Thanks to the presence of Miata (MX-5) and RX-8 in its lineup, Mazda has a richly deserved reputation for building engaging driver’s cars. And while those are purpose-built sports cars, the fact of the matter is Mazda builds all its cars to return an exceptionally visceral experience when driven vigorously.
The company’s “large” sedan, the Mazda6, is actually a mid-sizer in terms of the overall marketplace, even though it is the biggest Mazda four-door on offer. Positioned as it is to slug it out in the mid-size arena with the likes of Camry, Accord, Sonata and Malibu, you have to be of a certain mindset to even know the Mazda6 exists.
Most people shopping in that category place spaciousness and ride comfort ahead of sportiness and good looks. The Mazda6, more in possession of those latter attributes than the former, sadly languishes as an also ran in the contest to post huge sales numbers. However, for someone looking for a good clean used mid-sized Japanese sedan to drive more like a BMW than a Buick, look no farther; the Mazda6 is the car you’re searching for. (OK, and Nissan’s Altima.)
Replacing the considerably less aggressive Mazda 626, there have been two generations of the Mazda6 offered since the car was launched in 2003.