If you are looking for a family car but still want to feel like you can have fun behind the wheel, there are really only two top notch options on the marketplace. Trust me, I tested both of these family sedans and even though I am single I would have no regrets calling either of them my personal ride. And yes, both were equipped with four cylinder engines when I tested them.
Even if you are among those who feel reticent to buy a four cylinder sedan, I can guarantee that both the Accord EX and Mazda6 iTouring are fast enough to keep you safe and entertained. No matter which one you wind up choosing, the 6 and Accord have it all over Altima and Camry.
So, both of these family sedans are good. But which one is best? Read on to find out.
This is all down to a matter of personal opinion. I personally think that the lines of the 2010 Mazda6 are more cohesive and flow nicely along the widely scalloped flanks. My test 6 even looked great in grey. The Accord is nice but lacks the visual flair of the Mazda. (Advantage: Mazda6)
The 2010 Mazda6 seemed to have the more comfortable interior in that it almost felt like a soft and squishy living room. The seats are squishy and soft and the quality of materials is surprising for the price point. The interior design may seem plain compared to the 6’s interior but it all works well.
The Accord takes a different approach to interior design in that the center of the dashboard protrudes outward to make it easier for the driver to reach the controls. Material quality is typical Accord meaning that even the interior will still look the same in 20 years. Bonus points to Honda for trying out new design ideas with the dashboard. (Advantage: Honda Accord EX)
Even though the Accord is more powerful than the Mazda6, the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder in EX models still returns 23 city/34 highway (2011 models). Next to that figure, the 20 city/29 highway numbers for the six-speed manual equipped Mazda6 iTouring doesn’t sound so great. (Advantage: Honda Accord EX)
Fun to Drive
There is an up level Mazda6 iTouringPlus variant that offers all of the features found on the Accord EX yet unfortunately it also automatically adds a five speed automatic. The six-speed manual in the Mazda6 is such a delight to use that it seems almost abusive to specify your 6 any other way. But if you must have Bluetooth and a moonroof then add the “Plus”!
If you specify like for like then there isn’t a whole lot separating the 2010 Honda Accord EX and 2010 Mazda6 price wise (note: prices at end of article). But which one is more fun to drive? Even though I am a dyed in the wool stick shift lover, the seemingly telepathic Honda five-speed automatic worked flawlessly. Quite frankly, the Accord EX is so fun to drive that even an automatic can’t ruin it.
The 2010 Mazda6 iTouring has a 2.5 liter 170 horsepower/167 lb. feet of torque 4 cylinder while the Accord has a similarly sized 2.4 liter engine that puts out 190 horsepower/162 lb feet of torque. Both engines sound glorious as they race to redline but are nearly inaudible at cruising speeds.
What truly amazes me about the Accord EX, however, is that it manages to drive small even though it really isn’t. It feels almost like a front wheel drive BMW. The Mazda6 has a little bit more body roll but its light steering rack made mincemeat out of my favorite driving road. Still, the Accord wins even with an automatic. (Advantage: Honda Accord EX)
Both of these sedans have unimpeachable build quality inside and out making them perfect family vehicles. The only thing separating them is trunk space which can sometimes be a deciding factor for parents. The Honda Accord sedan offers 14.7 cubic feet while the 6 has 16.6 cubic feet. (Advantage: Mazda6)
I almost can’t make a decision between these two family sedans because they excel at what they do in uniquely distinct areas. Here’s my thought. If you want to buy a sedan with a sweet shifting six-speed manual then opt for the Mazda6. But if you want or need an automatic then by all means pick the class leading Honda Accord EX.
2010 Mazda6 iTouring
2010 Mazda6 iTouring Plus
2011 Honda Accord EX