16 Best & Worst Mazda6 Years [Complete Ranked Models]

Source: Car Buzz, U.S. News & World Report

Midsize families will find the Mazda6 the perfect combination of speed and comfort. The initial model debuted in 2002 and remained in production until 2021. It’s a refined family car with agile handling and a comfortable, peaceful interior. However, there are several low-quality and high-quality model years among the many that are accessible.

The worst years to avoid the Mazda Mazda6 are 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010. The best years to buy the Mazda Mazda6 are 2008, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmunds, J.D. Power, Repairpal, and Kelley Blue Book.

Mazda6 Generations (Best, Average, Worst Years)

With its 2002 debut, the Mazda 6 stood out with its quick engine, stylish exterior, and driver-focused interior. An exhaustive rundown of all Mazda 6 generations along with the best, average, and worst years is presented below.

GenerationsBest YearsAverage YearsWorst Years
1st generation (2003-2008)20082003
2nd generation (2009-2013)20132009
3rd generation (2014- 2021)2015
2011, 2012, 2014

Worst Mazda6 Years to Avoid

Avoid these options at all costs if the Mazda 6 is something you’re interested in buying. Some of the worst Mazda6 years are:

  • 2003 Mazda6
  • 2004 Mazda6
  • 2005 Mazda6
  • 2006 Mazda6
  • 2007 Mazda6
  • 2009 Mazda6
  • 2010 Mazda6

7. 2005 Mazda6 (3.82 Rating)

Source: Edmunds

Despite the 2005 Mazda6’s great gas mileage and agility, it has some serious problems that make it among the list of years to avoid. 76 complaints are registered on NHTSA which are only related to airbags. Similarly, on repairpal.com, 162 people reported engine overheating.

The other commonly reported issues for this model are related to electrical problems, rattling noise from the engine, transmission slipping, and excessive oil blow-by into the exhaust.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

6. 2007 Mazda6 (3.67 Rating)

Source: Edmunds

It is better to avoid 2007 Mazda6 due to its number of issues. This model year also suffered from complaints regarding airbags not deploying during accidents. Powertrain and transmission jerking is another drawback. Just like other Mazda6 models, engine cooling is another common flaw.

The worst problems of this model year include the engine being blown, excessive oil consumption, and the front two windows rolling down by themselves while the engine is off. A ticking noise coming from valve lash adjusters due to infrequent oil changes is also observed.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

5. 2004 Mazda6 (3.64 Rating)

Source: wheel-size

2004 Mazda6 is also one of the worst years as reported by carcomplaint. This model is also observed with numerous problems related to its engine cooling, electrical problems, and airbags. The worst problem for this model is its engine failure at around 98,000 miles (157715.71 km), crank plays in the engine, and turns over but won’t start.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

4. 2006 Mazda6 (3.61 Rating)

Source: newcartestdrive

The 2006 Mazda6 was not without its issues, most of which related to the engine. Some owners have claimed that the Check Engine Light would come on and that power would be lost when going uphill. The clutch would sometimes go into neutral and the car would start to accelerate without any input from the driver.

Moreover, Tires were said to wear out faster than expected because of the sidewall cracking. The notorious Takata airbag recall also affected the 2006 Mazda6.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

3. 2003 Mazda6 (3.50 Rating)

Source: Mazda

Another year’s model to avoid is the 2003 Mazda6. There were a lot of growing pains for this model since it was one of the first-generation models. The 2003 Mazda6’s engine was the vehicle’s most serious flaw, according to NHTSA findings.

Concerns voiced by owners included trembling, hesitancy while applying throttle, and diminished engine performance. A Check Engine Light would typically illuminate at the same time as this happened. Many owners also complained about problems with the gearbox, including loud knocking and harsh shifting.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

2. 2010 Mazda6 (3.45 Rating)

Source: thetruthaboutcars

Compared to its predecessor 2009, the 2010 Mazda6 is much easier to maintain, but it isn’t without its share of problems. There have been reports of rusted subframes and headlamp burnouts at as low as 36,000 miles (57936.38 km).

Crash cushions on the dashboards of 2010 Mazda6 vehicles have melted or fractured, just like those of 2009 models. The melted material produced such intense glare that the driver was unable to see through the passenger side windshield.

Additionally, several drivers have expressed concern that other drivers may lose control of their vehicles if the subframe gets too rusted. The 2010 model is the only one for which allegations of spiders in the gas tank have been reported.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

1. 2009 Mazda6 (3.07 Rating)

Source: Dragtimes

The 2009 Mazda6 is the most problematic model with the most complaints. Some 2009 Mazda6 owners have mentioned that right before the engine dies, their vehicles make a knocking noise and smell strange. The typical repair cost is $3,000, even though the problem is not very widespread.

Owners of 2009 Mazda6s have also reported issues with rusty subframes and dashboards that melt. Mazda extended the warranty for the former and recalled more than 84,000 vehicles for the latter.

The infamous Takata airbags are only one of nine components that have prompted recalls for this Mazda6. Metal shards might injure or kill passengers if the blasting inflators were defective.

The fuel canisters on certain 2009 Mazda6 models were weaker and could burst after a while of heavy use. Roof racks and malfunctioning door locks are the subject of further recalls.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

Best Mazda6 Years to Buy Used

There are plenty of Mazda6 years that you should stay away from, but which ones can be the most reliable Mazda6 years? Here are a couple of the most recommended years for the Mazda6:

  • 2008 Mazda6
  • 2013 Mazda6
  • 2015 Mazda6
  • 2016 Mazda6
  • 2017 Mazda6
  • 2018 Mazda6
  • 2019 Mazda6
  • 2020 Mazda6
  • 2021 Mazda6

9. 2008 Mazda6 (3.99 Rating)

Source: chceauto

In 2008, the Mazda 6 performed better than any previous year, earning an 81 out of 100 from J.D. Power and receiving few complaints and recalls from the NHTSA.

This model year marked a radical departure from previous iterations rather than just an aesthetic update. A 2.3-liter MZR L3 four-cylinder engine with 156 horsepower and either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission was the standard, and it came with upgraded engine choices.

The 3.0 liter Duratec 30 V6 engine, which produced 212 horsepower and came with a six-speed automated gearbox, was available for individuals who wanted more power. The EPA-estimated fuel efficiency for the four-cylinder was 21 city/29 highway mpg, which is respectable for its class.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

8. 2015 Mazda6 (4.18 Rating)

Source: avtovolgograda

The 2015 Mazda6 was recognized with the prestigious J.D. Power Performance Award, which is bestowed upon the most highly rated vehicles in terms of performance and design following the initial 90 days of ownership.

The 184 horsepower inline-four engine and six-speed automated transmission were well-received by owners. A used 2015 Mazda6 can be purchased for an average of $11,415 to $14,823.

While there haven’t been many complaints about the 2015 model year overall, electrical problems that necessitate costly transmission repairs have been the main focus. Additionally, the wheels and outside accessories have a few small faults.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

7. 2013 Mazda6 (4.21 Rating)

Source: ziaruldeiasi.ro

As far as second-generation Mazda 6 years go, 2013 is the greatest due to its low number of NHTSA recalls and complaints and positive rating. A 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G PY-VPS four-cylinder engine producing 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque was available as an option for the 2013 Mazda 6.

Impressively, for a non-hybrid midsize car, this Skyactiv-G engine achieved up to 21 city / 30 highway mpg, earning it a reputation for its performance-efficiency combination. As a first in the industry, the i-ELOOP regenerative braking technology was available on higher model levels of the 2013 Mazda6, further improving fuel economy.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

6. 2016 Mazda6 (4.38 Rating)

Source: autos.ca

One more dependable choice is the 2016 Mazda 6. There are no major problems with the 2016 Mazda6, just as there were with the 2015 model. Used 2016 models are selling for from $12,706 to $16,855.

J.D. Power gave the 2016 Mazda6 an overall score of 80/100 and a “great” reliability rating of 81/100, making it stand out compared to prior model years. This compact vehicle was recognized as a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

5. 2018 Mazda6 (4.42 Rating)

Source: U.S. News & World Report

The 2018 Mazda6 has undergone extensive modifications, which have improved its appearance, handling, and overall feel. A new grille and standard LED headlights are the most noticeable exterior upgrades, but the true scope of the changes becomes clear as soon as you step inside the cabin.

The 6 now looks more luxurious thanks to revised climate controls and dashboard trim. In particular, the 2018 Mazda 6 was named by Edmunds as one of the best midsize sedans for 2018.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

4. 2017 Mazda6 (4.48 Rating)

Source: Autocar

When it comes to Mazda6, the 2017 model year is often recognized as one of the most dependable. This model is a great pick for someone seeking a dependable used Mazda 6 due to its reputation for a pleasant ride and few maintenance needs.

After three months behind the wheel, drivers raved about the car’s responsiveness, storage capacity, and how comfortable the seats were. The owners, however, were not fans of the navigation system or the distracting cabin noise.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

3. 2021 Mazda6 (4.53 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

Finalizing the third generation that debuted in 2014, the 2021 Mazda6 was the most recent model year produced before discontinuation. In addition to being the most modern and polished model, it came with cutting-edge technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The inside is just as well-designed as the outside, and you could easily mistake it for an Audi or Jaguar. An optional turbocharged engine is available for those who require a little more power, and the 2021 Mazda6 has unrivaled driving dynamics for the midsize sedan class.

Customers have raved about how well this model combines entertainment, style, and practicality. This vehicle is near the top of the midsize car rankings on US News & World Report.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

2. 2019 Mazda6 (4.55 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2019 Mazda6 is another good option because of its legendary dependability, top ratings in crash tests, and positive feedback from both owners and reviewers. A redesigned interior and an updated appearance characterize this model year’s modest redesign.

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard on the entry-level model. This engine outperforms a lot of competitors in its class and delivers plenty of punch.

Another thing that makes driving feel like driving a sports sedan is its superb handling. There were very few complaints about this model year on the NHTSA website, so you know it’s reliable.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

1. 2020 Mazda6 (4.62 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2020 Mazda6 is the most reliable Mazda6 model by receiving minimal complaints, no recall history, and great positive reviews. It has even gotten a prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award by the IIHS. U.S. News & World Report ranked it second most Affordable Midsize Car in 2020.

In its class, the Mazda 6 is among the most refined, best-handling midsize sedans. In addition to its attractive exterior, the Mazda 6 offers a comfortable and enjoyable ride. A compelling value proposition is also present.

The 6’s dynamic steering control and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enhance its handling, and it comes standard at a cheap price. As a bonus, most trim levels have a plethora of high-tech safety features. In mixed city/highway driving, you may anticipate 26 mpg.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

Common Mazda6 Problems

In the Mazda6 years to avoid, we’ve covered a lot of specific problems that can arise, but what are some common problems that Mazda6 owners may face? Some typical problems that Mazda6 owners could have are as follows:

  • Inconsistent management of speed
  • Problems with the Sensor
  • Cracking and sticky dashboard
  • Concerns surrounding noise
  • Engine overheating 
  • Exploding sunroof
  • Problems with exterior lights
  • Airbag problems


1. Is the Mazda6 a reliable car?

Despite some complaints, the Mazda6 has been appreciated by consumers. The 2021 model year placed highly on the reliability scale, earning an 84 out of 100, according to jdpower.com. It works well and doesn’t require a lot of costly repairs.

Similarly, on repairpal.com, it was ranked 6th out of 24 competing midsize vehicles, with a score of 4 out of 5. Despite its flaws, the Mazda6 is more reliable than its rivals in its class.

2. Is Mazda6 expensive to maintain?

While the national average for all vehicle models is $652 and the average for midsize automobiles is $526, the average yearly cost for repairs and maintenance on a Mazda 6 is $481, which is quite average. If the car is properly maintained, it will not be very expensive to maintain.

3. How long will a Mazda6 last?

The typical lifespan of a well-maintained Mazda6 is between 200,000 miles (321868.8 km) and 250,000 miles (402336 km). The average American drives 15,000 miles (24140.16 km) per year, so you should expect your vehicle to last between thirteen and seventeen years. However, several variables come into play here, including maintenance routines, driving styles, and general weather conditions.

4. What are the other Mazda6 alternatives?

The other commonly famous and reliable alternatives for Mazda6 are:

Wrap Up

The Mazda6 is a fantastic midsize car that offers a smooth ride like an expensive and opulent model. Users can rely on it to a reasonable degree. Despite a few issues, it’s well worth it. After researching the Mazda6 all model years, the years 2008, 2013, and 2015–2021, in particular, offer the best combination of reliability, features, and affordability.

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