2019 Mazda 6 vs. 2019 Ford Fusion

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 Fusion doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Mazda 6 Signature has a standard 360-degree View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Fusion only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Fusion 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mazda 6 is safer than the Ford Fusion:

 

Mazda 6

Fusion

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

130

234

Neck Injury Risk

23%

32%

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

26 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

43/70 lbs.

232/354 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

249

400

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

53%

65%

Neck Stress

133 lbs.

230 lbs.

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

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 Ford Fusion:

 

Mazda 6

Fusion

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

256 G’s

269 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

380 lbs.

805 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

671 lbs.

721 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 Fusion was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

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 35 points higher than the Fusion.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

As tested in Road and Track the Mazda 6 (base engine) is faster than the Ford Fusion 4 cyl.:

 

Mazda6

Fusion

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

84 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Mazda6

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

 

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Fusion

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

 

 

2.7 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 6 (except Turbo)’s fuel efficiency. The Fusion doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mazda 6 Touring/Signature’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion:

 

Mazda6 Turbo

Fusion

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

The Mazda 6 stops shorter than the Fusion:

 

Mazda 6

Fusion

 

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mazda 6 has larger tires than the Fusion (225/55R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Mazda 6 Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 6 Sport has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

Suspension and Handling

The Mazda 6 Touring handles at .87 G’s, while the Fusion Sport AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Mazda 6’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Fusion’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda 6 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Ford Fusion.

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 Fusion doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Mazda 6’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Fusion’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Fusion doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Fusion offer available heated front seats. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Fusion.

The Mazda 6 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Fusion.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mazda 6 is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because typical repairs cost much less on the Mazda 6 than the Fusion, including $208 less for a muffler, $75 less for front brake pads, $20 less for a starter, $89 less for a timing belt/chain and $232 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda 6, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Fusion isn't recommended.

The Mazda 6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 6 years. The Fusion Hybrid hasn’t been picked since 2010.

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

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