The Mazda6 is a very nicely made car that handles extremely well for when you need a dash of sportiness in your midsize sedan experience. It falls down as a true enthusiast car because it’s not even remotely quick. If you are looking for a front-drive four-door and some real zip, go check out a Buick Regal GS instead.
I must be the only one among my peers who is not all that impressed with the Mazda6. Is it a nice car for the money? Absolutely! But just because it is one of the only mid-sizers to offer you a three pedal option doesn’t mean you are going to be happy with it.
The main problem with the Mazda6 is it is SLOW. Mazda says “driving matters” and formerly had the tagline of “Zoom-Zoom,” yet the Mazda6 is the only car in its segment without a higher powered engine option. You can zoom in the Mazda6, just not quickly.
Don’t get me wrong, the 184 horsepower motor is fine for your average person, but for folks like you and me, it’s a letdown when you want to get on it. What you really need is a Buick Regal GS.
A Mazda6 Sport with a six-speed manual starts at $22,820. At that price, you get cloth seats and 17-inch alloys that make the 6 look like something you picked up at the rental counter.
Or! For $22,500 you can have a gently used 2015 Regal GS with 260 HP, manual transmission, leather seats, Brembo brakes surrounded by wheels that actually fit the car, navigation and a bunch of other goodies.
And it’s not like you are making a big sacrifice on reliability either by picking up a used Buick instead of a new Mazda. Buick is constantly ranked among the most reliable brands by Consumer Reports and other outlets.
Okay, suppose you really don’t like this buying used instead of new idea, and you don’t have to have a three-pedal car. A fully loaded Mazda6 Grand Touring has an MSRP of $34,370. Now Mazda will not offer you a manual option in the top trim, and Buick has decided that the manual is no longer necessary for the GS, which is too bad.
However, you can have a brand new turbocharged GS in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive for well below the price of a Mazda6 GT.
You can pretend you’re not one of the sad jamokes in their lifeless Camrys and Accords by getting a Mazda6, but you’re lying to yourself that it’s a real performance car.
Or you can get a Buick Regal GS and be “that guy” who tells everyone your Buick is really just a rebadged Opel Insignia, and therefore is a totally legit European sport sedan.