At a time when most of the focus in the auto market is on SUVs, crossovers and trucks, the folks at the Mazda dealers near Monterey like Cardinale Mazda will point to the stunning 2021 Mazda6 as a great example of why we shouldn’t overlook midsize sedans. The Mazda6 has been a sensationally attractive car for some years now, but the latest model also boasts a powerful turbo engine, a long list of standard safety features, outstanding ride and handling, and excellent value for the money. Mazda offers the 2021 Mazda6 in five different trim levels to appeal to different budgets and buyers: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and the range-topping Signature model. There are two engines to choose from in the 2021 Mazda6 lineup, a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four and a 2.5-liter turbo-four that was introduced as part of the 2018 update. The non-turbo powerplant is a lively unit that can be found under the hood of the Sport and Touring trims, and it develops a very capable 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission which really gets the best and most engaging driving experience from this engine is standard on the Sport trim, but a six-speed auto is available for those who don’t want a stick-shift and it's standard with the Touring and higher.
The 2021 Mazda6 Grand Touring and higher trims get the 2.5-liter turbo-four, which then produces 227 hp and 310 lb-ft for even better performance from the sporty sedan. If 227 hp still isn’t enough for your liking, if you opt for premium gasoline, the output is boosted by 23 hp to 250 hp. Even with the 19-inch wheels on Touring models and above, the ride is composed, comfortable and very enjoyable. The Mazda6 doesn’t crash over large bumps with the larger wheels and their smaller tire walls, which isn’t always the case with some cars with large wheels. The Mazda6 Sport trim is the only way to get a manual transmission, but it also comes generously well-equipped for a base model. Standard features include 17-inch alloys, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB input and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. A 2021 Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve trim looks like great value, and a lot like a luxury model costing a lot more money. Standard features include genuine leather seats, cooled front seats, a memory driver’s seat and a heated steering wheel for a really premium feel. Mazda always takes safety seriously and the testing agencies agree, as the Mazda6 received the top score of Good in all IIHS crash tests and was named a Top Safety Pick. The NHTSA gave it a full five-star rating for overall safety. Entry models come standard with Smart City Brake Support, a full complement of airbags, Dynamic Stability Control & Traction Control System, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Touring models and higher add Smart Brake Support, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-keep Assist and High Beam Control.