The Mazda 6 is a mid-size sedan and hatchback model that was first introduced by Japanese automaker Mazda in 2002. The first-generation Mazda6 was known as the Mazda Atenza in Japan and came in 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback, and 5-door wagon body styles (wikipedia.org).
It was designed to replace the long-running Mazda 626 and aimed to compete with popular mid-size models like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Over the years, the Mazda 6 has established itself as a sporty and fun-to-drive option in the mid-size car segment. It is now in its fourth generation, with the latest model debuting in 2021.
Key highlights across the Mazda 6 generations include dynamic exterior styling, spirited handling, fuel-efficient SkyActiv engines, and an upscale interior. The hatchback body style, in particular, offers a versatile cargo area while maintaining the Mazda 6’s sleek profile.
Key Models & Generations
The Mazda6 hatchback has gone through three generations since its introduction:[Mazda6 – Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda6)
First Generation (2002-2008) – The first Mazda6 hatchback (chassis code GG1) debuted in 2002 for the 2003 model year. It featured a 5-door hatchback body style and shared components with the Ford CD3 platform. Engine options included 2.0L and 2.3L 4-cylinder engines.
Second Generation (2008-2013) – The second generation Mazda6 launched in 2008 for the 2009 model year, moving to Mazda’s own Mazda G platform. It continued with 5-door hatchback and 4-door sedan body styles. Engine options ranged from 2.0L to 3.7L engines. This generation saw the introduction of the Mazdaspeed6 high-performance variant.
Third Generation (2012-Present) – The current third generation Mazda6 debuted in 2012 for the 2014 model year. It is offered solely as a 4-door sedan, discontinuing the 5-door hatchback body style. Engine options include SKYACTIV-G 2.5L 4-cylinder engines. This generation has received critical acclaim, winning several awards.
The Mazda6 has been offered in various body styles over its generations, including 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback, and station wagon. According to Wikipedia , the first generation Mazda6 from 2002-2008 was available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback. The second generation from 2008-2013 added a station wagon body style. The third generation from 2012-2018 continued to offer sedan, hatchback, and wagon options.
Currently, for the 2019 and newer fourth generation models, Mazda offers the Mazda6 as a 4-door sedan only. The hatchback and wagon body styles have been discontinued. The sedan stands out with its sleek profile, sloping roofline, and short rear deck lid. It has an overall length of 193.5 inches, width of 72.4 inches, and height of 57.1 inches .
Performance & Engines
The Mazda 6 hatchback comes equipped with powerful and fuel-efficient engine options. The standard engine on most trim levels is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder SKYACTIV-G engine producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque (Car and Driver). This engine is paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
For even more performance, higher trims offer an available turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 227-250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque depending on the model year (Wikipedia). This turbo engine significantly increases the performance and acceleration of the Mazda6 while still providing excellent fuel efficiency. The turbo engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission only.
Reviewers praise both engines for their smooth, responsive power delivery and efficiency. The turbo engine in particular provides sports sedan levels of performance to match the Mazda6’s sporty handling and design.
Interior & Exterior
The Mazda 6 hatchback features a sleek and sporty exterior design with a sloping roofline and aggressive front end. The signature Mazda grille and sleek headlights give it a bold look. On the inside, the interior is focused on comfort and refinement. The cabin uses high-end materials like leather and soft-touch surfaces to give it a premium feel.
The Mazda 6 hatch offers seating for 5 with ample legroom for rear passengers. Leather seats come standard on higher trims. The driver faces a stylish cockpit with Mazda’s latest infotainment system and digital dash display. Overall, reviewers have praised the 6’s interior for having an elegant, minimalist design that helps reduce driving fatigue on long trips.
On the outside, the hatchback body provides added practicality and cargo space versus the sedan. Signature design elements like the flowing body lines and tapered roofline give the 6 hatch a sportier, more aggressive stance compared to rivals like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It manages to blend sportiness, refinement and sophistication in its interior and exterior styling.
Technology & Safety
The Mazda6 hatchback comes equipped with a range of impressive technology and safety features. For entertainment, higher trims like the Signature feature a 10-speaker Bose audio system with Centerpoint 2 surround sound and SiriusXM satellite radio capabilities. The Mazda Connect infotainment system has an 8-inch color touchscreen display with AM/FM radio, HD Radio, Aha internet radio, and Pandora integration (2021 Mazda6 Technology and Safety Features).
In terms of safety, the Mazda6 has a range of active and passive safety features. All models come standard with advanced front airbags, side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Available advanced safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control (2021 Mazda6 Safety Features). These advanced systems provide an added layer of safety and driver assistance.
Awards & Reviews
The Mazda 6 has received generally positive reviews from critics since its introduction in the early 2000s. According to J.D. Power, the 2021 Mazda 6 has an overall rating of 8.1 out of 10 based on ratings in quality & reliability, driving experience, resale value, deal ratings, and critics’ reviews. J.D. Power praises the Mazda 6’s “upscale interior,” “athletic handling,” and “excellent predicted reliability” (J.D. Power).
Car and Driver gives the 2021 Mazda 6 a rating of 4/5 stars, calling it “a standout in the family sedan class” thanks to its “upscale interior and earned reputation for providing driving enjoyment not typically found in the segment.” They highlight the Mazda 6’s “athletic handling” and “hushed cabin.” However, they note that the base engine lacks excitement (Car and Driver).
According to Kelley Blue Book, strengths of the Mazda 6 include “Agile handling; Refined powertrains; Upscale interior trimmings.” However, drawbacks include “No hybrid or EV options; Cramped rear seat; Dated infotainment interface.” Overall, KBB gives the 2021 Mazda 6 a rating of 4.7 out of 5 (Kelley Blue Book).
The Mazda 6 has won several awards and accolades over the years, including:
- 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick+
- 2021 Car and Driver Editors’ Choice Award (Best Mid-Size Sedan)
- 2020 Best Resale Value Award (Kelley Blue Book)
In summary, professional reviewers consistently praise the Mazda 6 for its athletic handling, upscale interior, and reliability. While not without some drawbacks, it stands out as one of the top options among mid-size sedans.
Pricing & Availability
The 2023 Mazda 6 hatchback has an MSRP starting at $25,200 for the base Sport model. Going up to the mid-range Touring model brings the MSRP to $28,550. The top Grand Touring model starts at $32,950 MSRP.
Invoice pricing on the 2023 Mazda 6 hatchback ranges from around $23,500 for the Sport model, up to around $30,300 for the Grand Touring model.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price paid for a new 2022 Mazda 6 hatchback was between $28,070 for the Sport model and $32,619 for the Grand Touring model. Used 2021 models had an average paid price between $19,669 for the Sport and $25,470 for higher trim levels.
Mazda frequently offers incentives and special offers on the Mazda 6. Currently Mazda is offering 0% APR financing for 60 months plus $500 incentive cash on the 2023 Mazda 6 hatchback models.
Availability of the Mazda 6 hatchback varies by location, but it remains relatively easy to find at most Mazda dealerships nationwide. Mazda 6 is built in Japan, with hatchback models making up around 30% of overall Mazda 6 sales in the US.
The Mazda 6 competes directly with other affordable mid-size sedans and hatchbacks like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata. The Civic and Corolla in particular have long been top sellers in the compact segment.
The Honda Civic hatchback is one of the Mazda 6’s closest rivals, offering similar dimensions, fuel economy, performance, and pricing. CarsGuide notes the Civic has slightly more rear seat and cargo space compared to the Mazda 6 hatchback. However, the Mazda offers a more premium interior design and materials.
The Toyota Corolla hatchback is another strong competitor, praised for excellent value, reliability, and safety scores. The Corolla hatch starts at a lower base price than the Mazda 6 hatchback but lacks some of the Mazda’s more powerful engine options and upscale interior. Autobytel recommends comparing prices and features carefully to determine which better suits your needs.
The future looks promising for the Mazda 6 hatchback. Rumors indicate that Mazda may be developing a successor to the 6 hatchback for release around 2025. This new model may move the 6 hatchback more upmarket to compete directly against entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
According to reports, the next-generation Mazda 6 is expected to use the company’s new straight-six engine that debuted in the 2023 CX-90 SUV. This turbocharged 3.3L engine makes 340 horsepower in the CX-90, so it should deliver strong performance in the lighter 6 hatchback. The new model may also use Mazda’s rear-wheel drive platform for improved driving dynamics.
In terms of design, the new 6 hatchback will likely adopt Mazda’s latest styling language first seen on the Mazda 3. Expect a more premium and upscale interior as well, with higher quality materials and the latest infotainment and safety technologies.
While the current Mazda 6 hatchback remains an excellent option, the future looks bright for Mazda’s midsize sedan. The next generation aims to take on luxury brands with even more sophisticated engineering and design. Interested buyers may want to wait and see what Mazda has in store for 2025 and beyond.