Mazda’s 2019 Mazda6
Speed With Style
Mazda is well on its way to rebranding itself as a near-luxury car brand. Mazda’s newly redesigned 2019 Mazda3 is a solid first step in that direction. And when the automaker introduced the third-generation Mazda6 back in 2014, it was a big hint that they were starting down the rebranding road. If they stay focused on this design and engineering path, Mazda will give their customers a whole new way to view the carmaker.
When Mazda was kicked out of the Ford stable back in 2008, its showroom was populated by a bunch of cars and crossovers using Ford parts. However, once the marriage was over, Mazda was able to free itself and go in a new direction, solidly toward the near-luxury market and get away from using only Ford-engineered engines and platforms. It’s been fun to watch this transformation take place.
The 2019 Mazda6 is a sleek, elegant midsize sedan with a distinctive grill that makes sure that you instantly recognize this as a Mazda. The exterior design is as understated as old-money luxury; the only Mazda badging is the oversized logo on the grill and a modest one on the trunk, along with discreet Mazda6 lettering on the rear.
The interior is quiet and roomy, the fit and finish wonderful. The Mazda6 is available with such upgrades as real wood accents and a heads-up display, the kind usually reserved for luxury brands.
Two powertrains are offered in the 2019 Mazda6. With an MSRP of $23,800, the base sedan comes with a 187 hp, 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed transmission delivering EPA fuel economy ratings of 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. This particular four-banger comes with cylinder-deactivation technology, where the outside two cylinders can shut down when the vehicle is operated at steady speeds between 25 and 50 mph, but all four cylinders work instantaneously when needed for maximum performance.
The higher trims get the 250 hp, turbocharged 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine with the same six-speed transmission and – as you might guess – a slightly worse fuel economy estimate of 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Not surprisingly, the turbocharged Mazda6 is a considerably more fun to drive, and handles quite well for what might be considered a family car.
The 2019 Mazda6 is an impressive entry in the midsize sedan segment, which is both crowded and competitive. However, if the Mazda3 is a clear example of the automaker’s design direction, the next variant of the Mazda6 should set itself even further apart from the rest of the field. Setting the bar higher will be a reward for all car buyers. We’ll just have to wait and see.