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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 Sonata Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
Both the Mazda 6 and the Sonata Hybrid 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Mazda 6 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonata Hybrid was last a “Top Pick Plus” in 2019 but no longer qualifies.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 6th.
The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 57 more horsepower (250 vs. 193) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 271) than the Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 6 (except Turbo)’s fuel efficiency. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
For better stopping power the Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Sonata Hybrid:
Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature
For better traction, the Mazda 6 has larger tires than the Sonata Hybrid (225/55R17 vs. 205/65R16). The Mazda 6 Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonata Hybrid (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R17).
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 Sonata Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires. The Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Sonata Hybrid’s optional 55 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 Sonata Hybrid. The Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the Sonata Hybrid.
The Mazda 6 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Sonata Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The Mazda 6 (except Sport) offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Mazda 6 has a much larger trunk than the Sonata Hybrid (14.7 vs. 13.4 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Mazda 6’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Sonata Hybrid’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.
The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature has 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 Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Mazda 6’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sonata Hybrid’s parking brake has to released manually.
The Mazda 6’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sonata Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Sonata Hybrid Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
The Mazda 6’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Sonata Hybrid’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
The Mazda 6’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sonata Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Mazda 6 and the Sonata Hybrid 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 Sonata Hybrid.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda 6 and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 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 7 years. The Sonata Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
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