2019 Mazda 6 vs. 2019 Acura TLX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mazda 6 has standard Whiplash Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The TLX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Mazda 6 and the TLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mazda 6 is safer than the TLX:

 

6

TLX

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

152

250

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

23 cm

23 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.3/.2 kN

1.6/2.1 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.69/.81

1.15/.91

Tibia forces R/L

2.1/1.6 kN

4.4/5 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mazda 6 is safer than the Acura TLX:

 

Mazda 6

TLX

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

154

187

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

380 lbs.

483 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

Hip Force

671 lbs.

678 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Mazda 6 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The TLX was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 6’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Mazda 6’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the TLX’s camshafts. If the TLX’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Mazda 6’s reliability 28 points higher than the TLX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Acura is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 267) than the TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Acura TLX 4 cyl.:

 

Mazda6

TLX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16 sec

17.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

149 MPH

134 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Mazda6 gets better fuel mileage than the TLX:

 

 

 

MPG

Mazda6

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

 

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

TLX

 

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

 

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/31 hwy

 

 

A-Spec 3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

The Mazda 6 stops shorter than the TLX:

 

Mazda 6

TLX

 

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mazda 6’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the TLX (111.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Mazda 6 Touring handles at .87 G’s, while the TLX V6 SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Mazda 6’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the TLX V6’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The Mazda 6’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the TLX SH-AWD’s (36.7 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda 6 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Acura TLX.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Mazda 6 Touring is quieter than the TLX (67 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Mazda 6 a Mid-size car, while the TLX is rated a Compact.

The Mazda 6 has 6.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the TLX (99.7 vs. 93.3).

The Mazda 6 has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and 4.2 inches more rear legroom than the TLX.

Cargo Capacity

The Mazda 6 has a larger trunk than the TLX (14.7 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve and Signature have a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The TLX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The TLX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Mazda 6 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Mazda 6 with a number “1” insurance rate while the TLX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mazda 6 is less expensive to operate than the TLX because it costs $137 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mazda 6 than the TLX, including $86 less for a water pump, $349 less for a muffler, $560 less for a starter, $89 less for fuel injection, $96 less for front struts and $758 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda 6, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mazda 6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 6 years. The TLX has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mazda 6 outsold the Acura TLX by 470 units during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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