2017 Mazda6 vs 2017 Honda Accord

2017 Mazda6 VS 2017 Honda Accord
$26,590 MSRP $26,490
24 City/34 Highway MPG 23 City/32 Highway
Nappa Leather Premium Seating Trim Leather
SKYACTIV-G 2.5L I-4 Engine 2.4L I-4

While SUVs and Crossovers enjoy their own advantages, there remains an enthusiastic market for the traditional, mid-size car. Competition within this segment is healthy, with some good cars on offer. The Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry all vie for attention with the Honda Accord and Mazda6.

First introduced in the mid-‘70s the Honda Accord is a perennial favourite, with the current model continuing to build on its well-deserved reputation as one of the better choices in the segment.

While similar in size and specification, the Mazda6 is imbued with the company’s philosophy that all of its vehicles celebrate the adage “Driving Matters.” Time spent driving a contemporary Mazda will quickly prove that the company is committed to building cars for those who consider driving fun, rather than a necessary pastime.

Styling:

 

Now in its ninth generation, the Honda Accord benefits from a recent mid-cycle styling update. The front of the car features a new grille, headlights, and bumper, all intended to give the car a sportier expression. The car is attractive and will appeal to those looking to combine a touch of style with functionality. Available as both a sedan and coupe, the Honda offers seven levels of trim across the range.

The Mazda6 is influenced by the company’s “Kodo” design philosophy. Defined as the “Soul of Motion” Kodo influences the styling of all contemporary Mazdas. Kodo is the art of creating cars with soul by taking inspiration from nature. There are some attractive cars in the segment, Ford’s Fusion being particularly notable, which makes the Mazda6 being described as the “most attractive entry in the family sedan marketplace” (The Car Connection), all the more significant. Reviews rarely fail to mention the Mazda 6’s stunning lines. Combining muscular lines with subtle curves, the car is a tasteful interpretation of elegant athleticism. Mazda offers three levels of trim on the 6 series cars.

Engine Choice:

 

Honda provides two engine choices in the Accord range. A 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine producing 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque is most commonly found. The four-cylinder is expectedly smooth, and provides ample power across typical driving situations. An optional 3.5 litre V6 is available on higher specification Accords.

Three transmissions are available: a 6-speed manual (M), a 6-speed automatic (AT), and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The 6-speed automatic is only available with the V6 engine option, leaving the CVT as the only choice, other than manual, on four-cylinder cars. While effective in helping to improve fuel economy, CVTs by their nature don’t enhance driving enjoyment. All Honda Accord models are front-wheel drive.

A 2.5 litre four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower, and 185 pound-feet of torque is the singular engine fitted to the Mazda6. SKYACTIV engineering delivers extraordinary low- and mid-range torque, in a fuel efficient package. By raising the compression ratio, lowering friction, and adding a clever 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, Mazda has created an engine that contentedly runs in traffic, while offering surprising performance when merging onto a motorway. All Mazda6 models feature front-wheel drive.

A 6-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic, and a 6-speed automatic with i-ELOOP are the transmission choices. i-ELOOP is Mazda’s unique regenerative braking system that creates electricity when the car is slowing down. The system uses a capacitor to store energy that can be used to help power the electrical systems. For more information about this innovative technology see: https://www.mazda.ca/en/innovation/i-eloop/

Interior

 

The interior of the Mazda6 initially failed to impress some critics who felt the cabin was unnecessarily dark. New materials and trim accents have been selected to improve the situation. The result is a stylish and welcoming interior that better reflects the statement made by the car. Kodo styling philosophy is reflected in the styling cues that combine to create a welcoming and involving cabin. The nicely bolstered sports seats should prove comfortable on a longer drive, something the driving dynamics of the Mazda6 will certainly encourage. Rear seat room should be comfortable for all but the tallest of passengers. The interior of the Mazda6 wouldn’t be out of place in a car entered in the luxury market segment. Mazda’s i-Activesense is a range of proactive and innovative safety technologies designed to assist the driver when needed, but without compromising the driving experience. Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Blindspot Monitoring System (BOW), and the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) are a few of the technologies available. Mazda’s range of safety innovations are described in detail at: https://www.mazda.ca/en/innovation/i-activesense/

As part of its mid-cycle refresh, the Honda Accord features a newly refurbished interior.

A selection of quality materials combine to present a sophisticated interior that is surprising in a workaday family car. The seats are comfortable and offer plenty of leg and shoulder room, with the sedan’s backseat considered one of the best in this class. The Accord will prove a comfortable and capable people mover, no matter the length of the journey.

The Accord is available with the Honda – Sensing Safety Suite which incorporates Blind Spot Indicators, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, and other related safety enhancements including: Collision Mitigation Braking System, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and Forward Collision Warning.

Driving

 

While the Honda Accord and the Mazda6 are intended to compete in the same market segment, they are expected to appeal to unique market demographics.

Mazda’s design brief begins with the idea that “Driving Matters.” This approach is evident in every Mazda model from the Mazda MX-5 convertible, through the recently introduced, and critically acclaimed CX-9. The Mazda6 benefits from this singular approach to engineering, and results in a car that redefines what an affordable mid-size car can offer. What makes a car fun to drive? Quick steering that offers good feed-back and predictable off-centre effort is a good start. Add a SKYACTIVE chassis tuned to enhance cornering ability, a willing engine and transmission, and it becomes enticing. The Mazda6 will engage and delight those who seek more than a way to complete the daily commute.

Honda’s near-perfect balance between a supple ride and engaging handling will satisfy the Accord’s anticipated owner. This is a car intended to cheerfully fulfill the needs of daily life. It won’t complain, but it won’t likely excite either. Honda offers a Sport model of the Accord, but it struggles to match the driving dynamics of the Mazda6. The term “easy-driver” isn’t a slight when applied to the Accord, as this is exactly what its customers are looking for in a new car.

Conclusion

 

The Honda Accord continues to be a popular choice for a number of reasons, not least of which is reliability and quality. Honda has built its reputation on building efficient and well-engineered cars. The Accord is simply the latest example of the company’s approach. The Accord is a good car, and deserves to be considered in any discussion surrounding the purchase of a new mid-size car. It does what it’s designed to do exceptionally well, and will be a good choice for those who need a car that fulfills everyday needs with a touch of style.

Mazda had the imagination to create something unique when considering their entry into the mid-size category. Why not imbue a sedan with the sporting characteristics of their MX-5 convertible? The Mazda6 is an engaging and entertaining car that provides an unexpected level of driver involvement in a car intended for daily service.

This may not appeal to all, but those who understand will find an exceptionally capable car in the Mazda6. Being priced thousands less than a Euro-sedan is just the beginning. Zoom Zoom indeed….