I test drove both cars before making my decision. 3900 vs 3250 rpms peak tq and 5700 vs 6400 rpms peak hp. Redline 6800 accord vs 6500 Mazda6. The Mazda makes peak tq 800rpms before redline while the accord is only 400 rpms away from redline at peak tq. I've had older civics in the past and while this accords power band isn't extremely high I prefer more lower/mid rpm range power and not have to damn near redline the car before max hp. It's a preference of where I like my power at. Again although other things like a cvt transmission are not for me, as well as styling which is subjective.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.