How Does the 2018 Mazda 6 Compare to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord?

How Does the 2018 Mazda 6 Compare to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord?


SPEAKER: Thanks to
trucks and SUVs, midsized sedans are no
longer the King of sales. But some car makers aren’t
taking that lying down. The thoroughly
redesigned Mazda 6 features a more elegant and
mature design [INAUDIBLE] all around. Now its exterior styling
is a little more subtle, but we feel the interior, by
far its stand out feature, punches far above its weight. How does it compare
against industry standards like the Camry and the Accord? Lets go and find out. At the front of the 6, Mazda
both made the front end more aggressive and
subtle at the same time. Let me explain. They’ve calmed down the
signature wing, which is the trim piece that connects
the two headlights together, and they moved the fog
light into the headlight, cleaning up the whole front end. But they’ve kept
the angular design that the Mazda 6 was known for. The new 19 inch wheels look
bigger than they really are, because they’ve been designed
so that the spokes go all the way up to the tire and
are available on the top three trims. Bottom two trims get the more
traditional 17 inch wheel. The back end of the car
receives the same styling cues as the front, a
flatter signature wing that connects the two
taillights and larger exhaust tips to make the car
look more sportier. But more importantly, let’s take
a look at the inside of the car where the big changes are. So here on the
inside is where you are going to see the
most differentiation. The previous Mazda
6 had a much more monolithic and vertical
center console, whereas this generation
is wide and expansive. There’s not a lot of buttons
in the middle like the old car. Instead, all you have
is HVAC controls. And then down here,
you have the controller for the infotainment system. Clearly, they’re drawing design
cues from other luxury car makers, and the material
choices reflect that as well. On the signature trim, you
have suede on the dash. You have leather seats and
wood trim pieces all around. Unlike other car
makers, they want you to really use the control
knob for all the functions. Well there is a
touch screen, it only works when the car is stopped. And also, to improve
connectivity with the car, there’s a big seven inch
display right on the dash. And in fact, if we
turn on the car, you can’t really see
the borders of it. It kind of blends in with
the rest of the dash, and it displays things like your
trip settings, your economy. Driver assisted navigation
functions as well Another cool feature of
the digital dash display is the ability to cycle
through different modes. Now that’s not particularly
unique to the 6. But what is unique to the 6 is
that you can turn it all off and have a very simplified
view of your dash. Previous Mazda owners
will also notice that there is no more flip up
glass for the head up display. Instead, it’s all integrated
and projects directly on the windshield. When you add all
these pieces up, you get a much more mature
interior versus the old car. It’s one that we
really appreciate, and it’s a design direction that
we feel is going the right way. While the interior is
all new, the chassis is still based off the old 6,
which brings us to one issue that some may have a problem
with, and that’s the back seat. Definitely Camry and Accord
have a larger backseat than this car. Now it’s usable for
most adults, but you’re going to be missing a
few inches of knee room that the other competitors have. And now for my favorite part,
let’s see how it drives. Another way Mazda
engineers tried to increase the level
of luxury in the car is by reducing ambient noise,
road noise, and wind noise. And in fact, they did a lot of
changes to the body to do that. Now on a twisty road like
this, you won’t really notice it too much, just
because you’re having a lot of fun driving, right? But on the highway,
that translates into a lot more calmer ride. Now it’s not
noiseless, especially on these 19 inch
low profile tires, but the noises that
do come in the car are much more subdued,
and lower in frequency, which doesn’t really grate
on your ears as much. Another unique attribute about
the new six are these seats. Now they’ve been recontoured,
and the feature new material so that little bit denser,
and more comfortable. But the profiling
of material has been changed so that your
pelvis fits into the little nook back here, reducing the
need for bolstering. Now on the signature
trim car, you still have adjustable lumbar support,
and two position driver memory. So you and a co-owner, or
a friend, or your partner can share driving duties
without messing too much with any of the adjustments. But one thing that will take
your mind off of the interior is the drive dynamics. Now the 6 has always been
a fairly good handling car, and this new one
is no different. In fact, Mazda went
through great lengths with the suspension to give
it a little more comfort on choppy roads like
this, without losing any of its pitch or roll stability. What that means is when you
fling it through corners, the car stays
flatter, and doesn’t rock your head front,
back, and side to side. In fact, amongst the
midsize sedan segment, Mazda 6 is probably one of the
better handling cars out there. But what good is
all this suspension if you don’t have the power
to match with it, right? Well, with this 2.5 liter
turbo charged engine, producing three 310 pound feed
of torque, and 250 horsepower, the power is there
right when you need it. On this twisty road,
it doesn’t take much to get the car pulled
into the corner, in fact. In fact, you have
to be careful not to give it too much throttle,
and get some torque steer through the wheel. Now torque steer is where
one wheel has a little bit more grip than the
other, and it will send a little bit of
feedback through the wheel to let you know, hey, maybe you
need to back off a little bit. Sending the power
to the front wheels is this six speed transmission. Now there’s paddle shifters
so you can shift manually if you’d like, but frankly,
it’s just fine in automatic. In fact, there’s a
sport mode, which only works through
the transmission, that holds gears longer, and makes
down shifts more aggressive. But frankly, even in
regular automatic mode, the computer has
enough flexibility to make the shifts more
aggressive on his own where you might not
even use sport mode. Now some of the
Mazda 6’s competitors have gone to eight and
nine speed transmissions, so the Mazda 6 may seem
archaic with six speed. But with such broad torque
coming from the engine, and good gearing
from this gearbox, Mazda didn’t feel
like they needed to invest in a transmission
with even more gears. Now what’s the result of that? Well, the car stays
in gear longer, so it’s not shifting as much. So you get a more
consistent pull as you’re accelerating
down the road. On top of that,
when you downshift, it’s not downshifting
three or four gears. It’s usually just
one, and it puts it right in the
sweet spot for you to have a very strong
acceleration coming out of a corner. Frankly, we haven’t
noticed any issues with it and we think it’s a great idea. Not bad. While at the track, the Mazda
didn’t generate the numbers we felt like it
could achieve when we were driving down the road. It accelerated from 0 to
60 MPH in 6.7 seconds. While not absolutely
praiseworthy, it’s certainly satisfactory as
both 0 to 60 and quarter mile times put it right between the
base engine and option engine equipped versions of
the Camry and Accord. There are steering
changes as well. The steering rack is mounted
directly to the subframe. No bushings. What that means is you can
feel the grain of the road. And we’re going over these
little ribbons in the road, and I can feel them
through the steering wheel. On top of that,
the steering rack has been calibrated to give
it very good weight and heft. Some people might find
it a bit too heavy, but anyone who’s driven a sports
car will be right at home. How do all these
changes translate? Well frankly, wonderfully. The car is uniform
through the corners. You can pitch it in hard and
the car stays very composed. It doesn’t matter if it’s
small little bumps like what we’re feeling now, or
larger bumps like that. The car never gets upset. You can drive this
car far faster than the speed limit
would suggest you can, and have no problems doing it. Now obviously, we suggest
you keep with the law, but it’s nice to know
you can if you needed to. Surprisingly, turning
isn’t as aggressive as I thought it would be, but
that’s not such a bad thing. It follows through
really well, meaning once I do get the right
amount of turn inset, the car doesn’t really
deviate from that. And I can control it with the
throttle and the steering wheel so that I can kind of manage
my understeer very well. With the changes to the
suspension, the steering rack, the Mazda 6 has nothing
to worry about maintaining its position as the sportiest
mid-size sedan on the market. Sure, its heavy
steering and suspension may draw away some
potential buyers. But it’s torquey
engine, subtle exterior, and stand out interior are
more than enough for it to compete against the
traditional favorites, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. But what Mazda has done
with the signature trim elevates the 6 away from those
two into the luxury segment. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the
comments below. To see more videos like these,
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always find out more information on our website, Edmunds.com.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. I have always been a loyal fan of Honda and his Philosophy all these years and I buy Honda cars to support their ideas and also to enjoy their cars. I just bought the Honda Civic 10th Gen 2017 version one and a half years ago but now that I have a family, I decided to scout around for a family sedan and naturally I would have gone for the Honda Accord but decided with a Mazda 6 instead. The Mazda engine is really getting better and better all these years and the interior quality is much better than Honda now. After test driving both Honda Accord, Subaru Forester, Subaru XV, Toyota Camry, VW Passat and Mazda 6 , I have to say that Mazda is the best performer. Mazda 6 is like the SWAT team police officer, they are not the best in one particular area and may not get gold in one Olympic event but they are certainly at least the second best in ALL areas and can get silver in ALL Olympic event plus they deliver with style. Mazda 6 is like the SWAT officer, elite and stylish. Sorry I had to use this example because I used to be a police officer but I'm quite sure the example explains the situation well. Sure, Mazda 6 doesn't have Android Auto which was one of the factors i used to evaluate cars but their KODO philosophy and products have evolved and proved themselves. A car is indeed like a horse and a man have to choose his ride carefully. Mazda 6 is the right ride for me. Choosing a car is like choosing an Art piece and Mazda 6's form is so beautiful and sleek, and I want my horse to deliver that statement when I go out for a ride. Now, I just hope that they will upgrade my Mazda 6 to accept Android auto…. hopefully for free since most cars don't even charge for it. For your info, I got myself a Machine Gray Mazda 6 yesterday after 4 months of careful due dilligence.

  2. The cheese grater front grill is SO nice!! I think I'll go with a REAL car make HONDA!!! the Mazda will rot and fall apart in 6 years.

  3. I test drove one of these today. I shit you not, from the rubberized steering wheel to the futuristic interior and low head it felt like i was in an audi a5. Sedan that drives, feels, looks, and behaves like a coupe.

  4. you're a dumbass… a car is more than 0-60

    Driving Experience

    If you love to drive, the Honda Accord and the Mazda6 have long been the two best places to start your family sedan search. That continues with these latest iterations, but the 6 is clearly the sharper, more engaging car to drive. Its steering comes alive in your hands, almost evoking a Porsche in its just-right effort and feedback. The 6 feels lighter on its feet than the Accord — despite literally weighing more — feeling more at home on a twisting mountain road. Its throttle and transmission response are impeccable, greeting the commands of your right foot with immediacy and intelligence. At the same time, efforts were made to improve the ride for 2018, and although it certainly errs on the side of sporty and firm, it is definitely comfortable, even on especially rough pavement.
    The same can't be said for every Accord, which unlike the 6, suffers when equipped with 19-inch wheels. There's some impact harshness present even though the suspension features more rebound than the 6 and generally feels a bit softer when pavement is smooth. This isn't a huge complaint, especially since those wheels aren't included on the volume trim levels. The somewhat disconnected steering also isn't a big deal, but when compared to the razor-sharp 6, it's definitely a detriment. In general, the Accord should appeal to those who want to feel what their car is doing and feel that they're involved in the act of driving but who also don't need to actually have fun. It's well-rounded and extremely confident, but if you're looking for a good time, the Mazda6 is probably the better way to go.

    Source: https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/2018-honda-accord-vs-2018-mazda6-which-better-281474979867830

  5. You do a really good job of describing technical aspects of driving: torque steer/turn in angle. I've never had to explain it anyone.

  6. Just because they're similary priced doesn't mean they are created equal…I've driven a Camry rental and owned 2 Mazda 6s…no comparison even at the base model…Mazda 6 should be $45,000 – $50,000 for GT model …im not complaining its only $35,000 such value.

  7. I do know the signature is the top trim, and overall, pretty thorough review, but since you mention it having such a nice interior, and all the doodads, how does that compare preicewise (and equipment wise) with top end Accord and Camry, which honestly, are not cars it "aspires" to beat. mazda simply cannot build enough cars to sell in a year what they sell in a month as far as the 6, Accord, and Camry. So it was a smart move to go to entry level lux with top trim. AWD would have really topped it off, but I know the Current 6 is not designed in a way that allows a driveshaft to the rear wheels

  8. Great job Mazda engineers. Very impressed! Very understandable yet detailed review. ~ Auto design and engineering self taught guy

  9. In my area Camry's selling like hot cakes! it is all I see, rarely do I see a Mazda of any trim. Toyota has made a name for itself and that is reliability. Mazda needs to improve it rims tired of the staggered.spoke design. Waiting for the skyactive-x!

  10. Gorgeous car. But disappointing performance. If only this had conpatable power to the Camry v6.

    Also, bring back the damn RX7!!!!

  11. I would make the car's paint job matte with the same color, add black sporty rims, add LED lighting inside, add welcome lights on the trim of the doors, and it would be the SEXIEST sedan out there

  12. Did you REALLY ask how the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord compare? There is no comparison, really. The Mazda is by far the better looking, better handling, and most satisfying to drive. The Toyota is an ugly, boring appliance. The Honda is much better, but the 2018 is ugly, IMO, and just not as nice on the inside. The Mazda is a little more thirsty but it has a real transmission and real personality.

  13. Coming from a Camry and as a lifetime Toyota loyalist, when my 2013 Camry suffered a known issue with the torque converter just out of warranty, I explored other options. I drove the Accord, the Camry, a couple Chevy's and the Mazda 3. When I got to the Mazda 6, I knew it fit like a glove. The only thing I do not like about it is the charging connection is inside and to the very back of the arm rest. So you have this wire pulled all the way past the gear shifter into the phone pocket just to charge your phone. I do love Android Auto on it, though get a good cable because not just your average USB-C cable will work (Communication Error #7 means get a new cable – free tip that took me a few days of Googling to find). Great review, I came across it after I bought my car – I am really looking for why it gets such low scores on "Dependability" by Edmunds and consumer reports. 2.5 out of 5 seems harsh for a basically re-designed car – where is the data coming from for that? What is your opinion of is Dependability? Thanks!

  14. Come on guys, Honda is far more developed and technologically advanced notably in performance. The Acura, The NSX, the VTEC/turbo. Please don't compare such lameness, with Honda's reign of success, awards and achievements.

  15. I do miss the older 6's trunk which had struts instead of the current trend of hinges. The older 6 had some cost cutting evident is some areas, like the power window switches/lock switches were not backlit. I do like the sound of older 6's 2.5 I4. Unfortunate that most buyers do not understand how good this and the older car is. Mazda 6 has always had the best balance of aggressive and classy styling, something that Honda has lost and Toyota never had. I hope they bring back the Speed versions.

  16. how does this mazda 6 compare in 1] comfort 2] road noise and economy to the current (non hybrid but standard) 2018 camry? thanks

  17. I drove this car almost 400mi in one shot without feeling any discomfort while driving. Only I wanted speed up and let the sport mode to drive me to my destination

  18. It says a ton that the overall exterior profile and style hasn't really changed a whole lot since it debuted for 2014, yet it still beats the pants off the latest redesigns of the Camry and Accord (although in fairness, they do look much better than they used to)… Mazda's designers view car design as an art form, and it shows. The quality of their interiors just keeps getting better and really sets them apart from the rest in the mainstream sedan price-range… I had a 2014 6 Touring and the 2016 Grand touring, and both drove as great (in fact, better in many ways) with 20,000+ miles on them and no problems whatsoever… Last year I traded up to a 2017 CX 5 Grand Touring with AWD, and my God, what a sweet-driving and handling little 'bug' of a CUV it is! It corners like it's on rails and has the tighter turning circle than my fiance's 2015 Honda Civic… and in the Soul Red Crystal with that mean grill and those narrow headlights, looks better than any SUV ought to.. and to think I never thought much of SUVs!!!. Mazda is a truly amazing little company that produces outstanding products across the entire spectrum… wish I could afford one of each lol…

  19. I just love every Mazda cars, for me it's the best Japanese mainstream brand and can compete with the Germans in every way…

  20. While more sedans are leaving the market Mazda 6 will not fail in sales when it eventually adds a an AWD option (2020 ?!). This combined with beautiful design elements, attention to road noise/suspension/etc Mazda is going to begin to push their competitors to the side as so-so cars. Luv my 2017 CX5…might try a 6 in 2020!!!

  21. Excellent car, but it’s smaller interior wise than its competitors. Good luck sitting comfortably behind the steering wheel if you are 190cm or taller.

  22. I have owned all three -01' Accord, 06' Camry and now a 16' Mazda 6. I drove the accord before buying the Mazda -The CVT killed the Accord for me. The Camry was bland …yawwwwhhhhhnnn

  23. I got one great question about this'18 Mazda 6. A lot of people say great things about it with the refinements, quality and engineering but 'how come it didn't even sell well. I'm talking about the sales is not even in the 70k units for the year? from January-November '18. People sud get it thru their heads. Majority of the the demographic are not targeted. Mustang make more sales than this thing. I wonder how many arrogance airheads bought a Mazda 6.

  24. Huge Mazda fan here always loved their cars. Mazdas have ALWAYS given their cars a very German feel, this car is no different. Even if it's a tad slower then Honda's etc down a two lane road, the Mazda will walk. If you are a driver then there is NO other choice.

  25. In the early years of the car Im sure theyre much more closely aligned but as these cars age the Mazda will surely fail mechanically way sooner than the Toyota.

  26. nice if kb could talk more on the base/ Sport model, we all can't afford the upper trims ( or do a compare on all the models) ,,,

  27. Great review, thank you. I am glad to hear that they brought back the weight of the steering. Can't wait to pick up a used one down the road.

  28. I test drove the 2018 accord and found it noisier on the road and the seats uncomfortable. Just didn't hug my body. The 2018 Mazda6 was much quieter and the seats were extremely comfortable. Also the interior was much more luxurious than the accord IMO. So I went with the 2018 Mazda6 Grand Touring dark interior and Titanium exterior and I never looked back. 🙂

  29. I'm going get one and totally ruin the driving Dynamics with some 20"wheels and some lowering springs. When the shocks go…. And they will, I'll get some bc coilovers.

  30. The Mazda is more expensive than the Camry and Accord. I doubt that the Mazda has the same reliability as the Camry and Accord. But it sure looks sexier and probably offers a sportier ride.

  31. Not only is the Mazda 6 Signature much better than the Honda and the Toyota, but it's also better than the equivalent Acura and Lexus. Those rebadged pseudo-luxury cars are not luxury cars at all, and their styling is so tired and dated it's pathetic. The Mazda is so much better looking. Sure the Mazda profile has been around for a few years, but it has aged beautifully, where the others haven't.

  32. Just bought the 2018 6 Touring – LOVE IT! Super sleek and luxurious! Handles well and already getting lots of compliments. Test drove a bunch of cars – Toyota, Acura, Nissan and this one was number 1.

  33. I own the sport version for the manual transmission. This means the engine is as weak as chow hall coffee. Otherwise the car is adequate. The look and ride are great. The radio is fair. The seats in the sport version are less than ideal. So…it's a lot like being married to a really hot babe but she doesn't put out and conversation is uncomfortably awkward, but not too unintelligent.

  34. I've been Mazda loyal for 30 years and still love them. I currently own a 2017 Mazda 6 Premium. Two issues for us is #1 the location of 12 volt and USB outlets hidden in the console box. I'd rather use the console box for storage and have the plug ins forward for ease of connecting the cables/cords and for the rear occupants have the plug ins on the rear of the console under the vents. Get the plug ins and rear seat heater switches out of the folding armrest. We can't always access the armrest because of cargo or a child is sitting in the middle or that part of the seat is folded down. #2 I'd also like to see the touch screen always enabled. It would be less distracting and quicker to use. The HMI commander set up is not overly user friendly especially for a passenger who isn't familiar with the system. Mazda's are the best for driving feel compared to their competitors.

  35. I'm searching for the best midsize sedan that is reliable, fuel efficient, easy to use gadgets & big enough backseat for my teen son. Sounds like everyone agrees the 6 is attractive & fun to drive, but everyone complains about the uni-knob technology & charging port in the storage armrest area… & the back seat is small? I haven't test driven one yet, still deciding if it should be on my shortlist or if the cons outweigh the pros. If I just wanted a sporty car, like some here, I wouldn't buy a sedan. I'm a bit confused by these comments. I'd like the car to look nice, handle well & have a quiet smooth ride for road trips. Maybe I should consider a full size like an Impala, 300, Lacrosse or an Avalon but then I lose MPG for my long daily commute. Do those who have 6s have a teen son who fits in the back? Is the uni-knob really a pain?

  36. Of course it compares. It outclasses them on many levels, especially the Signature interior. Toyota and Honda (even Acura) don't make anything nearly that gorgeous on the inside.

  37. so… if the fog lamps have been moved into the headlamps- does this mean no fog lamps or are they in the headlamp cluster?

  38. I feel like there are no downsides with this car. Good power and handling, beautiful design, very refined interior, and great reliability. No other sedan has all of those things combined.

  39. that fact that it has a 6 speed tranny is a HUGE plus. no one has made a reliable 8+ speed transmission to date because they are so complex. the tranny is what is killing both toyota's and honda's reliability reputations as it is common knowledge recent model years of both toyota and honda are unreliable and do not live up to their reputation for reliability. they killed their competitive advantage so now honda, toyota, chevy, ford, chrysler…pretty much all in the same bucket now. go to repairpal.com for the most comprehensive reliability data on the market and you will see.

  40. Since I’ve sold cars from all 3 manufacturers, i would rate my recommendations like this.
    #1 Mazda6
    #2 Camry
    #3 Accord
    And I currently own a 2019 Camry XSE V6
    The reason why the Mazda is at the top of the list is because Mazda (in general) is sadly underrated. Mazda’s offer class leading interiors and class leading fun to drive driver experiences. The only downside of the 2.5T in the Mazda is the shifting point well below the redline and the lack of gears over the Camry and Accord’s 8 and 10 speeds. However the 6 speed in the Mazda6 is still a fantastic and proven transmission. And with the Camry, it offers better features and more standard features over the other cars. And the Camry offers the best reliability over the other cars since it’s offered with 2 naturally aspirated engines. And with the Accord, reliability has tanked over the past couple of years due to the Oil Dilution problems in the 1.5T. And the CVT in the 1.5T isn’t loved. CVT’s in general are hated among the community. So my recommendation for anyone reading this comment that’s cross shopping between these 3 cars, put the Mazda at the top of your list. You will be genuinely shocked at how wonderful and luxurious the interior is. And the Camry is not far behind my 1st recommendation!

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