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post #1 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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2013 Mazda 6 Comparison Tests

We have a thread for Mazda 6 reviews but those are first drive impressions and driving evaluations of the 6 by itself. I thought we could start a thread dedicated to the 6 being compared to other vehicles in actual comparison tests.

Here's the first one I've found:

Motor Trend: 2013 Honda Accord Sport vs. Toyota Camry SE vs. 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring - Motor Trend



FIRST
2014 Mazda6 (i Grand Touring)


SECOND
2013 Honda Accord Sport


THIRD
2013 Toyota Camry SE


As I expected, the Accord and 6 would be close. Honda did a good job with the new Accord. They're finally showing signs of getting their head out of their @$$. I hated my 2008 Accord but the new one is pretty nice. Solid handler, comfortable, plenty of technology, and typical Honda design... not quite bland but clean lines. The only piece I can't warm up to is the "Lane Watch" system that uses a camera to display what's on the right side of the car.

Which is better? I don't think you can go wrong either way but the Mazda is definitely the sportier and has more character.

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post #2 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 03:10 PM
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Nice find. I was so close to purchasing an Accord. I just fell in love with the 6 during the test drive.
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post #3 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:03 PM
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I test drove all 3 of these cars. I actually had the Camry SE as a rental for a bit and after noticing at 20k miles the suspension felt shot (bottomed out in It multiple times going into driveways) and the car shaking at 70+mpg it felt abused. The interior especially the controls/gauge cluster felt really dated. The "Eco" light was extremely annoying. I don't mind learning how to get the best fuel economy and adjust my driving if needed but where is the damn off switch for that Eco light?! Something my Mazda6 doesn't have and that's a very good thing.

My impressions of the Honda accord, I did feel like it looked rather large sitting still, but it's driving dynamics were quite nice. It's interior was poorly designed. Way too many buttons, when things should have looked less clustered. The gauge cluster was ugly and looked like something a grandma would want. The accord was a distant 2nd at best with a CX-5 more likely for me.

The Mazda6 was/is a winner and I knew this as soon as I got into it. This is my first Mazda and longevity reliability pending it won't be my last. I fell in love with the drivetrain, amoung others.

I think it's funny in the review they note that they tried getting a Ford Fusion SE and Ford somehow couldn't get one? They all broken already? Lol. I don't think it would have done well with its numb feeling and terrible body roll.

2014 Mazda6 Liquid Silver Touring w/Tech
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post #4 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 06:04 PM
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Cool article. It's a real shame they couldn't get the Fusion though, since I'm primarily interested in the Fusion vs the 6.

I'm really impressed at how Mazda has essentially caught up with the Honda Accord, though. I remember when buying my 04 6 back in 2005 that Mazda was still a generation behind Honda when it came to a lot of things, especially the engine. (Although the 7th generation American Accords were hideous to behold.)

I'm surprised the 6 finished last in braking distance.
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post #5 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
Cool article. It's a real shame they couldn't get the Fusion though, since I'm primarily interested in the Fusion vs the 6.

I'm really impressed at how Mazda has essentially caught up with the Honda Accord, though. I remember when buying my 04 6 back in 2005 that Mazda was still a generation behind Honda when it came to a lot of things, especially the engine. (Although the 7th generation American Accords were hideous to behold.)

I'm surprised the 6 finished last in braking distance.
I find it startling that the Accord out handled the Mazda6 and stopped quicker too. Mazda bench marked Audi and BMW when tuning the chassis. How on Earth did it get out handled?

I find it hard to believe Ford could not find 1 Fusion SE to give to MT for the test. I think they didn't want to do it.


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post #6 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:34 AM
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I question whether Motortend actually road tested another Mazda 6 against the competition at all. The test numbers obtained were identical to the ones they were able to get in the last road test when they tested the GT and the sport MT. Depending on temp, and track conditions, etc. usually different numbers are obtained. Test results tend to vary. If I am right about my speculation, then it is a little disappointing that they wouldn't run separate numbers back to back. Without looking, willing to bet test numbers may be the same as previous tests for the competing cars as well. I could be completely off the mark with this, but it is something to ponder.

With the exception of straight line acceleration it sounds like the 6 won in subjective feel more than outright handling numbers. Much more important in the real world anyway. How many are actually going to drive the 6 at the actual limit of handling. Seems like .84g is plenty of grip for a car in this category. Could have more to do with tires more than anything else. Bet it could hit at least .90g with a proper set of summer tires. I am assuming the skidpad numbers were run with the stability control switched to off, but I am not real sure, and I don't think it was mentioned in the article.

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post #7 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:40 AM
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Still very happy to see the Mazda 6 beat the Honda Accord in a segment dominated by the Accord for years. Now let's see if it is good enough to boot the Accord off of Car and Drivers ten best list come January. Can't wait to see the Car and Driver comparison sure to be run soon. To change the subject a little, I am very disappointed in Automobile Magazine, and Road and Track in that they have yet to even test the 6.

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post #8 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviboy97 View Post
I find it startling that the Accord out handled the Mazda6 and stopped quicker too. Mazda bench marked Audi and BMW when tuning the chassis. How on Earth did it get out handled?
That surprised me, too. My only guess is that they tuned the American 6 to be a bit softer and American market friendly compared to the European 6. Just enough to give the over-achieving Honda an edge.

Quote:
I find it hard to believe Ford could not find 1 Fusion SE to give to MT for the test. I think they didn't want to do it.
Probably, but I don't understand why, really. Everything I've read is that the Fusion is a great handler. There are only three things that would probably hurt it: Poor fuel economy, low back seat room, and a relatively unsophisticated auto transmission when compared to the Accord / 6.

Perhaps I answered my own question.
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post #9 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
My only guess is that they tuned the American 6 to be a bit softer and American market friendly compared to the European 6.
^ That. They said it in an article:
Quote:
We drove Euro-spec, late pre-production cars, tuned for European tastes and riding on low-rolling resistance summer tires. Models for our market will get all-season tires and a recalibrated suspension. That means U.S. cars won't ride exactly like the cars we drove.
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post #10 of 101 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 01:19 PM
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The Accord has 235/45R18 94V M+S Michelin Primacy MXM4 on 8" wide wheels compared to 225/45R19 92W M+S Dunlop SP Sport 5000 on 7.5" wheels for the 6, should account for some of the braking and handling measurement differences. Mazda was aggressive on wheel diameter, but not so much on wheel width, tire width or tire type, based on reviews of the Dunlop. Maybe the Dunlop is better in snow though, I know the MXM4's on the 1st Gen 6 were great everywhere but snow. I wonder what numbers the 6 would put out with the exact same wheel/tire as the Accord, they may even be swappable if the hub/et are the same, would make a fun comparison.

If I were to get a new 6, I'd probably try to sell the stock set and buy 8" wide 18's. Would likely make for much cheaper tire replacements at a 225/18 or 235/18 size. Different tires would be a given.

*edit* Also, tuning for great handling doesn't mean just mean high measurable static numbers on a test surface, it also means being great at communicating those limits and being able to transition up to them in a satisfactory way. I was able to finally drive the new Sonata this past week, rental wise, and while I'm sure the thing has comparable lateral G measures, it felt like it did not want to go around a corner. It did fine from a grip point of view, but from behind the wheel it was like pulling a dog who is trying to take crap in someone else's yard, not enjoyable or confidence inspiring.

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Last edited by Sydtron; 03-12-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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