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2020 Mazda 6 vs 2020 Honda Accord: Specifications, Comparison and MPG Figures

Aaron Smith's image
Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

June 12, 2020 at 10:54 AM

The Mazda 6 is the Japanese brand’s flagship offering in the United States and a premium offering in the mid-sized sedan market but has it got enough to dethrone the long term segment leader, the Honda Accord? Let’s find out which of these two Japanese sedans is right for you.

Mazda and Honda are two really popular Japanese automakers synonymous with their reliable engineering and fuel-efficient cars, like most other Japanese automakers. Both the Mazda 6 and Honda Accord fall under the mid-size sedan market and both are more or less equally popular in this segment having their own unique characteristics and presence. Being in production since 2002, the 2020 Mazda 6 is currently in its 3rd generation of production. The 2020 Honda Accord on the other hand is a part of the 10th generation Accord being in production since 1976.

So, how do these cars stack up?

With unique characteristics of their own, both the cars excel in their own unique way and give tough competition to other cars in the segment. If you’re into driving and want a driver’s car, the Mazda would be the better choice due to its fun-to-drive driving dynamics. But the Accord does take its crown in terms of powertrain and standard safety features. Even though they are quite different, they are also similar in many aspects like premium and elegant interiors, impressive handling, and decently supportive seats. Looks-wise, both are quite unique in their own way.

2020 Mazda 6 Trims and Features

The 2020 Mazda 6 is available in five different trim levels viz. Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and top-of-the-line Signature trim. The base Sport trim in the Mazda 6 is equipped with a decent list of standard features which include a 6-speaker sound system, auto-leveling auto on/off headlamps, rain-sensing windshield wipers, 8” touchscreen for the infotainment system, and a decent array of advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring system, lane-keep assist, etc.

Trims

Sport

Touring

Grand Touring

Grand Touring Reserve

Signature

MSRP

$24,000

$26,600

$29,700

$32,200

$35,300

Features

2.5L I4

2.5L I4 

2.5L Turbo I4 

2.5L Turbo I4 

2.5L Turbo I4

 

LED headlights with auto-leveling and auto-off

All the features in Sport added or replaced and:

All the features in Touring added or replaced and:

All the features in Grand Touring added or replaced and:

All the features in rand Touring Reserve added or replaced and:

 

Rain Sensing windshield wipers

Leatherette trimmed sport seats

Auto-dimming drivers exterior side mirror

Rear Decklid Spoiler

Nappa leather-trimmed sport seats

 

17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink

Leather-trimmed sport seats

Mazda Navigation system

 

Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control

6-Way power driver’s seat

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

8-way power driver’s seat

SiriusXM 3-year Traffic and Travel Link Subscription

 

60/40 split-fold rear seats

3-level Heated Front seats

Paddle Shifters

6-way power front passenger seat

Front and rear parking sensors

 

Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Bose Surround Sound Audio System

Adaptive Front-lighting system

 
 

Blind Spot Monitoring System

       

Both of them are priced at a similar price bracket where the 2020 Mazda 6 ranges from $24,100 to $35,400, whereas the 2020 Accord ranges from $24,020 to $36,250. Some of the standard features of the Accord include 17” alloy wheels, 7” display for the infotainment system, auto high-beam headlights, with advanced safety features like Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist, etc.

Engine and Performance

Powering the first two trim levels of the 2020 Mazda 6 is a 2.5L Inline-4 engine good for 187HP and 186 lb-ft. of torque. The higher trims are powered by a Turbocharged 2.5L Inline-4 engine producing 250HP and 310 lb-ft. of torque. A 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission is standard on all the trims sending power to the front wheels and the high-end variants are offered with 8-speed transmission.

2020 Mazda 6 vs Honda Accord

On the other hand, a 1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine is standard on all the trims of the 2020 Accord except the top-of-the-line Touring trim and the Hybrid trim. The Touring trim comes standard with a more powerful 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine good for 252HP and 273 lb-ft. of torque, which is an option for the Sport and EX-L trim. The 1.5L engine on the other hand produces 192HP and 192 lb-ft. of torque. The Hybrid trim gets its power from a two-motor hybrid system with E-CVT transmission, which is also an option for the EX, EX-L and the Touring trim. The 1.5L engine is paired with a CVT transmission, whereas the 2.0L engine is mated to a 10-speed shiftable automatic. On top of that, a six-speed manual transmission is a no-cost option in the Sport trim. Front-wheel drive drivetrain is the only option available in the 2020 Accord.

How does the engine feel?

Both the cars have the typical engines for a mid-range compact sedan, even though the engines in both of them are quite different on their own. Nonetheless, both of them provide smooth power delivery with a very satisfactory fuel economy. Both are equally comparable in terms of power and overall feel from the engine.

Comparing the top-of-the-line trim of both the cars:

Models

Mazda 6 Sport

Honda Accord LX

MSRP

$24,000

$23,870

Engine

2.5L I4

1.5L I4

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

CVT 

Horsepower

187 hp

@ 6000 rpm

192 hp

@5500 rpm

Torque

186 lb-ft

@ 4000 rpm

192 lb-ft

@1600 rpm

As we’ve seen earlier, both the cars are very similar in terms of their engine output and with comparable curb weights; they are expected to be similar in terms of performance figures too. But the difference in their inherent character is noticeable right from the get-go, where the Honda feels nice and composed, the Mazda feels a lot more eager while driving down a twisty bit of tarmac and ends up feeling more driver-centric than the Accord.

How do these cars handle?

Being mid-range compact sedans, there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about the handling of these cars. Nonetheless, both are relatively fun to drive with enjoyable handling dynamics around the corners with capable engines to make driving fun, if you are someone who likes to spend more of their time in the driver’s seat. The lag-free power delivery combined that with the slick-shifting 8-speed gearbox and a delightfully balanced chassis and you got a winner at your hands, making this Mazda a clear winner in the handling department.

How well do these cars stop?

The brakes are often a neglected component of a car. But it is just as important as the acceleration and performance of the car as it helps the most in handling and in averting untoward incidents.

Honda Accord has the advantage in braking

As mentioned earlier, the compact sedan segment is not a particularly performance-oriented segment and the manufacturers do not typically test the performance figures of the car like acceleration, braking, and top speed, because these are not the top priorities of the end customers. Nevertheless, both the cars are equipped with ventilated disc brakes at the front with solid discs at the back.

Models

Mazda 6 Sport

Honda Accord LX

Brake Front (in.)

11.7

11.5

Brake Rear (in.)

10.9

11.1

60-0 MPH (ft)

127

120


Weight-wise, both of them are very similar, which means it is up to the rotors and calipers which would affect the stopping performance of the car.  Brakes on the Mazda 6 feature an 11.7-inch rotor on the front and a 10.9-inch rotor at the rear. The smaller brake rotors are not a handicap for the 6 because of its clever trickery. But there's no denying that the Accord aces this test with its superior brakes all-round.

Which one of these cars offers more miles per gallon?

Japanese cars generally have a good reputation when it comes to engine reliability and fuel economy and both the Mazda 6 and Honda Accord are no exception.

Comparing the most economical trim of each car:

Models

Mazda 6 Sport

Honda Accord LX

MPG (city)

26

30

MPG (highway)

35

38

MPG (combined)

29

33

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gal.)

16.4

14.8

Range

(City/Highway)

426/574

444/562

Out of the two, the 1.5L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the 2020 Accord is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch providing a decent combined fuel-economy of 33 mpg. The Mazda in spite of its clever cylinder deactivation system is no match for Honda’s smaller and more fuel-efficient engine.

Which one of these cars has a better interior?

The interior is a really important aspect of a car because that’s where we spend most of your time in a car. Features list aside, the interior of both the Mazda and the Honda are sumptuous in their own unique way with an elegant interior in the Mazda and spacious in the Honda, with upscale materials all around on both.

Are the seats comfortable?

Coming to the seats, the 2020 Mazda 6 is equipped with 6-way manual front seats with manual driver lumbar support. Although an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support is available in the higher trims, along with driver’s seat memory and heated rear seats.

The 2020 Accord can also be equipped with a 12-way power driver’s seat with 4-way power lumbar adjustment and seat memory along with 4-way power adjustment for the front passenger seats.

So, the seats on both the cars are decently comfortable providing enough adjustments and support to find a snug fit.

Models

Mazda 6 Sport

Honda Accord LX

Length (in)

192.7

192.2

Width (in)

72.4

73.3

Height (in)

57.1

57.1

Ground clearance (in)

6.5

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

111.4

111.4

Track width (in) F/R

62.4/62.0

63.0/63.4

Curb weight (lbs)

3437

3131

Exterior dimension wise, both the cars are very similar but it's the Accord that comes out on top in terms of cabin and trunk space courtesy, it's better-optimized seating that makes it feel not just bigger than the Mazda but easily one of the biggest and roomiest in this segment.

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2020 Mazda 6 has a 6-speaker sound system as standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available in the higher trims along with a premium 11-speaker Bose sound system. The 2020 Accord on the other hand comes with a 4-speaker sound system as standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available in the higher trims along with an 8-speaker sound system and a 10-speaker premium sound system.

Both the Accord and the Mazda 6 have decent infotainment setup

The 2020 Mazda 6 comes equipped with an 8-inch infotainment system which is mated to an 11- speaker audio setup. But nothing is without flaws, as the navigation system on the MazdaConnect is agonizing to use. The software lags sometimes and the feedback is slow. To make matters worse, you do not get an option to upgrade to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, one thing which is required the most nowadays on the other hand almost all the sedan models of the Accord don't come with a user-friendly touchscreen interface. They also lack redundant buttons which could have made navigation between the functions quite simpler and easier. The average response time of the touchscreen interface is among the slowest in its class.

Safety features of the cars

Mazda provides the maximum driver and safety assist features in this class. Mazda doesn’t compromise on the safety front and thus the 6 will always have you back in the journey. The IIHS and the NHTSA are yet to rate the 2020 Mazda 6 for safety ratings. 

On the other hand both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Honda Accord top ratings. Although the IIHS did mention that since the base trims of the Accord doesn't come with bright LED headlights, therefore, the headlights of the base trim were rated Acceptable.

On top of your typical standard safety features like airbags and traction control, some of the standout safety features of the 2020 Mazda 6 include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring system

  • Rear cross-traffic alert

  • Smart brake support with a collision warning system

  • Lane departure warning

  • Lane-keep assist

Some of the standout safety features of the 2020 Honda Accord include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring system

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System

  • Lane-keep assist

  • Traffic-sign recognition

  • Road Departure Mitigation System

Which one to go for?

Both the 2020 Mazda 6 and 2020 Honda Accord are unique in their own way with their own pros and cons. The Mazda looks sportier with elegant interiors and snug front seats with fun-to-drive road dynamics. The Accord on the other hand is a gentler vehicle with the powerful and fuel-efficient powertrain and decent handling characteristics. Moreover, the Accord comes equipped with a host of advanced driver safety aids as standard. So, you won’t be wrong picking either of the two which comes down to one’s personal preference.

Also Read:

Take a look at the upcoming 2021 Mazda 6 sedan.

Check out the luxurious Acura ILX.

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