate shifts. In all, the engine and gearbox combo available on the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is phenomenal and is great to drive in all driving conditions.

Mazda 6 powered by the 3.7 V6 Engine

The 2020 Mazda 6, however, feels more agile and fun to drive. The 2020 model is not just a generation ahead of the 2012 model but also uses more advanced components and a newly developed chassis.

Models

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

MSRP

$16,705

$24,100

$23,870

$23,170

$23,220

Engine

2.5-L 4 Cylinder

3.7-L V6

2.5-L 4 Cylinder

1.5-L Inline-4

2.5-L 4 Cylinder

1.5-L Turbo Inline 4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed MT and 5-Speed AT

6-Speed AT

6-Speed AT

CVT Gearbox

6-Speed AT

CVT Gearbox

Power (hp @ rpm)

170 @ 6000

272 @ 6250

187 @ 6,000

192 @ 5,500

175 @ 6,000

163 @ 5,700

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

167 @ 4000

269 @ 4250

186 @ 4000

192 @ 1,600

175 @ 4,500

184 @ 2,500

As it is clearly evident, the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is still one of the most powerful vehicles in the market. At the time even its other V6 powered competitors weren't as powerful as the 6, and this in some sense continues, as the 2020 Mazda 6 with its 2.5 turbo motor is the most powerful four-cylinder vehicle in its class.

How fast is the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan was amongst the most powerful cars of the segment back then. The 0-60 MPH timings for the 2.5-L engine stand at 7.8 which are pretty respectable considering the segment standards. The 0-60 data for the 3.7-L V6 is not available but we expect it to be blistering fast considering its power and torque output.

Models

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

0-60 MPH (seconds)

7.8

7.1

7.6

8.9

8.5

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

16

15.1

15.9

15.2

16

Top-Speed (MPH)

133

135

121

N/A

N/A

Engine

2.5-L Inline 4

2.5-L 4 cylinder

1.5-L Turbo Inline-4

2.5-L 4 cylinder

1.5-L Turbo inline 4

Emissions (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15k mi/yr)

N/A

5

4.4

6

4.9

As it is clearly evident from the table above, the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan gives tough competition to other modern cars with its 2.5-L gasoline engine. The Camry and Accord are significantly slower than the Mazda, in spite of featuring more powerful engines because of their CVT gearboxes and their heavier curb weight. Mazda has also significantly improved the performance of the Mazda 6 by tuning the engine for better power delivery and reliability.

How well does the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan handle?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan gets a firm suspension which helps the car have great driving dynamics. However, even with a little stiff suspension, the car remains largely comfortable in most situations. The body roll is negligible and the car stays planted on the road at triple digits speeds as well. In all, the 2012 Mazda 6 is a great handler but when we compare it to the 2020 model, it fails to win by a very small margin.

How well does the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan stop?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is a heavy car and the carmaker has equipped it with a 4 wheel disc setup. Not only did it feature larger discs, but it also came with a well-calibrated ABS system, that helped it stop within a lesser distance than its rivals. However, even with the advance setup, the braking performance is not the best in the segment.

 

Models

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

11.8

11.7

11.5

11.8

11.8

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

11

10.9

11.1

11.9

11.3

Curb Weight (lbs)

3329

3437

3131

3472

3135

60-0 (feet)

126

127

120

122

113

 

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan may not be the fastest to come to a standstill but provides decent braking performance. This might not be as good as the competition, however, the difference is not significant enough to change your purchase decision. Brakes on the Mazda 6 feature an 11.9-inch rotor on the front and a 10.8-inch rotor at the rear. The smaller brake rotors are not a handicap for the 6 because of its clever trickery. 

How many miles to the gallon does the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan offers?

The claimed fuel efficiency of the Mazda 6 stands at 25 MPG and 21 MPH (combined) which is poor considering the segment standards. The 2020 Mazda 6 offers better fuel economy over the 2012 model but even today, the car’s rivals offer a better fuel economy.

 

Models

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

MPG (City)

22

18

26

30

21

26

MPG (Highway)

31

27

35

38

31

36

MPG (Combined)

25

21

29

33

24

32

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.5

16.4

14.8

16.5

15.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined) in Miles)

407/573/432

333/499/388

426/574/475

444/562/488

347/512/396

458/569/505

 

Even though it has poor fuel efficiency figures than all the other cars in the segment, it's massive fuel tank capacity at 18.5 gallons gives it an identical range just like all its rivals. But it is the Toyota Camry that beats all its rivals not only in terms of fuel efficiency but also gives it the best range in the segment.

 

Is the interior of the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan a nice place to be in?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan gets a practical dashboard layout and the build quality is decent too. The plastics feel premium to touch and there is an ample number of storage spaces available across the cabin. The cabin is nicely put together and has a pleasing design.

Are the seats comfortable?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan has a maximum seating capacity of 5. The cabin is spacious and gets enough legroom and headroom at the front as well as at the rear. The font provides adequate under-thigh and lumbar support and has nice cushioning all around. The rear seat bench is also comfortable and ingress and egress from the car are easy.

2012 Mazda 6 features a simple and elegant interior design

A basic radio is all you got as infotainment, with only the Grand Touring variant getting an optional 7-inch touchscreen system. While having a touchscreen wasn’t even a popular option back then, Mazda was one of the very few manufacturers who gave its customers an option to have a touchscreen fitted from the factory. Overall, the 2012 Mazda 6 was a good car to be in during its time, and would seriously feel quite out of date by modern standards.

 

Models

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.4/57.3/42.5

38.4/55.9/42.2

39.5/58.3/42.3

39.2/57.8/44.3

40.1/58.5/45.3

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

37.3/56.5/38

37.1/55.1/38.7

37.3/56.5/40.4

37.8/56.9/38.3

37.5/57.1/38.1

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

16.6

14.7

16.7

16

15.8

 

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan offers one of the most spacious cabins in the segment and leads the trunk capacity battle. The Mazda 6 is on par with its rivals in terms of front row space and rear row space. The Honda Accord and Mazda 6 are pretty closely matched whereas the Malibu trails behind the two.

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan gets an FM/AM/MP3 stereo system with 6 speakers for the base variant while the higher variants also have an in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 player with Bluetooth connectivity. The range-topping variant gets a 10-speaker BOSE to surround sound system and an optional navigation pack. The car also gets steering mounted audio controls. Unlike the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan, the 2020 Mazda 6 comes with a number of advanced connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and android auto.

Is the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan attractive?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan gets an elegant and sleek design language with minimalistic cuts and creases. The overall front facia lacks any aggression but looks really attractive and unique. The side profile is upright while the rear sees the addition of a fancy bumper design and attention-seeking tail lamps. The overall design lacks any aggressive elements or body lines but does give the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan a unique sporty character.

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is well-proportioned

The 2020 Mazda 6’s design language has changed significantly but overall, the current model has a large resemblance with the 2015 model. The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan gets a number of styling updates such as:

  • Chrome Exhaust Tips
  • Body-colored door handles and bumpers
  • 18-inch Alloy wheels
  • Electrically adjustable and folding ORVMs with side indicators
  • Electric Sunroof
  • Projector Headlamps 

 

Models

2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu

Curb Weight (lb)

3329

3437

3131

3472

3135

Length (inches)

193.7

192.7

192.2

191.8

193.8

Width (inches)

72.4

72.4

73.3

72.9

73

Height (inches)

57.9

57.1

57.1

58.2

57.6

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.1

6.5

N/A

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (inches)

109.8

11.4

111.4

112.2

111.4

 

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan’s dimensions are at par with the segment standards but due to its extremely proportional body, and the lack of exaggerated overhangs, combined with the large 18-inch rims, it might not look as long as some of its rivals like the Honda Accord, it does manage to strike the balance and comes across as the most pleasing to the eyes in this lot.

Safety features of the 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan

The 2015 Mazda gets all safety features that can be expected at this price. In addition to the advanced braking system which includes features such as ABS and EBD, the car also gets stability control and an advanced ‘H Steel’ body structure.

Which one should you pick?

The 2012 Mazda 6 Sedan is a highly reliable and well-built car. In addition to the frugal engines, it gets, the driving dynamics are well sorted. The 2012 Mazda 6 is one of the most sporty and fun to drive cars in the segment and at the same time provides ample amount of space inside the cabin. The car is affordable and cheap to maintain, making it one of the best choices for anyone who is tight on budget.

Also Read:

Check out our detailed review of the 2019 Mazda 6.

Find out how safe the 2020 Mazda 6 actually is?

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