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We have a thread for Mazda 6 reviews but those are first drive impressions and driving evaluations of the 6 by itself. I thought we could start a thread dedicated to the 6 being compared to other vehicles in actual comparison tests.

Here's the first one I've found:

Motor Trend: 2013 Honda Accord Sport vs. Toyota Camry SE vs. 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring - Motor Trend



FIRST
2014 Mazda6 (i Grand Touring)


SECOND
2013 Honda Accord Sport


THIRD
2013 Toyota Camry SE


As I expected, the Accord and 6 would be close. Honda did a good job with the new Accord. They're finally showing signs of getting their head out of their @$$. I hated my 2008 Accord but the new one is pretty nice. Solid handler, comfortable, plenty of technology, and typical Honda design... not quite bland but clean lines. The only piece I can't warm up to is the "Lane Watch" system that uses a camera to display what's on the right side of the car.

Which is better? I don't think you can go wrong either way but the Mazda is definitely the sportier and has more character.
 

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I test drove all 3 of these cars. I actually had the Camry SE as a rental for a bit and after noticing at 20k miles the suspension felt shot (bottomed out in It multiple times going into driveways) and the car shaking at 70+mpg it felt abused. The interior especially the controls/gauge cluster felt really dated. The "Eco" light was extremely annoying. I don't mind learning how to get the best fuel economy and adjust my driving if needed but where is the damn off switch for that Eco light?! Something my Mazda6 doesn't have and that's a very good thing.

My impressions of the Honda accord, I did feel like it looked rather large sitting still, but it's driving dynamics were quite nice. It's interior was poorly designed. Way too many buttons, when things should have looked less clustered. The gauge cluster was ugly and looked like something a grandma would want. The accord was a distant 2nd at best with a CX-5 more likely for me.

The Mazda6 was/is a winner and I knew this as soon as I got into it. This is my first Mazda and longevity reliability pending it won't be my last. I fell in love with the drivetrain, amoung others.

I think it's funny in the review they note that they tried getting a Ford Fusion SE and Ford somehow couldn't get one? They all broken already? Lol. I don't think it would have done well with its numb feeling and terrible body roll.
 

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Cool article. It's a real shame they couldn't get the Fusion though, since I'm primarily interested in the Fusion vs the 6.

I'm really impressed at how Mazda has essentially caught up with the Honda Accord, though. I remember when buying my 04 6 back in 2005 that Mazda was still a generation behind Honda when it came to a lot of things, especially the engine. (Although the 7th generation American Accords were hideous to behold.)

I'm surprised the 6 finished last in braking distance.
 

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Cool article. It's a real shame they couldn't get the Fusion though, since I'm primarily interested in the Fusion vs the 6.

I'm really impressed at how Mazda has essentially caught up with the Honda Accord, though. I remember when buying my 04 6 back in 2005 that Mazda was still a generation behind Honda when it came to a lot of things, especially the engine. (Although the 7th generation American Accords were hideous to behold.)

I'm surprised the 6 finished last in braking distance.
I find it startling that the Accord out handled the Mazda6 and stopped quicker too. Mazda bench marked Audi and BMW when tuning the chassis. How on Earth did it get out handled?

I find it hard to believe Ford could not find 1 Fusion SE to give to MT for the test. I think they didn't want to do it.
 

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I question whether Motortend actually road tested another Mazda 6 against the competition at all. The test numbers obtained were identical to the ones they were able to get in the last road test when they tested the GT and the sport MT. Depending on temp, and track conditions, etc. usually different numbers are obtained. Test results tend to vary. If I am right about my speculation, then it is a little disappointing that they wouldn't run separate numbers back to back. Without looking, willing to bet test numbers may be the same as previous tests for the competing cars as well. I could be completely off the mark with this, but it is something to ponder.

With the exception of straight line acceleration it sounds like the 6 won in subjective feel more than outright handling numbers. Much more important in the real world anyway. How many are actually going to drive the 6 at the actual limit of handling. Seems like .84g is plenty of grip for a car in this category. Could have more to do with tires more than anything else. Bet it could hit at least .90g with a proper set of summer tires. I am assuming the skidpad numbers were run with the stability control switched to off, but I am not real sure, and I don't think it was mentioned in the article.
 

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Still very happy to see the Mazda 6 beat the Honda Accord in a segment dominated by the Accord for years. Now let's see if it is good enough to boot the Accord off of Car and Drivers ten best list come January. Can't wait to see the Car and Driver comparison sure to be run soon. To change the subject a little, I am very disappointed in Automobile Magazine, and Road and Track in that they have yet to even test the 6.
 

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I find it startling that the Accord out handled the Mazda6 and stopped quicker too. Mazda bench marked Audi and BMW when tuning the chassis. How on Earth did it get out handled?
That surprised me, too. My only guess is that they tuned the American 6 to be a bit softer and American market friendly compared to the European 6. Just enough to give the over-achieving Honda an edge.

I find it hard to believe Ford could not find 1 Fusion SE to give to MT for the test. I think they didn't want to do it.
Probably, but I don't understand why, really. Everything I've read is that the Fusion is a great handler. There are only three things that would probably hurt it: Poor fuel economy, low back seat room, and a relatively unsophisticated auto transmission when compared to the Accord / 6.

Perhaps I answered my own question.
 

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My only guess is that they tuned the American 6 to be a bit softer and American market friendly compared to the European 6.
^ That. They said it in an article:
We drove Euro-spec, late pre-production cars, tuned for European tastes and riding on low-rolling resistance summer tires. Models for our market will get all-season tires and a recalibrated suspension. That means U.S. cars won't ride exactly like the cars we drove.
 
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The Accord has 235/45R18 94V M+S Michelin Primacy MXM4 on 8" wide wheels compared to 225/45R19 92W M+S Dunlop SP Sport 5000 on 7.5" wheels for the 6, should account for some of the braking and handling measurement differences. Mazda was aggressive on wheel diameter, but not so much on wheel width, tire width or tire type, based on reviews of the Dunlop. Maybe the Dunlop is better in snow though, I know the MXM4's on the 1st Gen 6 were great everywhere but snow. I wonder what numbers the 6 would put out with the exact same wheel/tire as the Accord, they may even be swappable if the hub/et are the same, would make a fun comparison.

If I were to get a new 6, I'd probably try to sell the stock set and buy 8" wide 18's. Would likely make for much cheaper tire replacements at a 225/18 or 235/18 size. Different tires would be a given.

*edit* Also, tuning for great handling doesn't mean just mean high measurable static numbers on a test surface, it also means being great at communicating those limits and being able to transition up to them in a satisfactory way. I was able to finally drive the new Sonata this past week, rental wise, and while I'm sure the thing has comparable lateral G measures, it felt like it did not want to go around a corner. It did fine from a grip point of view, but from behind the wheel it was like pulling a dog who is trying to take crap in someone else's yard, not enjoyable or confidence inspiring.
 

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I find it startling that the Accord out handled the Mazda6 and stopped quicker too. Mazda bench marked Audi and BMW when tuning the chassis. How on Earth did it get out handled?
I agree with another poster's suspicion that they are using the same test results as from their recent drive of the GT Auto and the Sport Manual (here). Although they are focusing on the GT now, the 6 Sport, with the 17" wheels and different tires, easily matched the handling and braking of the Accord. I suspect the Dunlops on the 19s were probably chosen to be comfortable despite the large wheel size.
 

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If I were to get a new 6, I'd probably try to sell the stock set and buy 8" wide 18's. Would likely make for much cheaper tire replacements at a 225/18 or 235/18 size.
A wider tyre means a larger contact patch with the road surface, which in turn means higher rolling resistance and poorer fuel economy. I for one would trust Mazda's engineers to have hit the balance with everything (handling, confort, fuel economy) and not care for a 1% difference in extreme handling, which could very well come down to tyre brand, type etc.
 

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...which could very well come down to tyre brand, type etc.
This. The type of tires will make a much-larger difference in cornering and braking than a lousy 1/2" of extra wheel width.

Want to out-perform the Accord, get a set of performance summer tires on all four corners, same size as stock. Problem solved.
 

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I've read the entre article and what it stands out is that they are 3 very similar cars on paper. Sure, you can argue one inch on braking, 0.5 seconds on accel, and so on, but to me it's not significant.

So I believe in the end it will come down to personal preference and not specs, because they will surely behave differently on the road and depending on the driving situation.
 

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I've read the entre article and what it stands out is that they are 3 very similar cars on paper. Sure, you can argue one inch on braking, 0.5 seconds on accel, and so on, but to me it's not significant.

So I believe in the end it will come down to personal preference and not specs, because they will surely behave differently on the road and depending on the driving situation.
I agree and for me it wasn't just about the driving dynamics (although I do believe the Mazda6 does a great job with it). Even though the accords cvt transmission was nice for a cvt, I still didn't want a cvt. overall I felt Mazda did a better job, whether that's interior/exterior there isn't anything the accord has that I could have equal or better in the mazda6. I also prefer having my power band in the low/mid range unlike the accord and most Hondas that don't make power until the upper rpm range when Vtec kicks in.
 

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This. The type of tires will make a much-larger difference in cornering and braking than a lousy 1/2" of extra wheel width.

Want to out-perform the Accord, get a set of performance summer tires on all four corners, same size as stock. Problem solved.

True, but what if the Accord was wearing the same tires? Would like to see a comparison of both cars with the same tires. It will never happen, but I would love to see it. From everything I have read, evaluators Have praised Mazda 6 for drivetrain, especially transmission, suspension, and to a lesser degree, steering. Steering may be the best in it's class for an electric set up though.

Bottom line is I would rather have a car like the 6 where the handling feel is better than the outright performance stats. Still .84g on a skidpad is nothing to sneeze at. Funny thing is the sport on smaller shoes actually performs better. Which again points to manufacturer of the tire.
 

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Unsure how the Accord compares on long drives but I thoroughly enjoyed driving the 6 1000 miles last weekend. I went up I5 and it gave me all the power that I needed.
 

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A wider tyre means a larger contact patch with the road surface, which in turn means higher rolling resistance and poorer fuel economy. I for one would trust Mazda's engineers to have hit the balance with everything (handling, confort, fuel economy) and not care for a 1% difference in extreme handling, which could very well come down to tyre brand, type etc.
I'd mainly go to 18"s just to get cheaper tires, a better selection and lighter wheels. Same width on something like a Pilot Super Sport would save well over $200 a set versus 19"s, even on a cheaper Bridgestone it'd be over $130 a set. Plus you'd have a little extra sidewall for compliance, or potholes :mad:. I'd probably trade 1% more handling for 1% less fuel economy, Mazda's balance doesn't necessarily meet up to mine. (God bless the aftermarket) After driving the new 6 with the 19"s and remembering what the 1st gen felt with MXM4's (2 gen MXV4's are just blah, even my bro-in-law hates them in 245's on his TL SH-AWD), the MXM4's were definitely a more sporty tire. Agree with other posters, summer tires needed.
 

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I agree and for me it wasn't just about the driving dynamics (although I do believe the Mazda6 does a great job with it). Even though the accords cvt transmission was nice for a cvt, I still didn't want a cvt. overall I felt Mazda did a better job, whether that's interior/exterior there isn't anything the accord has that I could have equal or better in the mazda6. I also prefer having my power band in the low/mid range unlike the accord and most Hondas that don't make power until the upper rpm range when Vtec kicks in.
The Earth Dreams I4 is supposed to be much better at low revs versus the old K24, torque peak is not far off Mazda's at 3900 RPM. That said, I was surprised at how well Skyactiv 2.5L will lug, in the 1500-2000 RPM levels; felt not far off my 3.0L V6, probably the same when you count that the gearing is actually taller versus my Aisin 6 speed. No other I4 (non-turbo) car I have driven was able to sustain any meaningful, however low, thrust at those engine speeds; they were always trying to get above 2000 RPM even when just breathing on the throttle. 2nd gen 6i was one of the worst with the Jatco auto, torque converter locking and unlocking all the time, no power below 2 grand either.
 

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Mazda did a fabulous job with the new 6 in every single department. The 2.5 is smooth and torquey, it's chassis is well sorted, and it looks better than any other midsize car inside and out. It's nice to see comparison tests like this come to the same conclusion. I just hope for Mazda's sake that this is reflected in its sales numbers.
 
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