2020 Ford Fusion vs. 2019 Mazda 6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fusion have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Fusion Titanium offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Fusion’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda 6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Fusion and the Mazda 6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, rear cross-path warning and available rear parking sensors.

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

Fusion

Mazda 6

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Stress

234 lbs.

266 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 Ford Fusion is safer than the Mazda 6:

Fusion

Mazda 6

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

121

154

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Hip Force

338 lbs.

437 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

327

356

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

64 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

258

271

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

Warranty

There are over 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Mazda 6 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

As tested in Consumer Reports the Fusion Titanium 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Mazda 6 4 cyl.:

Fusion

6

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

86 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion SE/SEL FWD 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature turbo 4 cyl. (23 city/34 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Fusion ECOBoost FWD’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Fusion AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mazda 6 (18 vs. 16.4 gallons).

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Ford Fusion higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Mazda 6 (3 to 7). This means the Fusion produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mazda 6 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Fusion stops shorter than the Mazda 6:

Fusion

Mazda 6

80 to 0 MPH

216 feet

221 feet

Road and Track

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Fusion SE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mazda 6 (235/50R17 vs. 225/55R17).

The Fusion Titanium’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Fusion’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Fusion Titanium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Mazda 6 Touring (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Fusion uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Fusion has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mazda 6 (102.8 vs. 99.7).

The Fusion has .8 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 6.

Cargo Capacity

The Fusion has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 6 (16 vs. 14.7 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 24.4 inches, while the Mazda 6’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Fusion. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The Fusion has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Mazda 6 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Fusion has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Mazda 6 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Fusion SEL/Titanium’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Fusion and the Mazda 6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fusion is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 6 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the Fusion the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Mazda 6 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Fusion’s power window, power lock and power mirror switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Mazda 6’s power lock and power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Fusion (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 6 because it costs $116 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the Mazda 6, including $43 less for a water pump, $246 less for fuel injection, $281 less for a fuel pump and $126 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Ford Fusion outsold the Mazda 6 by almost six to one during 2018.

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

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