2020 Mazda6 Sport Review Overview

August 29th, 2020 by

The Mazda 6 is more than an ordinary mid-size family sedanoffering style, a fun-to-drive nature, and value. Its chiseled body and attractive cabin are of a quality you would expect from much pricier cars, and its fantastic chassis delivers the kind of driving experience you would normally expect only from an expensive sports sedan. Taken together, those traits create an extraordinary blend of upscale ambiance and unsurpassed dynamics; yet the Mazda 6 is surprisingly affordable.

What’s New for 2020?

Changes are modest this year, including a new key fob and a trunk lid badge for the top Signature model. But that is to be expected, since the Mazda 6 has benefited from three makeovers over the past six model years. The most recent came in the 2018 model year, when it added a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that slotted in above the standard naturally aspirated engine of the same displacement.

The turbo engine, which features cylinder deactivation to enhance fuel economy and adds slightly more horsepower and torque, is still an option for 2020. Special badging for the top-of-the-line Signature model is also new this year. That model has leather, real wood trim, and an extensive list of standard features. An all-new Mazda 6 is expected to debut in 2022 and could dial in even more sportiness with a new inline-six engine and rear-wheel drive.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

MSRP starting prices

  • Sport: $24,920
  • Touring: $27,520
  • Grand Touring: $30,620
  • Grand Touring Reserve: $33,120
  • Signature: $36,220

The top Signature trim gets its own special badge for 2020. It also has a 360-degree camera with front and rear parking sensors, navigation with traffic-sign recognition, and an interior featuring Nappa leather with Japanese Sen wood accents. All Mazda 6 models come with desirable standard driver-assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, low-speed forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 8.0-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen infotainment, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Unlike most mid-size alternatives, the 2020 Mazda 6 lineup does not go hybrid or plug-in. There is, however, a choice of two responsive 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines. The standard engine makes 187 horsepower; an optional turbocharged engine generates up to 250 horsepower. Both pair with a six-speed automatic transmission. Mazda has made it known that an all-wheel-drive version and a 2.2-liter turbo-diesel are both coming to U.S. buyers, and those are expected by the end of 2019.

The Mazda 6 offers above-average driving satisfaction for a family sedan, with a fluidity to its controls and handling that is uncommon at any price. And Mazda manages to provide the thrills without sacrificing refinement or ride quality. In our testing, the top-of-the-line Signature model had less absolute grip and longer braking distances than the 2016 model. Chalk this up at least in part to the new tires it wore, which the company fitted to help reduce tire noise. None of this can diminish how well the Mazda 6 drives and rides, especially considering how quiet the cabin is. Make no mistake, it is still the most fun-to-drive sedan in this segment.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA has not released 2020 estimates for the Mazda 6, but for 2019, both four-cylinder engines had competitive EPA ratings. What is even more impressive is that the turbo model hit 36 mpg in our real-world highway fuel-economy test, surpassing its EPA highway estimate by 5 mpg.  We were incredibly pleased with the overall miles per gallon average on the new 2020 Mazda 6.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

If you were not given the context that the 6’s interior is from, well, the Mazda 6, you’d be forgiven for thinking it belonged in a much pricier car. The quality of the materials impresses, as does the upscale, mature design and restrained detailing. The cabin is first-rate and best in class. Surprisingly for a sedan with so sexy a shape, the Mazda 6 is no less practical than other mid-size offerings.

The six carry-on bags we fit in the trunk and the 17 we fit with the rear seats folded put the Mazda at the head of the class.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Mazda 6 earned a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named it a Top Safety Pick+. The sophisticated sedan also has standard driver-assistance features and is available with a full suite of active-safety features that Mazda calls i-Activsense. Key safety features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking
  • Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
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