I got the idea for this from reading the comparo between the Speed 6 and the Acura TL-S posted by another member. I thought it might help those who are hesitating between both models. Take note that this is not the new version of the Accord.
Here is a quick rundown of both models in my driveway.
2008 Mazda 6 sport. Engine: 2.3L L4 DOCH [email protected]
, [email protected]
, 5 speed Manual, trim: Grand Touring.
2007 Honda Accord. Engine: 2.4L L4 DOCH [email protected]
, [email protected]
, 5 speed automatic, trim: SE
Handling/Driveability: Winner Mazda 6
While the Accord reminds you everyday of its size, the 6 feels like it is much smaller. Parking in the 6 is effortless. The Accord usually forces you to back up and do it again. Steering feel in the Mazda 6 is taut and sporty and really connects you to the road. Taking corners is the easiest thing in the world, and you never feel as if you are reaching the car's limits. The Accord, while fine is normal driving, does not inspire as much cornering confidence. The driver feels much more disconnected from the road. The Honda's 16 inch alloys and rather poor tires might have something to do with this. The 6 on the other hand, with its 17 inch wheels and larger tires, makes for a great time in twisties. Finally, steering is much more direct in the 6.
Bottom line: if you like to take a tight apex on the on-ramp during your daily commute, buy the 6. If you don't know what I just said, the Accord will be fine.
Comfort: Winner Honda Accord
The Honda does not win by much, but it wins in this category. The car was meant for long hauls on the highway. Suspension is much more complient over road imperfections (and I live in Quebec, where we have some of the worst roads in North America). The accord feels very stable and there is barely any noise in the cabin. The seats are cushioned to the point of a lexus and you never hit your passenger's elbow. Same for the back, where kids never complain. Interior build quality in the Accord is near perfect, and the cloth on the seats looks classy. My Mazda 6 is better equiped than our Accord. The 6 has leather trim everywhere inside, heated seats, Auto climate, auto dim mirror etc. etc. but still does not match the Accord in comfort. Don't get me wrong, interior noise is never unpleasant and the car can still be driven for long periods of time without causing fatigue. But still, the seats are not as soft (although they do offer better lateral support) and it is not quite as roomy.
Bottom line: The 6 is more comfortable that my previous car, a 2007 Civic Si, but it does not quite catch the Accord.
Performance: Winner Mazda 6
The mazda was made to be driven. Then engine responds quickly, with only slight hesitation, which is much more present in the Honda and pulls much longer than the Accord. The Mazda is better at passing on the highway, as it will respond faster to the demands of the driver. The accord, once at cruizing speed does not like to be disturbed. Of course, this may have a lot to do with the fact that my 6 has a manual transmission as opposed to the Accord's autostick. Speaking of which, the 5 speed manual on the Mazda 6 is a little sticky during quick shifts, but clutch action is easy and satisfying. It feels dynamic. As for the Accord's automatic, not much to say except that it works well and allows itself to be forgotten. It is my opinion however that any automatic really takes a lot of the fun out of driving but oh well, if you like automatics, the Accord's is a good one. It will not take kindly to being pushed around though.
Bottom line: although accelaration numbers are practically the same, the Mazda and its engine feel more powerful and are a lot more fun to use when passing or simply having fun on a moutain road.
This is a hard topic to discuss, as both cars are basically equiped with the same safety features. I guess we won't know which one is trully safest until 2 people driving an Accord and a 6 crash into each other. But seriously, I do not think one car has a definite advantage over the other. The only thing the 6 has over the Accord is the TCS. However, I for one rarely put myself in a position where I need the TCS to save me, so I can't say it has a huge advantage.
Bottom line, both cars are safe period. Both neither car defies physics of faith.
Comparo bottom line:
Buy the Mazda 6 if:
-you like to drive, I mean really drive.
-you like cars with aggresive styling and looks
-you like to have a lot of luggage space (6 sport)
-you don't mind paying for gas a lot during the month
Buy the Accord if:
-you like to think about the stock market while going to work
-you like to feel as if you are in your living room while driving
-you like to have a lot of room inside the car
-you hate getting 3 to 4 miles less per gallon than other cars in this category.