2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Mazda 6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/27

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 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 S60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S60 and Mazda 6 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Mazda 6’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60 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 S60’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.

Both the S60 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 around view monitors.

Warranty

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The S60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 6’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mazda 6’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 6.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the S60 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Mazda 6’s standard 100-amp alternator and largest (Turbo) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

The battery on the S60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the S60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Mazda 6’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The S60 has more powerful engines than the Mazda 6:

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

Mazda 6 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

187 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo S60 is faster than the Mazda 6:

S60 T5

S60 T6

Mazda 6

Mazda 6 Turbo

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

5.2 sec

7.3 sec

6.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

6.1 sec

7.5 sec

6.7 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

3.2 sec

3.6 sec

n/a

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

4.2 sec

4.8 sec

n/a

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

13.8 sec

15.8 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

103 MPH

89 MPH

97 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/27

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 6 with its standard engine (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 26 city/35 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 T5 gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 6 turbo 4-cylinder (23 city/34 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy).

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The Mazda 6 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S60’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 S60 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

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo S60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Mazda 6 (3 to 7). This means the S60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mazda 6 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo S60, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Mazda 6.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Mazda 6:

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

Mazda 6

Mazda 6 Turbo

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

10.9 inches

10.9 inches

The S60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Mazda 6 are solid, not vented.

The S60 stops much shorter than the Mazda 6:

S60

Mazda 6

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/27

For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the Mazda 6 (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The S60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 6 Sport’s standard 55 series tires. The S60’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mazda 6 Sport.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Mazda 6 (113.1 inches vs. 111.4 inches).

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the Mazda 6 Signature pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Mazda 6 Touring (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

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The S60 is 5.3 inches shorter than the Mazda 6, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Volvo S60 amounts to more than styling. The S60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Mazda 6 (.285) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S60 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S60 Momentum is quieter than the Mazda 6 Grand Touring:

S60

6

At idle

42 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/27

The S60 has .1 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear headroom than the Mazda 6.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S60 easier. The S60’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Mazda 6’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The Mazda 6’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the S60. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S60’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Mazda 6 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The S60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mazda 6 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature, the S60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The power windows standard on both the S60 and the Mazda 6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S60 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 S60 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Mazda 6 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The S60’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature.

When the S60 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Mazda 6’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The S60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Mazda 6.

Both the S60 and the Mazda 6 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the S60 has available rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo S60 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S60’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 6 because typical repairs cost less on the S60 than the Mazda 6, including $158 less for fuel injection, $13 less for front struts, $53 less for a timing belt/chain and $136 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/10/27

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Mazda 6 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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