2010 Mazda Mazda6

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Flash Drive: 2010 Mazda Mazda6

By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2010 Mazda Mazda6

When Mazda updated the Mazda6 midsize sedan with its latest design language (exaggerated front fender arches and a large grille opening), it was done in a classy way. The profile reveals a sporty slope to the roofline. The interior design is really appealing — it's sporty, yet not overdone, with a nice use of shapes and textures; plus, the cloth material on the seats has a nice pattern and multicolored black and gray inserts. What's perplexing about this car is that it doesn't fully deliver on the sporty driving dynamics expected from Mazda. It's still more fun to drive than a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but it's no Mazda3. With the 170-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, it's not underpowered, but it feels underpowered even with an excellent 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. It does deliver combined fuel economy in the mid 20s, which is the point. –Mike Meredith

To enhance fuel efficiency, many car companies are starting to offer larger cars with smaller engines. This works for some, but it doesn't in the Mazda6. It is a good-sized sedan — interior space is plentiful, with lots of rear-seat legroom and a large trunk — easily meeting the needs of most families. It's also a great-looking car, with bold fender flares and angular headlights that give the Mazda6 a powerful look. But the power under the hood is somewhat lacking. The 170 horses work when there's not much load, and the goal of good fuel economy is realized, with a rating of 30 mpg on the highway. But of all the Mazdas I've driven, this is the first that just didn't seem to have that "Zoom-Zoom." The slightest acceleration or smallest incline seemed to really task the engine — downshifts happened often, keeping the engine working hard and loud. Yes, fuel efficiency is important, but it's a shame to lose so much performance for a gain of a few miles per gallon. –Perry Stern

I'm baffled that Mazda can make a wonderful small car like the Mazda3, but completely fail to make an interesting or particularly good midsize sedan. The Mazda6 has never been very good. The new model year doesn't bring any improvements in exterior styling, and the engine doesn't feel strong enough for the car. Inside, the materials don't offer much luxury; in fact, they are a little dark and depressing. Overall, the Mazda6 is certainly functional, but not very inspired. –Paul Hagger

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BB06 - 7/13/2014 7:20:36 AM