2020 Mazda6 vs Honda AccordCompare Cars
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Midsize sedans have long been popular among American households. While the segment has some very compelling options, the 2020 Honda Accord continues to shine brightly. Many car shoppers will ultimately be won over by the Accord’s powerful performance and class-leading interior space. Although the Accord may not be billed as a luxury car, it offers nearly just as many premium features.
Another good option is the 2020 Mazda6. Some people consider it to be the most fun-to-drive model in the segment. Automotive journalists also rave about the Mazda6’s superior interior quality and elegant exterior styling. However, is the 2020 Honda Accord better than the 2020 Mazda6?
The Honda Accord returns for 2020 with the same available engine choices. Its base 1.5-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine appeals to most buyers. Honda rates this small engine to develop a sensible 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Drivers seeking a more forceful kick will be interested in the Accord’s larger 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine. Output rises to 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
Like the Accord, the 2020 Mazda6 has two available engines. Its standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine is found on most trims. Mazda rates it to squeeze out 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Drivers seeking a more entertaining performance can upgrade to a turbocharged version of this engine, which produces up to 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. While regular unleaded gas can be used with no issues, premium fuel ensures full power.
Keep in mind that only the Accord gives car shoppers access to a manual transmission. This could be a big attraction for drivers who enjoy shifting gears. While the base engine’s automatic CVT is designed to aid fuel economy, the Accord’s larger engine offers a 10-speed automatic transmission. Shifts will be especially quick.
Every new Mazda6 trim features the same six-speed automatic transmission. Test drivers applaud this transmission for its sportiness. It's possibly even more precise than the Accord’s automatic gearbox. Sadly, Mazda stopped offering this car with a manual transmission in 2019.
When tested, the Accord proves to be the quicker car. This is especially true when outfitted with an upgraded engine. Drivers can race to 60 mph in a sports car-like 5.5 seconds. By comparison, the turbocharged Mazda6 takes roughly 6.4 seconds to hit 60 mph. However, extra low-end torque makes the turbocharged Mazda6 feel just as responsive around in most driving situations.
Stronger fuel economy enables Accord drivers to save more money at the pump. Models equipped with the base engine can return an EPA-calculated 30 mpg town/38 mpg freeway. Moving up to the Accord’s larger engine results in a rating of 22 mpg town/32 mpg freeway. Rated to deliver up to 26 mpg town/35 mpg highway, the Mazda6 is efficient enough to please most people. Expect the turbocharged Mazda6 to deliver 23 mpg town/31 mpg freeway.
Both of these midsize sedans feature a front-wheel-drive setup. Performance in wet weather will be good. However, wintry conditions may cause a loss of traction. All-wheel drive is not offered.
The Honda Accord handles extremely well for a family sedan. It feels remarkably poised when quickly changing lanes and taking curves. However, some automotive journalists rank the Mazda6 as the best-handling car in the class. A performance-enhancing G-Vectoring Control Plus system is standard, which helps further reduce body roll. Precise steering also adds to the fun of driving the new Mazda6.
Fortunately, both the Accord and the Mazda6 have a strong set of brakes. When an obstacle suddenly crosses the driver’s path, they’ll be able to stop quickly. Neither car displays any dangerous nosediving during emergency stops. While the Accord takes 122 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, the Mazda6 takes 124 feet.
Historically, the Honda Accord has maintained a reputation for being a dependable car. However, it’s no longer as dependable as before. J.D. Power’s dependability study gives the latest Accord a 2.5 out of 5.0 rating. This is a below-average score. Meanwhile, the Mazda6 receives a 3.0 out of 5.0 rating in long-term reliability.
These cars receive a similar warranty package. Their bumper-to-bumper warranties expire after 36,000 miles of driving. Meanwhile, a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty covers the engine and transmission.
Despite being so sporty, the 2020 Mazda6 still manages to keep passengers happy with its pleasant ride. Its suspension absorbs most impacts without allowing any vibrations to enter the cabin. The Accord has an even gentler ride. This is especially true for the Accord’s Touring trim, which comes equipped with adaptive suspension dampers.
When riding in the new Mazda6, families can relax in a silent atmosphere. The Mazda6’s excellent soundproofing helps to deter any outside noise. Very little road noise is also heard inside the Honda Accord. To determine which car is quieter, drivers will need to test drive them both on the same day.
Both of these cars are accommodating family haulers. However, the 2020 Honda Accord has a larger passenger area. It provides 102.7 cubic feet of passenger space, which is greater than the Mazda6’s total passenger volume of 99.8 cubic feet.
In the front, there’s not a noticeable difference in legroom. However, backseat passengers will find the Accord to be more spacious. It provides an extra 1.7 inches of legroom. There’s also more hip room in the rear of the Accord, which enables it to more comfortably accommodate three passengers.
The Accord also has a bigger trunk. Families will have 16.7 cubic feet of storage space. By comparison, there’s 14.7 cubic feet of cargo space in the Mazda6’s trunk. A wide trunk opening also aids the Accord’s ability to fit larger items.
In regard to seat comfort, the Mazda6 takes the lead over the Accord. A couple of years ago, Mazda decided to revamp the sedan’s seats. They now feel far comfier on high-mileage road trips. Many people also appreciate the Mazda6’s commanding driving position. There are mixed reviews on the Accord’s seat comfort. While some people appreciate the wideness of the Accord’s seats, offers find them to be a bit too firm.
When behind the wheel of the Honda Accord, drivers will have good visibility. However, its sloping windshield and thick pillars can hinder the driver’s view from certain angles. While outward visibility in the Mazda6 is clear, a narrow rear window can make it more difficult for drivers to spot approaching vehicles.
When it comes to infotainment, the Mazda Connect system has some perks. Its screen is mounted atop the dash, which helps put information in the driver’s direct line of sight. However, using the system’s console-mounted controller can be a hassle for some people. Honda’s available Display Audio infotainment system is a bit easier to use for beginners. It also processes information rapidly.
Both cars offer a head-up driving display, which eliminates the need to keep glancing down at the speedometer. Traffic sign recognition is included. Aside from helping drivers to avoid breaking the speed limit, this feature also helps you to avoid missing important exits when traveling.
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The Honda Accord’s five-star overall safety rating will give parents an extra sense of security. This family hauler received a perfect score in every NHTSA crash test. While the Mazda6 also received an NHTSA five-star overall safety rating, it didn’t receive a perfect score in every test. A four-star rollover rating and a four-star rating for front passenger frontal protection put the Mazda6 a notch below the Accord.
Keep in mind that only the new Mazda 6 was chosen as a 2020 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS. While the Accord was named a Top Safety Pick, it was unable to receive a “Plus” rating. The organization found the Accord’s headlights to not illuminate the road as well at night.
Both cars come standard with highly sought-after safety technologies. Drivers will enjoy automatic panic braking, active lane assistance, and smart cruise control. However, the Mazda6 goes a step further by making blind-spot monitoring standard across the lineup. To obtain a blind-spot monitor, Accord buyers must move up to a higher trim level.
While the Accord’s multi-angle backup camera is a big help, the Mazda6 offers a surround-view camera system. It helps to uncover potential parking lot dangers. Adaptive headlights are also only offered on the Mazda6. These headlights swivel to improve visibility when traveling on bending roads.
Which Has the Best Value?
Prices for the base Mazda6 Sport begin at an estimated $24,000. On the other hand, Honda lists the base Accord LX with an MSRP of $23,870. This is clearly not a significant difference in cost.
The base Mazda6 does benefit from a few more niceties. It receives a six-speaker stereo with HD Radio as opposed to a basic four-speaker unit. A larger 8.0-inch touchscreen is also standard on the Mazda6.
Drivers who want the best of the best will be comparing the Mazda6 Signature to the Accord Touring. While the Mazda6 Signature is priced at $35,300, the Accord Touring has an MSRP of $36,250. Both of these models are plush on the inside. However, upgraded Nappa leather upholstery helps make the Mazda6 Signature feel special. One big feature missing on the Mazda6 is a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Which is Better?
These two midsize sedans share many of the same great qualities. They're also similarly priced. However, there are also some clear differences that set apart these cars.
The 2020 Honda Accord has the ability to accelerate quicker. It also offers a manual transmission for no extra cost on the Sport trim. Nevertheless, many drivers will find the Mazda6 to be the more athletic sedan. Very few family sedans in this price class can attack curves as well as the new Mazda6.
Accord drivers will be rewarded with better fuel economy. While the Mazda6 is decent on gas, it’s not quite on the Accord’s level.
These cars bring a lot of style to the table, While the Accord’s modern design is appealing, some people will be more drawn to the Mazda6’s elegance. Mazda also offers the Mazda6 with some special paint options, like Soul Red Crystal Metallic.
While the Accord may be one of the most secure family cars in the universe, the Mazda6 is not too far off the mark. Its available adaptive headlights are a must for folks who live beyond the city limits. Some drivers will also find the Mazda6’s surround-view camera to be extremely helpful.
In terms of passenger comfort, the Accord’s extra rear legroom gives it a slight edge over the Accord. Tall families may prefer riding in the Accord. However, don’t underestimate the comfort of the Mazda6’s front seats.
While this was a close battle, the 2020 Honda Accord edges out the 2020 Mazda6. It’s likely the better overall family car. With that said, drivers seeking a sporty car for everyday commuting should not hesitate to buy a new Mazda6.