Mazda 6 2014-2021: pros and cons, common problems

By Vlad Samarin, Updated: January 28, 2023
Unlike the previous Mazda 6 that was produced in partnership with Ford, this third-generation Mazda 6 was developed by Mazda in-house. It's a sleek sporty front-wheel drive mid-size sedan
2015 Mazda 6 interior 2015 Mazda 6 interior
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with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. Thanks to Skyactiv technology, the Mazda 6 is very good on gas.

For 2018, the 2.5L turbo 4-cylinder engine has been added to the lineup. The Mazda 6 holds the road very well, with precise, responsive steering. The ride is on the firm side. The 6 comes with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Let's start with pros and cons.

  • Sporty precise handling, fun to drive.
  • Reliable non-turbo engine, conventional 6-speed automatic transmission.
  • Fuel Economy (non-turbo): The 2014-2016 Mazda 6 auto gets 26/37 mpg city/highway.
  • Rare mid-size sedan that you can get with a 6-speed manual transmission.
  • 5-star overall NHTSA crash test rating, optional high-tech safety features.
  • Upscale interior, supportive seats.
  • If you want more power, there is a torquey 227-hp 2.5L turbo engine (2018+).
  • Firm ride, road and wind noise in earlier models.
  • Rear seat space is limited.
  • The lower portion of the front bumper is easy to scrape.
  • Paint chips easily.
  • Tires wear out fast.
2014-2019 Mazda 6 common problems: Common problems are mostly minor, such as bad wheel bearings, failed rear brake calipers, thin paint that chips easily, infotainment system glitches and minor Check Engine light issues. The non-turbo 2.5L engine is mostly trouble-free and can last for over 300K miles with good care. The 2.5L turbo engine is more likely to have expensive problems at higher mileage.

There were rare issues with an automatic transmission in early models, but a used transmission is not very expensive. Overall, this generation Mazda 6 (non-turbo) is one of the most reliable mid-size sedans. Let's look at some of the problems:
The mass air flow sensor can fail and cause the car not to start or stall. The sensor is easy to replace; it's located on the air filter box. The part is sold online for $135-$160.

Mazda 6 2015 Mazda 6.
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In earlier models, a sticking switch inside the transmission shifter assembly can cause the vehicle to remain in Accessory mode, with the audio system staying on and draining the battery. To fix the problem, the switch must be replaced ($250-$350 repair). Watch these Youtube videos.

A failed ignition coil can cause a lack of power and the Check Engine light to come ON with misfiring trouble codes (P0301-P0304). The bad ignition coil must be replaced with an updated part. The part is not expensive. It's a good idea to replace all the spark plugs at the same time if they are old.

Bose speakers in the front doors are known to rattle with age. The distorted sound and rattles are often caused by the speaker diaphragm separating due to corrosion. Replacing a door speaker is not too difficult, but the OEM part is expensive. We also found several Youtube videos showing how to repair a rattling speaker.

When replacing a drive belt, the drive belt tensioner may also need to be replaced if it appears to be leaking oil; it's not very expensive.

The Mazda Connect infotainment system can be slow and glitchy. Some glitches were fixed with firmware updates or resets. If your phone is not pairing with Bluetooth, try deleting all paired phones and pair your phone again. Check for more information at the Mazda Connect website.

In some cars, a bad Navigation SD card can cause the system to reboot in cold weather. If the problem disappears when the SD card is removed, it's the most likely culprit. Mazda issued the service bulletin 09-001/18 that advises to check the SD card lot number and replace the SD card if the number matches one of the numbers provided in the bulletin.

The overall number of complaints is small compared to some other cars. Mazda issued several recalls. Check at the NHTSA website.

Summary: Is the 2014-2021 Mazda 6 a good car to buy? Yes, this generation Mazda 6 is a great sporty family sedan. Earlier models are not very quiet inside; the 2017 and later models have better sound insulation.
Rear seat Rear seat. Trunk Mazda 6 trunk offers 14.8 cu. ft. of cargo space. Rear seat folded The rear seat folded.
The Mazda 6 is one of the most reliable mid-size sedans. Maintenance costs are low. We recommend the Mazda 6 with a non-turbo 2.5L engine; it will last long with good care. Models without the cylinder deactivation option will have less problems in the long run.

What to look for when buying a used Mazda 6: Check if the infotainment system works properly. Test all areas of the touchscreen. Watch out for rattling door speakers. Check if both key fobs are working. Test the air conditioner and other features. Watch out for warning lights staying on after the engine is started. See if the power seat mechanism works properly. If the audio system stays on when the car is turned off, there is a problem with the shifter, see above. Check the alloy rims carefully in the GT trim for paint peeling off. Watch out for signs of previous accidents, or lack of maintenance, read more: How to inspect a used car - illustrated guide. Read also: What mileage is OK for a used car?

Engine: The base engine is the 184-hp 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder Skyactiv-G motor.
Mazda 6 engine Mazda 6 2.5L Skyactiv engine
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It has a higher compression ratio (13.0:1) and direct fuel injection. It's one of the best engines on the market. It has proven to be reliable if maintained well. Read also: Pros and cons of buying a car with Direct Injection.
For 2018, the Skyactiv-G 2.5L engine received the cylinder deactivation option.

The 227-hp turbocharged version (Skyactiv 2.5T) was added for 2018. The 2.5L turbo engine is good, but could be expensive to repair at higher mileage. It's also sensitive to oil quality. For the 2.5L turbo engine, we recommend using top-quality synthetic oil and changing it every 5,000 miles. The turbo engine is also sensitive to overheating.

Timing belt or chain: Both the 2.5L and 2.5T Skyactiv gasoline engines have a timing chain that doesn't need regular replacement. There is no timing belt.

Fuel Consumption
Mazda 6 EPA Fuel Economy: mpg
L/100 km
2014-2015 2.5L with i-ELOOP auto 28/39 8.4/6.0
2016 2.5L with i-ELOOP auto 28/38 8.4/6.2
2017 2.5L with i-ELOOP auto 27/35 8.7/6.7
2014-2016 2.5L auto 26/37 9.0/6.4
2017-2019 2.5L auto 26/35 9.0/6.7
2014, 2016 2.5L 6-speed manual 25/36 9.4/6.5
2015 2.5L 6-speed manual 25/35 9.4/6.7
2017 2.5L 6-speed manual 24/34 9.8/6.9
2018-2019 2.5L 6-speed manual 24/33 9.8/7.1
2018-2019 2.5L Turbo auto 23/31 10.2/7.6
Fuel Economy: The 2015 Mazda 6 automatic with i-ELOOP system is rated at 28/39 mpg city/hwy. The i-ELOOP system, available in the GT Technology Package, uses a capacitor installed inside the front fender to recover the energy when slowing down to re-use later. It's like a very mild hybrid.
The regular 2014-2016 Mazda 6 automatic gets 26 mpg city, 37 mpg highway. This allows Mazda 6 to travel up to 574 highway miles (924 km) on one tank of regular gasoline.

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Engine oil: The owners manuals for the 2014-2021 Mazda 6 list SAE 0W-20 as the recommended oil type for the 2.5L non-turbo engine. The engine oil capacity is specified at 4.8 US qt., or 4.5 liters with oil filter replacement.

For the 2.5L turbo engine, the 2021 owner's manual recommends SAE 5W-30 oil. The capacity is listed at 5.1 US qt., or 4.8 liters with oil filter replacement. We recommend using only high-quality synthetic oil in the turbo engine, preferably the original Mazda synthetic 5W-30 oil that you can buy from the dealer.

Automatic transmission fluid: For the 2014 model, Mazda specifies Mazda Genuine ATF FZ, as the required automatic transmission fluid. The full automatic transmission capacity is listed at 7.8 L (8.2 US qt, 6.9 Imp qt), but only around 3.5 US qt (3.3 liters) can be drained from the transmission drain plug. We checked the owners manuals for the 2014-2017 Mazda 6 and none of them includes the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) change in the maintenance schedule. We recommend changing transmission fluid every 80-100K miles using the original Mazda ATF.