2009 Mazda Mazda6

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Flash Drive: 2009 Mazda Mazda6

By Staff of MSN Autos

With so many midsize family cars on the market, it’s nice to find one that stands out from the crowd. The Mazda6’s sculpted fenders and wide stance give it a sporty look, carried through to the interior with supportive seats and high-end-looking materials. A manual transmission is somewhat rare in this class, and the 6-speed shifter in the Mazda6 is silky smooth. The 6-speed also helps make the most of the 170-horsepower 4-cylinder powerplant in our tester, which was barely up to the task of motivating this big sedan. But even when it’s working hard, the engine is incredibly quiet — I found myself driving with the engine at revs over 4,000 rpm, which you would never know without looking at the tachometer. The 4-cylinder is a great choice for those looking for a good value and high fuel economy, but the additional 100 horses in the V6 would have been fun. Perry Stern

The newly redesigned Mazda 6 is a stunning automobile. The exterior profile has elegant and flowing lines, yet the front end looks aggressive, with R-8-like front wheel fenders. It is definitely one of the nicest designed mainstream cars on the market today. Inside the car, Mazda provides the driver with a comfortable and sporty layout. The dials and controls are easy to use and understand, and the touch-screen navigation system was easy to use as well. However, the information button used to change the in-dash display was difficult to access when driving. The car tested had a smooth 6-speed manual transmission paired with the 4-cylinder engine. The engine felt responsive and eager to rev, yet still delivered 29 mpg in mostly highway driving. The Mazda 6 felt equally at home driving on the freeway as it did driving around town. While the Mazda can seat five, it is more comfortable for four passengers. I would highly recommend that car buyers looking at the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Nissan Altima also consider the Mazda 6. – Joe Chulick

The Mazda6 is the most mainstream vehicle offered by Mazda. It’s aimed squarely at the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, and in my opinion is the best of the three. It’s comfortable and straightforward on the inside, but where the Camry and Accord have boring engines, the Mazda6 is as smooth as either, yet it’s also interesting and fun to drive as well. The worst thing is that the front of this car isn’t quite as good-looking as the previous version. Make sure you buy it in a color that doesn’t exaggerate the overstyled snout and you’ll be a very happy car owner. Paul Hagger

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BB06 - 7/29/2014 2:30:02 AM