Is the 2021 Mazda6 the car for you? From fuel economy to tech, we’ve got the full review on all six trims that makes this vehicle one to pay attention to.
New this year, the Mazda6 added the Carbon Edition, sharing similar features to the Grand Touring Reserve. It’s available in a Polymetal Gray paint color and black exterior accents. Every Mazda6 now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
While there isn’t a lengthy list of other improvements to speak of, Mazda increased comfortability with their 2021 effort and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Mazda discontinued the Mazda6 from their 2022 lineup, so, after seven years and three generations, the 2021 model may be the last update for a while.
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6- or 8-way power driver’s seat
Full-color windshield projection
360-degree backup camera
MPG is average
Base trim lacks some of the best features
No major updates, but still a good vehicle
The 2021 model has a very smooth acceleration and the transmission shifts quickly. The Mazda6 handles great in sport mode, whether turning corners or going over bumps in the road. Wind noise can be an issue, but you get that with models from other companies too.
The 2.5 DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder standard engine will put out 187 hp at 6,000 rpm with regular, unleaded fuel in the Sport and Touring trims. The optional 2.5 Dynamic Pressure Turbo four-cylinder gets you to 227 hp with the Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, Carbon Edition and Signature.
If you swap out unleaded for premium, the higher trims get up to 250 hp.
When it comes to torque, the Sport and Touring offer 186 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm (again with regular, unleaded fuel) while the Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, Carbon Edition and Signature boost up to 310 lb-ft.
This 2.5-liter direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine was first used in Mazda models in 2016 with the goal of combining fuel economy and a dynamic performance in everyday driving situations. So, how’d they do on the gas mileage? That’s covered in the next section.
There are no owner estimates available yet, but the EPA puts the 2021 Mazda6 cars at 29 mpg for combined city and highway driving. The Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, Carbon Edition and Signature fare even better with 26 mpg.
The Sport and Touring tout 35 mpg on the highway with FWD and an automatic transmission. All of these trims have a fuel tank capacity of 16.4 gallons.
With room for 5 passengers, there is some decent seating space available. The Sport has cloth seats, while the higher trims have leatherette-trimmed seats, but it’s only the front seats that are heated, so that you may have to play a game of rock, paper, scissors to figure out who gets those seats while you’re on that winter trip to visit family.
Anyone who has driven with a car full of people knows that rear seat vents are always appreciated. The Sport does not have that feature, but the other trims do.
The 6-way or 8-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support could also come in handy so that you can situate yourself just right for those long drives. That feature is available in every trim except the Sport. A 6-way manual front passenger seat is also available, this time in every trim.
If you’re looking to haul something a little bit bulky, then you’d likely be utilizing the 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback feature.
A full-color windshield projection is offered with the Grand Touring Reserve, Carbon Edition and Signature. Your current mph, whether or not you are braking, and your lane indicators can all be displayed on the windshield. You may feel like you’re Tony Stark in a Marvel movie with all the projected images and information in front of you. You’ve also got an 8″ touchscreen display on the dash in all trims.
Of course, you’ve got the internet, so you’ve got your choice of music: a 3-month trial subscription with SiriusXM Satellite Radio for certain trims and Aha, Stitcher and Pandora internet radio integration.
If there’s an emergency, each vehicle offers the E911 automatic emergency notification. Once your phone is connected with the Bluetooth, if the vehicle detects airbag deployment or damage, it will dial emergency services to let them know about the accident.
Each of the 6 trims have lane-keep assist, a lane departure warning system and an engine-immobilizer anti-theft system. They each also feature a rearview camera and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alerts if you are backing up somewhere.
The Mazda6 Signature offers some additional features, including: a 360-degree view monitor, front and rear parking sensors and a driver attention alert.
There are currently no NHTSA recalls, investigations or complaints with the Mazda6 earning an overall 5-star safety rating.
Even at the basic level, the Sport has a number of features that make it worth taking a look at.
Features that have become standard in most vehicles are included here: push button start, a rearview camera and voice command.
You’ll also get a hill launch assist and an engine-immobilizer anti-theft system.
You are not limited on color options here. 5 of the 6 trims, including the Sport, are available in these colors: soul red crystal metallic, snowflake white pearl mica, machine gray metallic, deep crystal blue mica and jet black mica.
The audio and infotainment features in the Touring are almost identical to the Sport. You won’t get 3-level, heated front seats on the Sport, but you will get them with the Touring and other trims.
If you’ve got a full car load, the rear seat center armrest with cup holders, storage and 2 USB charging ports will probably be useful.
There are color options for your leatherette seats, too: black or sand.
Fans of the moonroof will probably want to get at least a Touring because it’s available on all trims starting with this one.
Like the Touring, the Grand Touring also allows you to customize your seats, offering black or sand leatherette.
This trim offers a step up in your radio selection with a 3-month trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio (also available on all trims higher than this one).
An Apple CarPlay Wireless Connection is available as well.
The windshield-projected full-color active driving display is the big feature upgrade here.
Instead of leatherette seats, you have the choice of black or parchment leather. Starting with the Grand Touring Reserve, you also get ventilated front seats.
There is a Bose 11-speaker audio system that is available on this and all higher trims.
If you are purchasing a 2021 Mazda6 Carbon Edition, then you’re getting red leather seats and a polymetal gray metallic exterior. There is red stitching and black honeycomb interior trimming to accompany those red leather seats.
Mazda hyped the interior as a bold color scheme representing individuality. It’s hard to argue with that.
Features exclusive to the Signature include: lighting (LED rear and front map lights, a LED trunk lamp), Ultrasuede door and dashboard trim inserts, and black headliner.
Leather seat colors are either deep chestnut nappa or parchment nappa.
In addition to that, you have access to Mazda’s navigation system and a 360 degree view monitor.
Lastly, you have Mazda’s Traffic Sign Recognition System, which basically reads road signs, identifies that information and then relays it to you. For example, your car may alert you that you are driving into a ‘Do Not Enter’ zone or that your speed is over what is posted.
Every new Mazda comes with a limited warranty that covers 3 years or 36,000 miles for defects in materials and all parts supplied by Mazda. Then there’s the 5-year / 60,000 powertrain limited warranty, which is transferable during the warranty period.
24-hour emergency roadside assistance is offered for specific warranties, offering towing service to the nearest Mazda Dealer if a vehicle can’t be driven due to a warranted part failure during the 3 year or 36,000 mileage coverage period.
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The 2021 Mazda6 has successfully distinguished itself from other mid-size sedans. It handles well and is enjoyable to drive.
Depending on your specific needs, there may be a better vehicle out there for you like the Honda Accord or the Kia K5, but if you’re looking for a safe, comfortable, reasonably-priced 4 door, this one should do the trick.