Oct 28, 2013
Reviewed By Erin Olson
Price as Tested $25,010: 184-hp, SKYACTIVE-G 2.5-L engine, 6-speed manual transmission

I’ve said it a thousand times: All mid-sized sedans look the same! Well, the Mazda6 is the exception to my rule. It’s still a mid-size sedan, but the updated design, both inside and out, is a bit more stylish, a bit more aggressive and if I were inventing a word for it, it would be “prowlier.” The manual transmission upped the fun factor as I cruised  75 miles down the historic Columbia River Scenic Byway on a sunny fall day, and 75 miles back in the rain along a modern interstate.


You’ll definitely want to sit in the car before purchase. As a lady of a certain height, I found the seat uncomfortably short with a head rest that hit me in all the wrong places. Normal sized individuals did not seem to experience this problem. The “center console sliding armrest” had a tendency to slide on its own, or any time my passenger attempted to rest his arm.

No automatic lights — a luxury I’ve grown quite fond of. Fortunately, they’re an option in the Touring Technology Package. And while we’re on the topic of technology, the rear cross-traffic alert is great in parking lots and maddening when waiting to pull onto a busy city street.


Overall, the Mazda6 was ridiculously easy to drive. It felt exactly like it should — no bigger, no smaller, maneuvering easily through curvy ATM drive-throughs, narrow city streets and cramped parking garages. I leave you with this quote from a fellow driver: “If you can’t learn to drive a stick on this clutch, you can’t be taught.”

Mazda has cherry-picked enough tasty features (including blind spot monitoring, rearview camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel and hill-launch assist) to give you a fun new car at a palatable price.

Fun to Drive
4.5 rating
Fun to Look at
4.5 rating
Overall Experience
4.5 rating
EPA Mileage 25/37

For more about this car, please visit the manufacturer's website.