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2013 Mazda 6 Sedan Review: Features, Prices, Performance, and Rivals

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Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist May 22, 2020 at 06:06 AM
The Mazda 6 is a part of the mid-sized sedan bandwagon which has been a highly competitive space for years and in 2013, 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 2011 model is worth your attention.

Mazda has been well known for manufacturing reliable vehicles that are affordable to maintain and the Mazda 6 is Mazda’s flagship offering in the United States. This sedan competes in the midsize sedan segment and locks horns with some industry-leading sand stalwarts like Toyota’s Camry and the Honda Accord. Initially envisioned to be a rotary-powered vehicle, Mazda made last-minute decisions to junk the rotary engine in favor of a regular gasoline motor. This motor has come a long way and Mazda’s design team has been able to tweak the engine to help it become the most efficient vehicle in its segment.

2013 Mazda 6 is one of the finest mid-sized sedans money can buy

Mazda 6 brings a totally different approach to this table, i.e less is more. The minimalist styling makes it the most elegant offering here be it the interior or exterior of the vehicle and as far as driving pleasure is concerned, nobody in this segment dose it better than Mazda as it isn’t obsessing over fuel efficiency or emissions, it’s all about great driving dynamics and it excels in that department.

So, how does the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan stack up?

The Mazda 6 competes in the heavily competitive midsize sedan segment, a segment that has been every manufacturer’s cash cow for quite some time. The Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord are its major competitors and each of these vehicles has been selling in much higher numbers since they offer a wider range of features at nearly the same price. Mazda has also been scrimping quite a lot on marketing lately, which is also reflecting on the Mazda 6’s overall sales.

2013 Mazda 6 Sedan Trims and Features

The 2013 Mazda 6 is offered across three variants, each of which has its own set of features and price points. While most people might find the Base model to be quite spartan, we’d say that the mid-spec Premium trim strikes the best balance between the Base and the Limited trim. Also, all models get All-Wheel Drive as standard fitment, something that’s quite rare for the segment.

 

Trim

Sport

Touring

Touring Plus

Grand Touring

MSRP (Manual)

$ 20,725

$ 22,510

$ 26,410

-

MSRP (Automatic)

-

$ 24,510

$ 28,210

$ 29,790

Key Features

Six speaker music system with satellite radio and CD player

In addition to the equipment available with the Sport trim:

In addition to the equipment available with the Touring trim:

In addition to the equipment available with the Touring Plus trim:

 

Air conditioning

Bluetooth connectivity

Powered moonroof

4.3-inch infotainment screen (Optional 7-inch touchscreen system with navigation)

 

Cloth upholstery

Fog lights

Blind-spot monitoring

10 speaker Bose music system

 

Remote keyless entry

17-inch alloy wheels

Leather upholstery

 
 

Cruise control

Dual-zone climate control

   
 

Power windows

Heated seats

   
 

Rearview camera

     

 

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 2013 Mazda 6 was available with two different engine options which ranged from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower to a 3.7 liter V6 that produces 272 horsepower. The smaller engine comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and can also be optioned with a slow shifting five-speed automatic transmission. The larger engine only comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, which is relatively faster at shifting and feels much more fun to drive than its rivals. Both engine options are only available in front-wheel drive, and both options offer their own sets of positives and negatives.

How does the engine feel?

The 2020 Mazda 6 has made significant advances in terms of refinement and power when it comes to its range of engines. While engine displacement has remained at the same level as the 2013 model, the 2.5-liter unit now features a 17 horsepower bump in power which makes the car feel significantly more powerful than its predecessor.

The extremely powerful 3.7 liter V6 available on the 2013 Mazda 6 was discontinued in 2018 and replaced with the same 2.5 liter motor with a turbocharger strapped onto it, which helped it produce 250 horsepower. While this was a step down overall when compared to the larger V6, the V6 engine did weigh quite a lot and bogged down the 2013 vehicle, in spite of having considerably more power on offer.

 

Models

2013 Mazda 6

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

MSRP

$ 20,725

$ 25,045

$ 24,975

$ 25,380

Engine

2.5-liter inline four-cylinder

2.5-liter inline four-cylinder

1.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder

2.5-liter inline four-cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

Transmission

6-speed manual /5 speed automatic

6-speed automatic

CVT

CVT

Power (hp @ rpm)

170 @ 6,000

187 @ 6,000

192 @ 5,500

203 @ 6,300

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

167 @ 4,400

186 @ 4,400

192 @ 5,000

184 @ 4,100

 

When compared to the Accord and Camry, the Mazda 6 suffers from quite a power deficit when it comes to the base engine, but the turbocharged variant surely does make a strong case for itself if you’re looking for a powerful sedan that’s fun to drive. The CVTs available on the Accord and the Camry dull down the driving experience by quite a bit and don’t engage the driver as much as the six-speed automatic available on the Mazda 6. However, the 2013 Mazda 6 with the 6-speed manual transmission is the most fun to drive vehicle in this competition, since it features precise shifts and puts down the power on offer really well.

How fast is the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan? 

Despite being quite fun to drive, the older 2013 Mazda 6 was a quite heavy car, which made it quite slow when compared to its rivals. Even the powerful V6 equipped car took 7.8 seconds to reach 60 mph since the engine block weighed quite a lot. The 2020 version has seen a significant improvement in performance since Mazda has been able to shave off quite some weight off the older car. This has helped the Mazda 6 become among the fastest vehicles in its segment, thus helping it finish the quarter-mile in 14.6 seconds, a significant time for a family sedan that focuses more on comfort.

 

Models

2013 Mazda 6

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

0-60 MPH (seconds)

7.8

6.4

7.3

6.8

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

16.4

14.6

15.5

15.6

Top-Speed (MPH)

137

145

155

140

Engine

2.5-liter inline four-cylinder

2.5-liter inline four-cylinder

1.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder

2.5-liter inline four-cylinder

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

3,278

3,349

2,913

3,608

 

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 does the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan handle?

Mazdas are second to none when it comes to handling and the Mazda 6 has always been considered the best handling vehicle in its segment. The 2013 Mazda 6 had the same handling tuning as Mazda’s sports car of that time, the RX-8 and this made the car’s steering feel direct and consistent.

2013 Mazda 6 aces the handling department

The 2020 model year might’ve been completely overhauled on its exterior to maintain being relevant in its segment, but it continues with the same steering setup, thus maintaining its status as the best handling car in its segment.

How well does the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan stop?

Brakes have always had an instrumental role in defining how well a car handles and the 2013 Mazda 6 was surely ahead of the game in terms of its braking system. 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, 7 years is a long time in terms of vehicle age, and all manufacturers have made significant improvements in this regard.

 

Models

2013 Mazda 6

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

11.9

12.4

12.5

11.9

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

10.8

11.1

12.06

10.4

Curb Weight (lbs)

3597

3437

3155

3340

60-0 (feet)

115

108

103

117

 

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 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan offers?

The 2013 Mazda 6 wasn’t really known for its efficiency and the 2020 version does make significant improvements in that aspect. The Mazda 6 consistently featured among the least efficient vehicles you could purchase in its segment, and Mazda did acknowledge this issue and update the engine for better efficiency.

 

Models

2013 Mazda 6

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

MPG (City)

21

26

27

28

MPG (Highway)

30

35

37

39

MPG (Combined)

24

29

31

32

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.5

16.4

14.8

15.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

444

475.6

458.8

505.6

 

But, as we can see, the Mazda 6’s competitors have been able to go even further in terms of improving overall fuel efficiency, thus making them cheaper to own in the long run. Granted it's not that far behind, but its low-efficiency figure has been the major reason why people opt for its competitors. The 2020 Mazda 6 does feature a decent range though, especially when you compare it to its older 2013 version.

Is the Interior of the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan a nice place to be in?

The 2020 Mazda 6 has seen quite a lot of added features when compared to its more basic 2013 counterpart. While this has led to an overall increase in the vehicle’s MSRP, the number of features added to the vehicle definitely makes it worth it. The 2013 car featured very basic interiors (normal for the time) with some hard touch and low rent plastics covering the entire dashboard and door pads.

2013 Mazda 6 gets a well-built interior

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 2013 Mazda 6 was a good car to be in during its time, and would seriously feel quite out of date by modern standards. The 2020 Mazda 6 features much more luxurious interiors that come with nearly everything that you’d expect to be present in a modern car.

Are the seats comfortable?

While the 2013 Mazda 6 did feature comfortable and supportive seats, leather was only offered as standard fitment in the top of the line Grand Touring trim, which made it quite an aspirational feature to have. While the overall seat cushioning on the 2013 Mazda 6 is decent enough, heated seats were optional and were only found in the top two trims. Mazda’s cabins have always been a bit too snug for our liking and while the rear seats do offer a good amount of comfort, headroom and legroom is a major concern, especially if you’re above 6 feet tall. 

 

Models

2013 Mazda 6

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

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

39.4/57.3/42.5

37.4/55.9/42.2

39.5/58.3/42.3

38.3/57.7/42.1

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

37.3/55.9/38

37.1/55.1/38.7

37.3/56.5/40.4

38/55.7/38

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

16.6

14.7

16.7

15.1

 

The front cabin also features a limited amount of legroom, which is not too ideal for tall passengers, unless they can push the seat back and further limit the rear passenger legroom. Overall, the 2013 Mazda 6 featured cramped interiors, which also played a major role in limiting its appeal. The 2020 Mazda 6 did make improvements in this regard, but they aren’t significant enough to beat its rivals.

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2013 Mazda 6 was quite spartan when it came to features on offer since most variants came equipped with a standard music system with a six-speaker setup. Only the top of the line Grand Touring variant was equipped with a 4.3-inch non-touch LCD display with a ten-speaker Bose surround-sound setup, which did sound vastly superior to the standard setup. However, certain models were even made available with a 7-inch touchscreen system, which was quite rare for the time. This screen featured satellite and FM radio, a standard music player, and basic navigation. While the unit was decent to use, it is definitely no match to modern alternatives found in nearly all cars nowadays. Even the modern 2020 Mazda 6 comes equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen as standard, making it look much more modern than the 2013 model.

Is the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan attractive?

2013 wasn’t really a good year for Mazda in terms of design and the Mazda 6’s design was quite quirky and weird for its time. Unlike its modern counterpart, the Mazda 6’s design was loosely based on the Mazda RX-8’s design and was tweaked to fit the sedan body form. 

 

Models

2013 Mazda 6

2020 Mazda 6

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Toyota Camry

Curb Weight (lb)

3597

3437

3155

3340

Length (inches)

193.7

192.7

192.2

192.7

Width (inches)

72.4

72.4

73.3

72.4

Height (inches)

57.9

57.1

57.1

56.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.1

6.5

6.3

5.7

Wheelbase (inches)

109.8

111.4

111.4

111.2

 

While this design did look quite nice on the RX-8, the stretched lights and body panels certainly looked very awkward. The 2020 model has remedied this by updating the 6 to Mazda’s all-new design language, which looks significantly better than its rivals.

Safety features of the 2013 Mazda 6 Sedan

Another area where the 2013 Mazda 6 fell back when compared to its rivals was in terms of safety. While most of its competitors were able to get a five-star rating in the Global NCAP and NHTSA tests, the Mazda 6 was only able to manage a four-star rating, which is not that bad, but definitely a point to take note of if you were considering to get a Mazda 6 for your family. The amount of safety equipment on offer in the 2013 Mazda 6 was also quite minimal, and the only form of active safety that was on offer was a blind spot monitoring system.

Which one to go for?

The 2013 Mazda 6 is not a perfect car. Not only does it feature cramped interiors and a poor safety rating, but its ride quality is also quite rough and not as comfortable as other vehicles in this segment. However, there is no other vehicle in this segment that is as fun to drive as the Mazda 6, even when you take more modern cars into consideration. Sure, the 2020 Mazda 6 has worked on its shortcomings to become a better car than its predecessor, but it still does fall short in some aspects. This makes the newer car a tough sell, especially when you have better cars available at that price point. The 2013 model has aged quite a lot though and will definitely be available for a lot less now, making it an excellent deal for someone looking for a daily driver, provided you’re ready to live with its shortcomings.

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