In today’s blog, we are going to examine the true type of Mazda 6. Since this car has 7 different generations, it is somewhat difficult to answer whether it is a sports car or not; since every generation comes with different specifications. However, with the help of our engineering mindset, we have brought you some answers. Here is a short version:
The Mazda 6 is not a sports car because it has a low power-to-weight ratio. Even Mazda 6’s most powerful model has a power-to-weight ratio of 0.0750 only. The initial generations were midsize sedans/hatchbacks, while the 2018 gen Mazda6 is a sports sedan, while sports cars are usually a 2-door coupe. Finally, it has an FWD, while sports cars usually have an All-Wheel-Drive.
However, ending our article here won’t be fair. This answer is a short version; a simplification of facts. We cannot classify a car simply based on these factors. Several other factors such as design, engine specifications, and a drive system should be taken into account while deciding the type of car. In this article, we have dissected each of these factors to reach a well-researched answer.
Also read: How Many Miles Can A Mazda 6 Last?
The most important aspect in determining the type of a car is its power-to-weight ratio. Power or weight alone does not give us enough information that can help us classify a car. For example, Mazda MX-5 is a renowned sports car; yet it has an engine power of 181 HP only. Similarly, we have several cars with over 500 HP of engine power, yet they are not considered sports cars.
However, the power-to-weight ratio is an important factor that can decide which category they belong to. Generally, sports cars have higher power for their weight, meaning they have a high power-to-weight ratio. This gives them the required acceleration and responsive throttle performance.
There is no standardized value of the power-to-weight ratio for sports cars; However, after some research, we found that sports cars usually have a power-to-weight ratio higher than 0.07. Therefore, we will be using this value as our metric. Let us see the value of the power-to-weight ratio for various models of Mazda 6.
There are 7 generations and 43 models of Mazda6. In this article, we have taken the power-to-weight ratio of each generation’s most powerful and the least powerful car to determine which class that particular generation belongs to.
Generation 1 (2002-05)
|MAZDA 6 1.8L 16V 5MT (120 HP)||0.043|
|MAZDA 6 3.0L V6 5MT (220 HP)||0.067|
Generation 2 (2005-07)
|MAZDA 6/ 1.8L 16V 6MT (120 HP)||0.044|
|MAZDA 6/ 3.0L V6 6MT (220 HP)||0.067|
Generation 3 (2006-07)
|2.3L DISI Turbo 6MT (260 HP)||0.075|
Generation 4 (2007-13)
|MAZDA 6 1.8L 16V 5MT (120 HP)||0.040|
|MAZDA 6 2.5L 16V 6MT (170 HP)||0.055|
Generation 5 (2013-15)
|MAZDA 6 2.0L 6AT (145 HP)||0.0446|
|MAZDA 6 2.2L D 6MT (175 HP)||0.050|
Generation 6 (2015-18)
|MAZDA 6 2.0L SKYACTIV-G 6MT (145 HP)||0.047|
|MAZDA 6 2.2L SKYACTIV-D 6AT (175 HP)||0.053|
Generation 7 (2018-Present)
|MAZDA 6 2.0L SKYACTIV-G 6MT (145 HP)||0.045|
|MAZDA 6 2.0L SKYACTIV-G 6AT (250 HP)||0.070|
A look at the table above tells us that only 2 models out of 43 have a Power-To-Weight Ratio greater than 0.07. Thus, based on this merit, generation 3 and 7 models that fulfill this criterion can be called sports sedans. Especially, the latest generation has certain traits that make it closer to a sports car; therefore, they are now being called a sports sedan. However, since the overwhelming majority of these cars do not fulfill the condition of a high power-to-weight ratio, Mazda 6 is not a sports car.
Also read: Types Of Gas A Mazda 6 Takes (Explained)
Sports cars are built for top speed, high maneuverability, and top-notch handling. Sports cars have a unique design and shape to cater to all of these factors. The performance levels of a car are highly affected by a car’s design. Sports cars usually have a close-to-ground frame (chassis) to ensure a low center of gravity. This improves the handling, and the car offers much better maneuverability to its drivers. Another characteristic trait of a sports car is that nearly all of the sports cars are two-door coupes. Let us take a look at the design of the Mazda 6 during different generations.
Mazda Motors produced Mazda6 in three different body shapes; a sedan, a hatchback, and a wagon during the first generations. However, the subsequent generations did not have hatchbacks or wagons. All of them were mid-size sedans. None of these models had a two-door coupe body style.
The first five generations have ground clearance ranging from 5.2-5.7 inches as far as the ground clearance. The latest generation has a much higher value of ground clearance, at 6.5 inches. This is higher than the average ground clearance for a sports car, i.e., 5.1 inches. Therefore, based on this parameter, Mazda6 is not a sports car.
If we look at the shape and size of the Mazda6, it is clear that it is a mid-sized sedan. Although the latest generation has a particularly sporty look, the original Mazda6 was a typical mid-size sedan, although it still packed a punch. Plus, the earlier models do not boast the traditional aerodynamic design of sports cars. This is changing in the latest generation which has a sportier look.
Also read: Is The Toyota Corolla A Sports Car?
Another important factor worth mentioning here is that of the drive system. The drive system is also an important point to discuss when classifying different cars into their categories. The standard drive system in sports cars is the rear-wheel-drive system. This gives sports cars better handling by conferring an equal weight distribution across the body. This drive system also offers the minimum loss of drivetrain.
When we look at the Mazda6, we see that each generation has an FWD. All of the models of the Mazda 6 have front-wheel drive. Mazda Motors is planning to switch to rear-wheel-drive for the next generation of Mazda 6, but that plan is yet to materialize.
Also read: Is The Volkswagen Jetta A Sports Car?
When it comes to price, Mazda 6 does not fall in the category of extravagant cars. This family car comes at a very reasonable price, and you won’t have to break the bank if you want to buy this sports sedan. In the United States, the latest model, the 2021 Mazda 6, starts at $25,000. This price is roughly average for a mid-size sedan, which further cements the Mazda 6 into the sports sedan category.
Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Mazda 6
Mazda 6 has traditionally been a sports sedan. Their shape, design, and power-to-weight ratio indicate they are not sports cars; they are not powerful or sleek enough to be categorized as sports cars. However, the recent Mazda 6 has adopted a sportier look, and this mid-size sedan has now transitioned into a sports sedan.