For drivers who refuse to jump on the SUV bandwagon, the list of available cars is dwindling at an alarming rate. Automakers are focusing on classes that dominate the sales charts, and sedans just aren’t pulling their weight. The latest car casualty comes from Mazda as the automaker announces that the Mazda6 mid-size sedan will depart from the U.S. after 2021. Also discontinued is the subcompact Mazda CX-3 crossover, but that move isn’t a surprise given the crossover’s similarity to the newer CX-30.
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The Mazda6 Is Among a Slew of Cars Getting Axed
The Mazda6 will rest in the crowded graveyard of discontinued sedans with the Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fusion and Toyota Yaris. Hatchbacks fare no better with the Hyundai Elantra GT, Honda Fit and Volkswagen Golf getting the boot. Not even luxury sedans are spared; the Acura RLX, Lincoln MKZ, Lexus GS, Jaguar XE and Kia Cadenza are also goners. While Ford has openly shared that it will discontinue most of its cars to focus on trucks and SUVs, some brands, like Chevy, are phasing sedans out quietly.
What alternatives remain for soon-to-be killed sedans like the Mazda6? Slim pickings. Although there are several good choices for non-luxury mid-size sedans left, cross-shopping compact sedans, luxury mid-size sedans and discontinued used vehicles can be a smart choice.
What to Buy Instead
If you’re taking notes, the list of mid-size sedans that compete with the Mazda6 fit on a Post-it, and it will likely shrink as time goes on. The 2021 Mazda6 comes with a starting price of $25,470 and is frequently compared with the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Kia K5 and Toyota Camry. These sedans are slated to return for the 2022 model year (at least at the time of this writing). All prices include the destination fee.
- Honda Accord: The Honda Accord is a popular family sedan that gets a new grille, LED headlights and a fresh wheel design for 2021. Under the hood, the sedan offers three engine options: a 192-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder; 252-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder; and 212 total system hp for the Accord Hybrid. Pricing for the 2021 Accord starts at $25,965.
- Hyundai Sonata: Completely redesigned for 2020, the Hyundai Sonata offers a spacious cabin, distinctive styling and many high-tech features that aren’t readily available from its competitors. In addition to a 191-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder; an available 180-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder; and a hybrid powertrain, the Sonata gains a new N Line trim. The sporty N Line comes with a 290-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood. The 2021 Sonata starts at $24,995.
- Nissan Altima: The Nissan Altima’s quiet cabin, intuitive tech and available all-wheel drive make it a worthy alternative to the Mazda6. The Altima’s two engine options include a 188-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 236 hp. The Altima starts at $25,400.
- Kia K5: The rebadged Kia Optima is living proof that Kia has not thrown in the towel on sedans. The new K5 shares a platform and many similarities with the Hyundai Sonata. The K5 makes for a comfortable and easy-to-drive family sedan that also gets a sporty GT 2.5T trim for driving enthusiasts. All non-GT trims share a small 180-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, while the GT gets 290 horses from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The 2021 K5 starts at $24,485.
- Subaru Legacy: Despite its noisy acceleration, the Subaru Legacy is a practical choice in the pool of mid-size sedans that live to see another year. The Legacy is roomy, comfortable and offers many standard safety features. A 182-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine can be swapped for a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.4-liter in higher trims. All models come with AWD, including the base trim with a starting price of $23,820.
- Toyota Camry: Traditionally known for reliability and practicality, the Toyota Camry gets a healthy dose of driving excitement after its last redesign in 2018. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder with up to 206 hp and a 301-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 are available depending on trim level. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid model is offered across most trim levels. The 2021 Toyota Camry starts at $26,040.
Compact and Luxury Sedans
In addition to considering the sedans listed above, branching out to compact sedans or luxury mid-size sedans increases your options. Of course, choosing a compact sedan means compromising on passenger and cargo space, while buying a luxury vehicle requires loosening the budget.
- Honda Civic ($22,245)
- Honda Insight ($24,125)
- Hyundai Elantra $20,655)
- Kia Forte ($18,885)
- Mazda3 ($21,645)
- Nissan Sentra ($20,410)
- Subaru Impreza ($19,720)
- Toyota Corolla ($21,020)
- Volkswagen Jetta ($19,990)
Luxury Mid-Size Sedans
- Acura TLX ($38,525)
- Audi A6 ($55,945)
- BMW 5 Series ($55,195)
- Cadillac CT5 ($38,190)
- Genesis G80 ($48,745)
- Jaguar XF ($45,145)
- Lexus ES ($41,025)
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class ($55,300)
- Volvo S90 ($52,595)
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