2020 Mazda 6 vs. 2020 Lexus IS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

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 IS Series 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 IS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Mazda 6 and the IS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and rearview cameras.

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 Lexus IS Series:

Mazda 6

IS Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

130

274

Neck Injury Risk

23%

36%

Neck Stress

266 lbs.

339 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

47 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

43/70 lbs.

271/602 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

249

264

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

53%

55%

Neck Stress

133 lbs.

197 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

335/150 lbs.

426/505 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 Lexus IS Series:

Mazda 6

IS Series

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

437 lbs.

474 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

380 lbs.

691 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

271

295

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

671 lbs.

806 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

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

Reliability

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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 IS Series’ camshafts. If the IS Series’ 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 18 points higher than the IS Series.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 280) than the IS 350’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

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

MPG

Mazda6

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

IS Series

RWD

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

AWD

300 3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 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 IS Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda 6 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature for maximum performance). The IS Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

The Mazda 6 stops shorter than the IS Series:

Mazda 6

IS Series

80 to 0 MPH

221 feet

226 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has standard 19-inch wheels. The IS Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mazda 6’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the IS Series (111.4 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Mazda 6 is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the IS Series.

The Mazda 6 Touring handles at .87 G’s, while the IS Series AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

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

The Mazda 6 has 9.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the IS Series (99.7 vs. 90.2).

The Mazda 6 has .2 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 6.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

The Mazda 6 has a much larger trunk than the IS Series (14.7 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

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 IS Series 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 IS Series has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 IS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the Mazda 6’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the IS Series’ headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mazda 6 has standard extendable sun visors. The IS Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Mazda 6 and the IS Series 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 IS Series.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

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 IS Series is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mazda 6 is less expensive to operate than the IS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Mazda 6 than the IS Series, including $332 less for a water pump, $92 less for a muffler, $765 less for a starter, $99 less for fuel injection, $112 less for front struts, $788 less for a timing belt/chain and $805 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/09

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda 6, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Lexus IS Series 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 IS Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mazda 6 outsold the Lexus IS Series by 35% during the 2019 model year.

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

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