With a complete redesign slated for 2022, the Mazda 6 should probably roll into its 2021 model year later this year. What could be the last model year of its third-generation, the 2021 Mazda 6 shall carry almost no changes over the current model year owing to its recent updates.

Unlike the conservative lines of the Accord and Camry, the Mazda 6 presents a more stylish, edgy and youthful alternative to midsize sedan buyers. However, its competitive attributes were never restricted only to its exteriors. The Mazda 6 also has one of the most premium interiors in its class. Above all, its peppy and refined powertrain along with sleek dynamics, it is the go to midsize sedan for driving enthusiasts. On the hunt for a significant time now, the Mazda 6 was last heavily reworked in 2014 for its third generation. 

2020 Mazda 6: A league and character of its own

However, it got its [resent shape in 2018 with an update styling and interior arrangements. With the 2020 model in the stores right now, the Mazda 6 will probably enter its 2021 model year somewhere later down this year. However, owing to the recent updates couple of tears back, changes on the 2021 Mazda 6 are very unlikely though. There is a thoroughly revised version being developed but that's not going to make its debut anywhere before the second half of 2022. On that note let's take a quick look at what the 2021 Mazda 6 could look like.

What is the expected release date and price of the Mazda 6?

With no major reshuffling, the Mazda 6 would probably continue with its present trim structure that consists of five levels. Even in 2021, you would still get to choose from a lot of Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. Some minor revisions in the features list with better standard equipment and some new ones on offer might be possible though. We also expect a small bump in the MSRP which should tick in around $25,000 for the base “Sport” trim. The 2021 Mazda 6 is expected to reach the dealerships by fall 2020

Engine and Transmission

With updates reserved for the 2022 model year, the 2021 Mazda 6 shall continue extracting its thrust from the very familiar 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The naturally aspirated engine makes 187 hp and 186 ft-lbs in the Sport and Touring models. In the higher three trims, the engine paira with a turbocharger for a total power output of 227 hp and 310 ft-lbs. 

Irrespective of the engine configuration, the Mazda 6 offers a very balanced performance on the streets. The powertrain is neither relaxed nor overly spirited. Command an order and the powertrain replies with swift modesty. In either state of tuning, the engine never feels drained and you always have a healthy torque ready to be unleashed at the flick of your feet. The 6-speed automatic might be aged now but it still performs its duties smoothly and precisely.

Models

2021 Mazda 6 (est)

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Nissan Altima

Base MSRP

$25,000

$24,425

$23,870

$24,100

Engine

2.5 Liter Inline-4

2.5 Liter Inline-4

1.5 Liter Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5 Liter Inline-4

Transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

CVT

CVT

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)

187 hp @ 6000 rpm

203 hp @ 6600 rpm

192 hp @ 5500 rpm

188 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

186 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

184 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm

192 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

180 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm

Though the other cars in the competition pack somewhat similar power figures, the Toyota Camry races ahead with its 203 hp engine. Also the character of the powertrain in all these vehicles differ from each other. While the Camry and Nissan Altima are more tuned for relaxed cruising, the Honda Accord and Mazda 6 are more tuned on the athletic side. 

Fuel Economy and MPG Figures

It might very well cater to all the associated aspects of the midsize sedan segment, the Mazda 6 falls behind its rivals in terms of fuel efficiency. This is probably because of the fact that the Mazda 6 has been using its 6-speed auto since quite a long time now. The transmission does work fine still, but lacks the efficiency and refinement of its rivals. No surprise, the 2020 Mazda 6 delivers 26 mpg in the city, 35 on highway and 29 combined. As discussed earlier, the flagship Mazda sedan stands last in the table among its rivals. 

Models

2021 Mazda 6

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Nissan Altima

MPG (city)

26

29

30

28

MPG (highway)

35

41

38

39

MPG (combined)

29

34

33

32

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

16.4

14.5

14.8

16.2

Range (city/highway in miles)

426.4/574.0

420.5/594.5

444.0/562.4

453.6/631.8

However, the 2021 Mazda 6 might feature an updated transmission for and enhanced efficiency and better competitiveness among its segment. It's been a long time since Mazda hasn’t updated the transmission. Among its rivals on the other hand, all the other three cars do offer somewhat similar mpg figures. However, even with close proximation, there's no catching up the Camry’s brilliant 34 mpg combined

Design and Exterior Highlights

They say patience is a very important aspect of success in life and we quite agree to that phrase. While a completely refreshed Mazda 6 is slated for 2022, the 2020 Mazda 6 would remain unchanged on the outside which isn't a bad thing.

You get a modern, clean and premium look standard with the Mazda 6

The current third-generation of the Mazda 6 might be six years old now, but its 2018 refresh poured the right amount of contemporary styling into it. While it might just lack the classic traits of a Camry or Accord, it seems to have a league of its own. A large chrome grille at the front, subtle stance and body lines, a mature and undramatic window-line along with slim and simplistic headlights and tail lamps give it a modern and humble presence that does make heads turn. Among the competition here, the Mazda 6 is surely the edgiest.

Model

2021 Mazda 6

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Nissan Altima

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3437

3340

3199

3265

Length (in.)

192.7 

192.7 

192.2

192.9

Width (in.)

72.4

72.4

73.3

72.9

Height (in.)

57.1

56.9

57.1

56.8

Ground Clearance (in.)

6.5

5.7

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (in.)

111.4

111.2

111.4

111.2

Its rivals on the other hand lay emphasis upon their hereditary traits without trying to be outright stylish. Both the Camry and the Accord as well as the Nissan Altima, do have a strong and traditional kind of road presence but the Mazda brings in some fresh elegance. While we will be getting a redesigned Mazda 6 for 2022, the present 2020 Mazda 6 is already one of the cleanest and better looking things in its class. Thankfully, what could probably be its last model year, the 2021 Mazda 6 shall continue to ooze us with a similar form and design. 

How will the 2021 Mazda 6 look on the inside?

The 2020 Mazda 6 sedan already has the best interiors in its class that we have always loved. With a redesign lined up soon, updating the 2021 Mazda 6’s cabin doesn’t make any sense. We should get the same familiar interior layout on the 2021 Mazda 6 which doesn’t seem like a grouse at all.

2020 Mazda 6 cabin: Neat, premium and comfortable

The cleanly laid out cabin with plentiful soft-touch materials everywhere along with a stitching effect is a very happy place to be seated in. The wide and comfortable seats and the metallic accents on the dash and the door panels add to the luxury vibe. Above all, it’s the way how the cabin has been laid out that speaks for itself.

Models

2021 Mazda 6

2020 Toyota Camry

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Nissan Altima

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

37.4/55.9/42.2

38.3/57.7/42.1

37.5/58.3/42.3

38.0/58.2/43.8

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

37.1/55.1/38.7

38.0/55.7/38.0

37.2/56.5/40.4

36.7/57.1/35.2

While it might not be the most spacious in its class but it does offer better legroom at both the benches than the Toyota Camry. Sadly though, its front seat headroom is the least in its class while that at the rear is only better than the Altima. However, it doesn’t feel as cramped as the numbers suggest. Above all, its butter smooth ride quality pays off for those unimpressive numbers very very well.

Infotainment and Connectivity

As with the rest of the car, the 2021 Mazda 6 sedan should carry the same infotainment system as on the 2020 model. However, we might see an updated user-interface in what could be the final model year of the third-gen sedan. Ther refreshed interface should bring new icons and skins making it more intuitive to use. Though the 2020 Mazda 6 comes aptly loaded with features, we can expect one or two minor additions for 2021. 

The 2020 Mazda 6 uses a crisp and responsive infotainment sysstem

Rich in its package, the 2020 Mazda 6 comes loaded with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and an 8.0-inch infotainment system that is controlled by a rotary dial on the center-console. Satellite Radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity are always some noteworthy mentions. The Mazda 6 also has an 11-speaker audio system on board to amuse audiophiles.

Safety Features and Ratings

When it comes to driver safety and assistance features, the Mazda 6 again turns out to be one of the best in the segment. Not only does the 2020 Mazda 6 get a full suite of active safety features but it also enjoys top grades from safety authorities. The 2020 Mazda 6 is recognized by IIHS as a Top Safety Pick+ and it also received a 5-star overall rating from NHTSA. No doubt the Mazda 6 is one of the safest cars in its segment and it will continue to be so even in 2020. Some of its highlighted safety features are listed below:

  • LED DRLs
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Adaptive LED headlights with Auto On/Off
  • Electronic Parking Brake
  • Hill Launch Assist
  • 6-Dual stage airbags
  • 360-degree view monitor
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go

Verdict

The Mazda 6 is a great midsize sedan for today’s contemporary buyers. It looks very modern and clean, is very comfortable on the move, has the best interior in its class and also has a widely reclaimed safety concern. While the all-new Mazda 6 is slated to be launched somewhere in 2022 with a new 4th-generation, the current 2020 Mazda sedan’s overall appeal and composition still stand out in its fleet, unless you have a taste of age-old delicacy and class. Above all, the flagship Mazda sedan is also the most fun and engaging to drive among its segment.