Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,900 – $21,200*


2009 Mazda 6 Front


2009 Mazda 6 Rear


2009 Mazda 6 Interior


2009 Mazda 6 Profile

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Controls
  • Handling
Cons:
  • Engine noise (V6)
  • Ride (18-inch wheels)

Mazda 6 qualifies as a Best Buy for its newfound style, added passenger space, and fun-to-drive character. We prefer the four-cylinder over the V6, due to those models’ better ride and handling balance, as well as thriftier fuel economy. Though the demise of its wagon and hatchback body styles make it slightly less versatile, solid build quality and class-competitive power make the Mazda 6 a must-see, new or used. Four-cylinder models tend to hold their value better than V6 sedans, so they may be a bit higher-priced on the used-car market.

Overview

As redesigned for 2009, the front-wheel-drive Mazda 6 grew in size, gaining freshened styling and more power. This midsize car now came exclusively as a four-door sedan; the previous hatchback and wagon body styles were discontinued. The 2009 Mazda 6 was about 4 inches longer in wheelbase and 7 inches longer overall than the 2003-2008 generation. Four trim levels were available: SV, Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Models with the “i” designation received a new 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which replaced a 156-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Models with the “s” prefix got a 272-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 to replace the prior 212-hp, 3.0-liter V6. A six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission was offered with the four-cylinder, while the V6 paired with a six-speed automatic. Both automatics had manual shift capability. Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Optional equipment included a navigation system, leather upholstery, keyless entry, a sunroof, and a blind-spot monitoring system. Competitors included the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry.

Yearly Updates

2010 6
A new trim level joined for 2010. The Mazda 6 lineup now consisted of five trim levels: SV, Sport, Touring, new Touring Plus, and Grand Touring. All except the Grand Touring were available with the 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, designated “i” models. Touring Plus and Grand Touring models could have the 272-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6, earning an “s” prefix and teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-cylinder SV, Sport, and Touring sedan were available with manual shift or the five-speed automatic. A wireless cell-phone link was standard on Touring Plus and Grand Touring sedans. Grand Touring models gained a moonroof but lost some other equipment. The Mazda 6s Grand Touring also had blind-spot alert, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. A power passenger seat, keyless access and engine start, automatic xenon headlights, and voice-activated navigation were options exclusive to the Grand Touring.
2011 6
The 2011 Mazda 6 got slightly freshened interior styling.
2012 6
There were no noteworthy changes to the Mazda 6 for 2012.
2013 6
The 2013 Mazda 6 was unchanged and saw a very short model year before an all-new 2014 6 debuted.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Four-cylinder and V6 power have been available in the Mazda 6. An “i” prefix in the model number designates four-cylinder; and “s” prefix indicates the V6 engine. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes 170 horsepower, working with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Only a six-speed automatic is available with the 3.7-liter V6, which generates 272 horsepower.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 167
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

20/29

24.1

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 167
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

21/30

25.4

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/226
Engine HP 272
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 269
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/25

Road Test

Four-cylinder models are peppy from a stop and adequate during highway passing maneuvers. Only on long hill climbs does that engine feel stressed. The V6 furnishes ample power both around town and on the highway. Both automatics are smooth and responsive. Mazda’s manual gearbox shifts precisely, but some of the shifter throws-namely second gear to third gear-may feel a bit long.

Four-cylinder models with manual shift have averaged 22.6 to 25.0 mpg in city/highway driving. A four-cylinder/automatic sedan averaged 25.4 mpg with slightly more highway driving than city use. In mostly city driving, a V6 sedan averaged only 17.6 mpg. Each Mazda 6 uses regular-grade gasoline.

Whether it’s the four-cylinder model with17-inch wheels or the V6 with 18s, the ride is quite firm. Still, the ride is absorbent over nearly every surface, particularly on four-cylinder models. The “s” Touring and Grand Touring models, with 18-inch tires, exhibit a bit more choppiness over bumps.

Cornering with confidence and minimal body lean, an Mazda 6 is generally agile. Steering is responsive, with good on-center feel. Close-quarters maneuverability is aided by a relatively tight turning circle. Brakes deliver strong, steady stopping power.

Both engines are quiet while cruising, but can get buzzy while accelerating. The four-cylinder is not the most refined in this class, exhibiting some whine under full-throttle acceleration. Road and tire noise are present, but not annoying. The available 18-inch tires induce more coarse-surface tire thrum. Some wind rush will be present around the side mirrors.

All gauges and controls are logically placed and easy to read. Large, stylized gauge readouts blend form and function well. The optional blind-spot warning system (if installed) sounds a tone when a vehicle is in your blind spot and the car is about to change lanes. That system seems too sensitive at times, occasionally sounding tones for cars outside the blind spot; but it’s easy to disengage via a button next to the steering wheel. Mazda’s optional navigation system has a large screen and is fairly easy to use, but it absorbs nearly all audio functions, complicating some simple adjustments. Controls on the right side of the navigation screen are too remote for easy access. Mazda 6 models have two light settings for the instrument panel and other major controls, governed by a button in the gauge cluster. In low-light and foggy conditions, the “day” mode renders the display too bright, while “night” mode is too dim.

Bright metal accents lend warmth to the nicely styled cabin. Interiors are swathed in plastic, yet avoid looking cheap. In fact, glossy black plastic trim lends a sporty ambiance. Most other plastic surfaces are soft-touch and appropriate for the class. Optional leather seating surfaces lend an upscale appeal.

Front-seat headroom and legroom are ample for an average-sized person. The standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel is a plus. Wide rear pillars impede visibility somewhat to the rear corners.

Average-sized back-seat passengers get plentiful headroom, as well as more legroom than in some like-sized rivals. Wide-opening doors aid entry and exit, despite a narrow threshold. Three can fit in the back, but the center seat should be reserved for smaller passengers.

A wide-mounted trunk eases package loading and non-intrusive, strut-type hinges free up cargo space-which is already generous. The Mazda 6 has decent small-items storage space, including a large glovebox and deep, two-tier center console. There are no rear door pockets, however.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Mazda 6i Grand Touring

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 7
70%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 9
90%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.8 193.7 72.4 57.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.6 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 37.3 42.5 38.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 6 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Horn
Description: The horn may sound when turning the steering wheel due to a short, requiring a redesigned horn plate and wiring harness for the steering wheel. (2009-10)
Manual transmission
Description: Gear clash may occur when shifting into third or fourth gear on the 6-speed manual due to worn synchronizers, which are often damaged by coasting in neutral to save fuel. (2009-10)
Audio system
Description: Persons receiving calls may be unable to hear voice clearly when hands-free Bluetooth is used. The microphone may have to be relocated from the dash to the overhead console. (2009-10)
Audio system
Description: Once a phone has been paired via Bluetooth, other units may fail to pair or the Bluetooth system may quit. An improved Bluetooth unit has been made available. (2009-10)
Seat
Description: Front seats suffer numerous noises and adjustment problems from a variety of causes. (2009-10)
Sunroof/moonroof
Description: The sunroof may not slide back, but only tilt up, due to it being in the initialization mode, which can happen if the glass is pushed when it is open or power is lost while it is moving. (2009-10)
Electrical problem
Description: Plugs from electric accessories can get stuck in the auxiliary power outlet and an improved outlet is available for replacement. (2009-10)
Electrical problem
Description: Electric noise in the engine harness can cause check-engine light to illuminate. The condition can be corrected by having a new harness for the throttle body installed. (2011-13)

Recall History

2009
Description: Outer door handles may stick, preventing door from latching, which could allow door to open while vehicle is moving.
2009 w/owner-installed Thule roof-mounted fit kit
Description: Bolt(s) used to secure the unit’s foot to the vehicle may be brittle and potentially break under stress, which may result in bolt(s) snapping off during use, with or without a load.
2009-10 Mazda 6 vehicles manufactured from April 8, 2008, through February 8, 2010
Description: A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction in the line. If this occurs, the fuel tank pressure may become excessively negative when the emission control system works to purge the vapors from the canister. As the canister is purged repeatedly during normal operation, the stress on the fuel tank may eventually result in a crack, potentially leading to fuel leakage and an increased risk of fire. Dealers will inspect and clean up the canister vent line, and install a spring to prevent this type of spider from entering the vent line.
2009-13 6
Description: Certain 2009-2013 model Mazda 6 vehicles made between February 4, 2008 and August 24, 2012 may have door latch mounting screws that loosen over time.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.