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2021 Mazda 6 Review: Expected Release Date, Prices, MPG, And Performance

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Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

August 07, 2020 at 09:36 AM

The Mazda 6 has been one of the best offerings in the mid-sized sedan segment in the country, courtesy its utilitarian nature and the wide variety of powertrains on offer, however, in the recent years, competitors like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have caught up with the Mazda in terms of the equipment and features on offer, does the 2021 model have what it takes to help it stay at the top of its game? Let’s find out.

The Mazda 6 is the Japanese automaker’s top-of-the-line mid-sized sedan, that is well renowned for its excellent and without a doubt, class-leading driving dynamics combined with the minimalist design philosophy which gives it the clean and sleek design aesthetic that people have come to love in case of the outgoing model. The Mazda 6 has been on sale since 2014 and is likely to receive a complete overhaul but that will most likely be for 2022 model year.

2021 Mazda 6 represents the last of this generation  

Mazda has been serving a great balance of style, elegance, and comfort for years now. The Mazda 6 is the epitome of the Japanese marque’s presentation. Especially after its third-gen refresh in 2014 followed by another significant refresh in 2018. As a midsize sedan, the Mazda 6 has established its dominance in its segment with its stylish design and spirited driving dynamics that can challenge cars from a class or two above.

What's new with the 2021 Mazda 6:

  • Minor design updates

  • Addition of AWD

  • Nothing major expected 

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 Mazda 6?

Under the hood, Mazda 6 offers two distinct flavors of the same powertrain on its lower and higher-end trim levels. The entry-level Sport and Touring trim offer the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft torque which is appropriate for this segment and in this state of tune, it manages good fuel economy as well. The higher-end trim levels come with the same 2.5-liter but with a turbocharger strapped to it after which this four-cylinder puts out  227 hp power and 310 lb-ft torque. Power is delivered to four-wheel drives through a creamy-smooth 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. 

There's no shortage of power and even with the standard 187 hp engine, the Mazda 6 seems to be adequately powered for its daily tasks thanks to the free-revving nature of the Skyactive-G motor. The turbo motor is by far the better option from a performance perspective, but the power seems to taper off at higher revs which is largely down to the engine tuning which is focused on low-end torque. The gearbox highlights a Sport Mode that when employed, intensifies the gear ratios for a more lively drive. Tuned for comfort and efficiency, the 6-speed automatic always feels in the right gear and is very smooth and quick in its operations.

2020 Mazda 6 gets the 2.5 L Skyactive-G Engine

For a midsize family sedan, the Mazda 6 is somewhat pleasant and maintains a driver-centric character to its handling. Its youthful and energetic driving dynamics make it one of the best driver's cars in the group. Mazda 6 succeeds to do all this with minimal trade-off to its ride character and feel of elegance. It boasts a premium look with its well laid crafted interiors. Possessing a commodious cabin with a neat touch. 

The smooth 6-speed automatic transmission contributes to a smooth, refined ride which many rivals won’t. The Mazda 6 also has a surprisingly relaxed demeanor, with smooth gear shifts and a compliant suspension. Standard torque vectoring makes turn-in direct and effortless, and the ride is stiff enough to be responsive but composed enough on long drives to be comfortable. Potholes or bumps, everything is dealt with great calm. With the nicely-tuned suspension, the Mazda 6 glides over everything with ease and moves into corners with utmost confidence

Models

2021 Mazda 6 Sport (Expected)

2020 Honda Accord LX

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu LS

MSRP

$25,000 (est)

$23,870

$23,170

$23,220

Engine

2.5L Inline-4

1.5L Inline-4

2.5L Inline-4

1.5L Turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic*

CVT 

6-Speed Automatic

CVT

Power 

187hp@6,000rpm

192hp@5,500rpm

175hp@6,000rpm

163hp@5,700rpm

Torque

186lb-ft@4,000rpm

192lb-ft@1,600rpm

175lb-ft@4,500rpm

184lb-ft@2,500rpm

*2020 Figures used for reference

If straight-up numbers are compared, the Accord is the most powerful of the lot with 192 horses under the hood. The Mazda comes in second with its 187 hp followed by the Ford and then the Chevy. What is somewhat surprising is the fact that none of these cars actually feel underpowered. With the handling characteristics and balance, the Mazda is probably the most fun to drive even with lesser power. The Accord loses out on that front even though it has the highest power output. In addition to that, the CVT transmission makes things worse for enthusiasts. 

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Mazda 6 Deliver?

Since the engine options remain unchanged for the 2021 model year, it is hard to suggest the kind of difference it is going to bring to the vehicle fuel efficiency figures since Mazda has decided to replace the outgoing 6-speed torque converter unit with a newer more modern transmission with better-matched ratios tuned for improved economy inside the city, combined with the more stringent emissions regulations that have been imposed on automakers, it is safe to expect an improvement of at least a couple of miles per gallon. 

Models

2021 Mazda 6 Sport (Expected)

2020 Honda Accord LX

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu LS

MPG (City)

26

30 

21 

29 

MPG (Highway)

35

38 

31 

36 

MPG (Combined)

29

33 

24 

32 

Fuel Capacity

16.4 gallons

14.8 gallons

16.5 gallons

15.8 gallons

Range

(City/Highway/Combined) 

426/574/475+ miles

444/562/488 miles

347/512/396 miles

458/569/505 miles

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

5.0*

4.4

6.0

4.9

*2020 Figures used for reference

The outgoing model with its naturally aspirated inline-4 unit manages 26 miles to the gallon, which is lower than most of its competition and a whole 4MPG lower than the Honda Accord which is the leader in the fuel efficiency department. But even with the lower mileage, the Mazda with its 16.4-gallon fuel tank manages equivalent range to most of its competitors. So it is safe to assume that the new Mazda 6 will be able to churn out a couple of more miles to the gallon than the outgoing model.

What to expect from the 2021 Mazda 6 interior?

The interior of the 2021 Mazda 6 will remain largely unchanged as far as the upholstery, trimmings, and layout of the interior are concerned which is totally acceptable considering the Mazda 6 has one of the best interiors in the segment and should stay relevant for years to come courtesy its minimalist layout and design. The only noticeable upgrade will be in the infotainment side, where no physical changes are to be expected to the unit, but an updated UI and an updated processor for the unit should make the whole experience smoother and snappier in comparison to the outgoing model.

2021 Mazda 6 boasts of a premium interior

The cabin quality in the 2021 Mazda will continue to be the best in the segment without a doubt. In fact, that’s courtesy the same minimalist design philosophy that has been carried over to the interiors of the vehicle as well. This can be seen by observing the center console and the dash which isn't stuffed with an army of buttons, and everything continues to work just as easily and one would never mind the absence of buttons in this cabin. It might not be a winner in terms of space, especially at the rear as the Accord and the Camry feel a lot roomier. The reason for this is not just the lack of space but also the use of dark textures and colors that though feel upmarket, make the cabin feel a lot smaller than it actually is.

Models

2021 Mazda 6 Sport (Expected)

2020 Honda Accord LX

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (head/shoulder/leg) (in)

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 (head/shoulder/leg) (in)

37.1/55.1/38.7

37.3/56.5/40.4

37.8/56.9/38.3

37.5/57.1/38.1

The seats provide ample under-thigh and bolster support which provides for a comfortable experience. The front seats are heated and powered which allows the occupants to have the perfect sitting position. The rear seats though comfortable are a bit cramped which takes away the roomy vibe, which the front row emits. All-in-all the lack of space is barely a deterrent in a cabin that otherwise feels a lot more luxurious and well finished than any of its competitors. In fact, it's so good that it can give entry-level luxury sedans a run for their money.

2021 Mazda 6: Infotainment and Connectivity

The 2021 model year will continue to use the same Mazda Connect Infotainment system with the same widescreen display and switchgear as the outgoing model but, the UI will remain more or less the same but expect it to be updated with new skin and icons. So the improvements should make it snappier to use and things like improved resolution and better connectivity can also be expected.

2021 Mazda 6 Sedan gets an updated infotainment

The likes of Apple Car Play and Android auto can be found here and the 8-inch infotainment system which is coupled to an 11- speaker setup being controlled by a swivel wheel on the center console similar to that used by premium brands such as BMW and Audi. It will be equipped with Internet Radio integration from all of the prominent providers. A USB audio input will also be available for on the go music as seen in the outgoing model.

Some of the infotainment highlights:

  • 8.0-inch full-color touch-screen display
  • 11-speaker Bose audio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Navigation
  • Satellite radio
  • Multi-function commander control
  • Auxiliary audio input jack
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio
  • 2 USB audio inputs
  • MAZDA CONNECT Infotainment System Voice Command

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Mazda 6?

No, the exteriors of the Mazda 6 for the 2021 model year will remain unchanged, which isn’t a bad thing considering the current-gen 6, which has been on sale since 2014 received a refresh in 2018, which isn’t that long ago, and considering the fact that a complete redesign is due for the 2022 model year, this move to stick with the current design makes a ton of sense.

The front grille might be big for some but that’s subjective and we totally love it. The sleek chrome borderline treatment makes the front facia look like it belongs to a vehicle that belongs to a class or two above. In fact, this is the only sedan from this class that looks so subtle but at the same time manages to be melodramatic. All of the others in this segment just look bland in comparison.

2021 Mazda 6 Sedan carries forward the minimalist design language

The Mazda 6's slim body form, smooth contours, and deliberate angles make it one of the most charming midsize sedans out there. A distinctive Mazda signature grille that's larger than one in its other siblings, flanked by slim LED headlamps to give it a very stylish yet imposing face. Meanwhile, the sharp character lines down the side, along with flared wheel arches housing the large 19’ inch wheels makeup for a bold yet premium stance.

At the rear though, things are simplistic in true Mazda style with slim tail lamps, lip-spoiler, and twin-chrome exhaust tips. Overall, the current-gen Mazda 6 nicely packs multiple elements into its exterior character. It has just the right amalgamation of style, aggression, boldness, and aggression. 

Models

2021 Mazda 6 Sport (Expected)

2020 Honda Accord LX

2020 Ford Fusion S

2020 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Curb Weight 

3437 lbs

3131 lbs

3472 lbs

3135 lbs

Length (inch)

192.7

192.2

191.8

193.8

Width (inch)

72.4

73.3

72.9

73

Height (inch)

57.1

57.1

58.2

57.6

Ground Clearance (inch) 

6.5

N/A

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (inch) 

111.4

111.4

112.2

111.4

The outgoing version of the Mazda 6 is one of the most distinct-looking sedans in this segment. It complies with sleek lines with modern cues that beautifully wrap the body on the compact chassis to give it a complete look. Mazda has managed to mix simplicity and drama to form the smooth flowing lines of the 6. So it will be interesting to see what Mazda does to overhaul the design when it brings out an all-new version for the 2022 model year.

Some of the key exterior features are:

  • LED DRLs
  • LED Auto On/Off Headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Powered Moonroof
  • Chrome tip dual exhaust
  • Rear Decklid spoiler
  • Power outside rearview mirrors
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated mirrors
  • Hands-free entry

Will the 2021 Mazda 6 be worth it?

If you have to buy a new sedan in 2021 by all means then the Mazda will not disappoint you in any sphere and in fact if enthusiastic driving is your cup of tea, the Mazda 6 will be out top pick out of the lot, but if you are willing to wait for a year, then we promise you that the 2022 Mazda 6 with its speculated hybrid inline-6 motor will be worth the wait.

Also Read:

Take a look at Mazda's lineup for the 2020 model year.

How fast can the Mazda 6 get to 60 mph from a standstill?

2021 Mazda 6 FAQs

How Many Trims Does the Mazda 6 Have?

The Mazda6 sedan comes available in five trim levels, all of which you will find for purchase or lease at Davis Gainesville Mazda - Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, Signature.

Can the Mazda 6 Tow?

Despite being available with a 250-horsepower turbocharged engine, the Mazda6 does not offer the right weight or capability to tow. We highly discourage any towing using Mazda sedan and hatchback models.

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