We love Mazda’s mid-size sedan. The chassis is on point, the styling is well done, and the interior materials’ quality is the class of the field. It’s just an all-around pleasure to drive. But compared to the 300-hp-plus V-6 Camrys and over-250-hp 2.0-liter turbo Accords of the world, the naturally aspirated four-cylinder Mazda 6 feels a bit down on power. The situation was, we felt, nothing that couldn’t be remedied by the installation of the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine from the excellent CX-9. Happily, the heads in Hiroshima have now seen fit to do just such a thing, and the EPA has released fuel-economy numbers for the 6 with the new powerplant.
The king of the 6’s fuel-sipping mountain is the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine backed by the six-speed automatic transmission, at 26 mpg city, 35 highway, and 29 combined. Following that up is the shift-for-yourself 2.5, which delivers 24/33/27 mpg. Adding an air-pushing snail to the 2.5 knocks the automatic car down to 23 mpg city, 31 on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. For reference, the 2018 Honda Accord with the turbo 2.0-liter paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission manages 23 mpg city, 34 highway, and 27 combined on the EPA’s cycle, while the V-6 Camry gets 22/33/26 mpg.
The Accord’s hottest four pumps out 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the V-6 Camry crests the 300-horsepower mark, offering up 301 ponies and 267 lb-ft. The Mazda nearly matches the Honda’s horsepower figure at 250 hp but beats both cars in torque output, with a healthy 310 lb-ft. The 6 has been known to take the perennial 10Best Cars fave Accord in a comparison test, but the new version of Honda’s stalwart chariot is ridiculously good. With the new, torquey powerplant, the Mazda is most definitely back in the game, and we’re anxious to see the hottest 6 and the most boisterous Accord square off against each other.