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Hi all,
I'm currently shopping around and wondered what alternatives to the 2017/18 M6 were considered when doing your research.

The M6 would be my first mid-size sedan previous owner of 3 M3s and an M5 (for the fam!). I'm looking at:
Accord Turbo
Elantra Turbo
'19 Jetta

Are there any others that competed for your interest?
 

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Elantra absolutely not. Jetta I don't know anything about, but based on VW's engine history it won't be the most reliable and is ridden with electronic issues.

The leaves you down to the Accord and 6. It's a big toss-up and depends on what you want. The Mazda is slightly more sporty and offers more driver feel. The Accord offers a manual transmission with the bigger engine, and the 2.0T is flat-out a bit faster with a more linear powerband. The Mazda will have a more punchy mid-range/more torque which is useful for daily driving. Has some serious potential with an ECU tune due to the extra displacement. In this case it will need expensive custom work on the differential, wider tires and some suspension adjustments to properly put down the punchy 2.5L's torque. Inside and out, it's a toss-up again (I think the Mazda looks better inside and out yet Honda's exterior is still nice minus the back)

Build quality and reliability? Honda. The chassis and steering has less tactile feel but is better balanced.

Verdict? Test-drive both and decide for yourself, then tell us which one you liked best and why.
 

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The accord looks nice from side profile, but the front and nose take away any chance of a sporty or unique look. From a straight on front view it looks like any other Honda Civic or Accord from the last 20 years.

The new 2018 Mazda 6 has the best looking front end out there, including vs $60k Lexus.
The 6 is just sexy and stands out.
 

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Hi all,
I'm currently shopping around and wondered what alternatives to the 2017/18 M6 were considered when doing your research.

The M6 would be my first mid-size sedan previous owner of 3 M3s and an M5 (for the fam!). I'm looking at:
Accord Turbo
Elantra Turbo
'19 Jetta

Are there any others that competed for your interest?
I think you'll find the Jetta and Elantra much too small if you're considering the 6. Hyundai makes a great car (we're leasing a base model AT '17 Elantra which is fine and it was CHEAP) but the driving enjoyment just isn't there.

The Passat would be more in line, but I personally don't think VWs are reliable (or cheap to maintain) at all and the company has a LOT of baggage.

I guess you could look at a Camry or Maxima, but really my two top choices would be the 6 or the Accord 2.0T, which miraculously still comes in a stick.
 

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I was considering the Accord ,Camry and the Lexus IS turbo.
The Camry's v6 still gets good reviews, so I would definitely make sure you check that out as the other manufacturers have dropped the 6 cylinder options, or at least the ones I was considering. I wish I would have checked out a Camry and compared the engine to the Mazda's turbo setup. I certainly don't regret my purchase but the v6 would just sound so nice.

The Accord still seems to be getting praise, so you should definitely check it out.


I never made it to the Lexus dealer to try out an IS but I find them quite nice (I don't have kids so I don't care that much about rear seat room).
 

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I was considering the Accord ,Camry and the Lexus IS turbo.
The Camry's v6 still gets good reviews, so I would definitely make sure you check that out as the other manufacturers have dropped the 6 cylinder options, or at least the ones I was considering. I wish I would have checked out a Camry and compared the engine to the Mazda's turbo setup. I certainly don't regret my purchase but the v6 would just sound so nice.

The Accord still seems to be getting praise, so you should definitely check it out.


I never made it to the Lexus dealer to try out an IS but I find them quite nice (I don't have kids so I don't care that much about rear seat room).
The Camry is not bad, Lexus IS is a RWD-biased car and in a totally different category from the rest. The turbo engine is a major dissapointment - not fast at all. If you're considering a RWD 350 then I would go for that.

There's also the Maxima.
 

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You are asking all Mazda 6 lovers so obviously you can expect us to be inclined in favor of it, but like a lot of others said I would only consider the Accord as a choice. I have seen too many friends owning VWs with so many reliability issues.

IMO - The 6 beats the Accord in overall looks and finish. The previous Accords felt a little roomier than the 6 but I don’t know about the 2018 with the sloping roof profile.

Take a test drive and see which one talks to you.
 

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In my mind, these are the main competitors:

Chevy Malibu or low/mid trim Impala
Honda Accord turbo
Toyota Camry v6
Nissan Altima 3.5L SL or low/mid trim Maxima or even possibly the Infiniti versions of these.
Subaru Legacy 3.6R
Jetta turbo or maybe low/mid trim Passat
Ford Fusion turbo (or older V6 models)
Maybe a low-end BMW 325i (sort of a reach)
Low-end Audi A4 (size is probably closer to Passat based A6)
 

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The Passat would be a closer competitor to the 6 than the Jetta. The Jetta is a compact and is more closely aligned to the 3 than the 6. Surprised no one has mentioned the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T or Kia Optima SX. Personally, I think they both drive like appliances but for people wanting feature content they're hard to beat.
 

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Get whatever car you like. Drive both and whichever feels nice to you and you like how it looks get it.



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Not as far as chassis dynamics, driver focus and and drivetrain tuning goes. They may compete in the same class but they sure don't compete with each other.
Theoretically, neither does 3/4th of the list that vipre77 posted above, but they're competitors all the same, and I'd add the Regal to that list.

I'll add the lower-end Stinger to that list also. I've heard of that being mentioned a fair amount from possible 6 Turbo customers...
 

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Not as far as chassis dynamics, driver focus and and drivetrain tuning goes. They may compete in the same class but they sure don't compete with each other.
Theoretically, neither does 3/4th of the list that vipre77 posted above, but they're competitors all the same, and I'd add the Regal to that list.

I'll add the lower-end Stinger to that list also. I've heard of that being mentioned a fair amount from possible 6 Turbo customers...
For the average consumer just looking for a smooth ride and good features those cars could be considered competitiors, but as a driving enthusiast they don’t compete with the performance of Mazda in any way. now the stringer definitely is not a competitor being based on a RWD chassis regardless if its cross shopped with the 6 or not.
@nateweb, I’m just going to pretend like I didn’t read your unedited temper-trantrum..
 

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When I got my 6 I drove several vehicles from a wide cross-section. I did this because they were all in the same price-range. That's the operative word and will explain what the OP is on to. This is how the majority of people shop, simply because money talks and everything else takes slow, short strides.

So what did I look at? I researched several models online and eliminated some before even doing that (talking to you, Toyota, with your appliance-laden product line...and you, BMW, with your lemon-laden product line).


I first drove a C300. A friend of mine had one and it was shockingly reliable. She had it for a number of years and apart from a single headlamp that blew way too frequently, it served her well. It was a gorgeous pearl white with tan interior. Drove flawlessly. I walked away from the deal because the dealer said something to me that I felt was disrespectful. That's all it takes, folks.

I drove an Optima and I really liked it. One of the BEST stereos out there when equipped with the Infinity system. It was the non-turbo but was otherwise very well appointed. I walked away because even though I was getting a really good warranty, I was reading way too many complaints about the 2.4L engine.

The next car I checked out was an Accord. It drove well, made all the right sounds, but it didn't have leather, nor a sunroof, and they were asking a bit too much.

I also drove a G37. That has got to be the best sounding V6 EVER! Loved how it felt. But I walked away because the price was just not where I wanted it to be.

I drove a Regal (non turbo) after that. It was very nice. As expected, it had that European flavour with firm suspension and weighted steering. I walked away because the dealer was just a turn-off, with the old tricks he was trying.

The next car I drove was the 6. It hit a chord with me as soon as I opened the door and heard the stereo (Bose, I tell you).

I tried a CX9 while I was at it too (my wife's suggestion) but I despise SUVs so it was a no-go.

I then drove a LaCrosse. You read that correct. My wife LOVED this one and urged my to buy it. It had the 4 cylinder but had all the other toys that I was looking for. Another pearl white with tan interior. I walked away because I couldn't get the 6 out of my head.

I eventually went with the 6 because, even though it was not the cheapest (the Mercedes was, actually) it felt like MY kinda car. German feel, Italian looks, British classiness, Japanese reliability. Perfect.
 

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In my shopping before choosing a 2018 6 GT Reserve, here's what else I considered and why I passed:

Ford Fusion - The way the trim levels worked out I would have had to spend way more money to get the same equipment. The only plus side to the Fusion was available AWD and massive power boost in the Fusion Sport but since this is my wife's daily, the extra power wasn't really a high selling point.

Accord 2.0T - Had more back seat space but also would have been about $4-5K more to get the same level of equipment. Also reliability was a concern, absolutely everyone I know who has purchased a Honda in the last several years has regretted it and many have had major mechanical issues. Also, the 10 speed auto put me off, it might as well have been a CVT, which was a non-starter for me.

Sonata Turbo - Was my 2nd choice. Drove well, had better back seat space and had standard (at the trim level I was looking at) telemetric remote start. I don't care for panoramic roofs and it wasn't optional on this car. For an 8 speed auto, it was ok but still was annoying to drive in manual mode, kinda slow shift speed. I did also drive the Hybrid and it wasn't bad at all. Best hybrid I've driven yet.

Optima Turbo - Drove just like it's Hyundai brother save for having a 6 speed auto, which helped a little. The trim levels were weird and ultimately to get a few options we wanted, would have had to get a bunch we didn't including some truly hideous seats.

Stinger 2.0T - Has really weird trim levels, which I think have changed for the better in 2019 but basically couldn't get HUD or ventilated seats without jumping up to a GT and that was more money than I wanted to spend (even though it's a bargain for what it is). Really liked the lift back body style and the 8 speed was ok. 2.0T definitely has enough power. Availability was weird too, most of what was local was RWD, which is odd for this part of the midwest, they generally only order AWD cars when available.

Camry - Drove all 3 powertrain options, the V6 was ok but not worth the money, the hybrid was probably the option I'd have picked but honestly, the trim levels were too weird to understand. Their infotainment was pretty bad too. The styling killed it for me the most.

Regal Liftback - Was an interesting body style but to get it trimmed with anything we wanted would have been a big sticker price and even though it would have been much lower sale price in reality, just wasn't worth the effort. Pretty soft ride too. Would have liked to check out the Tour X as AWD and a wagon would have gone a long way but no availability at the time. Did drive a GS and it was a step back from the last GS.

Mini Clubman - The split rear doors were cool but by the time I had spec'd one conservatively it getting into 3 series/C class money. Also, I couldn't really find a good driving position. I'm fairly tall and with the way the roof line is on any mini, I'm either constantly draining my neck or looking out of the sun roof to see stop lights.

Didn't even look at Subaru or Nissan as either would have come with a CVT and that's gross. I had driven a CVT WRX the previous year and it was just wrong. Also skipped any FCA product, because FCA.I was very tempted to look at a Giulia because they look great and I've seen some ridiculous low prices on new ones but also have seen some very scary reliability reports.
 

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Here's a great choice, if you want a Mazda 6 with the turbo, and...

1. Be stuck with a 25-year-old V6 with poorer fuel economy, less torque, and saddled with a fun-sucking CVT transmission.
2. Get the same interior features and safety items, but with tacky styling and inferior materials and fit-and-finish.
3. Costs anywhere from $2500 to $6000 MORE, depending on options and packages, compared to a comparably-equipped 6.
4. And... Let's face it... It's FUGLY!

Announcing the 2019 Nissan Maxima... Click me, but only AFTER you've avoided the possibility of falling out of your chair from laughing so hard...
 

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Here's a great choice, if you want a Mazda 6 with the turbo, and...

1. Be stuck with a 25-year-old V6 with poorer fuel economy, less torque, and saddled with a fun-sucking CVT transmission.
2. Get the same interior features and safety items, but with tacky styling and inferior materials and fit-and-finish.
3. Costs anywhere from $2500 to $6000 MORE, depending on options and packages, compared to a comparably-equipped 6.
4. And... Let's face it... It's FUGLY!

Announcing the 2019 Nissan Maxima... Click me, but only AFTER you've avoided the possibility of falling out of your chair from laughing so hard...
Yeah I remember when the Maxima was a good car. Solid, fun, reliable and could get a stick with that 6 cylinder. Then Renault grabbed Nissan by their twig and cherries and whipped all of those positve traits out of all their products. We owned a 1998 Pathfinder that was dead nuts reliable. I still see a goodly nunber of Pathfinders and the Infiniti QX50 suvs going strong on the streets and highways in MA.

Now all Nissan has are a bunch of brand-killing shitboxes and scummy CEO Ghosn. Well maybe the Leaf is something positive?

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