That is going to be an fascinating battle. The 2018 Mazda6 is recent from a serious facelift for the present mannequin yr. I personally love this automotive. I feel it’s the best-looking midsize sedan out there in the present day, aside from the very fact it’s gifted with an athletic demeanor. Nevertheless, I additionally just like the 2019 Ford Fusion. This isn’t as a result of it nonetheless resembles an Aston Martin at first look, however it stays a real driver’s automotive whereas nonetheless remaining civilized for the day by day drive.
Then again, I all the time admired the performance-oriented angle of the Subaru Legacy. The 2019 Legacy continues to be an excellent automotive to drive and is the one one on this check outfitted with commonplace all-wheel drive. The Ford Fusion could be optioned with an identical drivetrain, however the Mazda6 solely is available in front-wheel drive.
All of our three contenders have a sub-$24okay base worth. In case you are buying on this class, each the 2018 fashions of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are the highest picks. But when each of these automobiles are too mainstream on your palate, then the 2018 Mazda6, 2019 Ford Fusion, and 2019 Subaru Legacy are definitely worthy of consideration.
I’ll give it to you outright: the Mazda6 drives like a dream, however provided that you’re the sporty sort of driver. This automotive has the agility and reflexes of the smaller Mazda3. Even the steering really feel is best than within the new Mazda MX-5. I do know it’s a daring declare, however it’s the reality. Reside with it.
The 2018 Mazda6 might be pushed arduous and nonetheless ask for extra. You’ll be able to thrash this automotive all the day with out upsetting the magnificent stability of the chassis. It’s a sporty midsize sedan and makes no qualms about it. The 2018 refresh gave the fascia a extra refined look, however there’s no mistaking the aggressive face and the sensuous Kodo-inspired curves and physique strains.
The very fact is you’ll be able to drive the Mazda6 like a hooligan, however you gained’t. It’s greater than that. Earlier fashions have been nonetheless comparatively snug regardless of the sporting apprehensions, and new 2018 mannequin is not any totally different. There’s a firmness to the journey that may solely be appreciated by those that have pushed a Bentley Continental. The journey is clean however taut, and that’s not a nasty factor.
The bottom Sport trim begins at $23,000 and comes with 17-inch alloys, push-button begin, a leather-based steering wheel, and a six-speed guide transmission. Energy comes from a SKYACTIV 2.5-liter four-banger with 187-horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The motor can obtain 26/35 mpg, which is above common given the facility output. Additionally commonplace is an Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and 6 audio system. You additionally get blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview digital camera.
All in all, not dangerous for a base mannequin, proper? However should you don’t like rowing the gears your self, stepping up for the Touring trim is the higher choice. You get the identical engine in base trim however it comes mated to a slick 6-speed automated. The Touring model begins at round $25okay however consists of greater 19-inch alloys, heated entrance seats, energy controls for the driving force seat, proximity keyless entry, and automated excessive beams. Additionally normal is the i-Activsense security package deal that features ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, and lane departure warning with lane maintaining help.
The Mazda6 Grand Touring is my private guess. You get all of the goodies within the Touring trim together with a extra highly effective turbocharged 2.5-liter motor with 250-horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of the added horsepower, the engine can nonetheless return a powerful 23/32 mpg. The engine is mated to a six-speed auto and in addition comes with an 11-speaker audio system with satellite tv for pc radio and commonplace navigation. The Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim will hover round $31okay to $34okay and can add luxurious options comparable to a heated steering wheel, reminiscence settings for the driving force seat, upgraded leather-based and inside trim, and LED lighting.
Like I stated, the Mazda6 is a driver’s automotive, nevertheless it’s nonetheless snug and comparatively sensible. Should you want a household sedan that drives like a sporty compact, nothing comes near the 2018 Mazda6.
2019 Ford Fusion
The 2019 Ford Fusion is a special kind of animal. The driving expertise is just like the Mazda6, however the sportiness is toned down a bit to ship extra refinement. That’s not a nasty factor to have in a midsize sedan. Older fashions have been touted to be sportier and extra responsive, however the brand new Fusion continues to be dynamically spectacular regardless of the added refinement.
All I can say is that this: the Ford Fusion is a greater driver’s automotive than the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It additionally comes with an expensive inside and loads of area for passengers and cargo. It might be a bit lengthy within the tooth to be fairly trustworthy, however Ford managed to maintain the Fusion recent within the eyes of potential consumers.
That’s why it’s a bit unhappy that Ford will cease making automobiles and sedans in favor of crossovers, SUVs, and electrical automobiles. It’s a disgrace as a result of the second-generation Fusion (launched in 2013) is among the best-looking and best-handling sedans that Ford churned out within the final 15 years or so. The present-generation Fusion can also be bought in hybrid and plug-in fashions, they usually’re not dangerous on the planet of eco-conscious automobiles, both.
However nonetheless, it’s glad to know the Fusion continues to be right here. The bottom S mannequin comes outfitted with a 2.5-liter four-banger that churns out 173-horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The motor is a related to a six-speed automated. It’s necessary to notice the bottom engine within the Fusion is brief on energy in comparison with the Mazda6, and you’ll really feel it within the open street. However nonetheless, the bottom trim comes well-equipped with 16-inch metal wheels (nasty), automated headlights, a four.2-inch infotainment display with 4 audio system, Bluetooth, and a rearview digital camera for lower than $23okay.
Oh and earlier than I overlook, Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Shield driver help system is commonplace on the bottom S trim and consists of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane maintaining help, and ahead collision mitigation. Larger trim fashions get an upgraded Ford Co-Pilot360 Help system that provides dual-zone local weather management, Ford Sync, adaptive cruise management, and a navigation system.
For the cash, I might gladly improve to the Fusion SE that features a extra highly effective turbocharged 1.5-liter four-banger with 181-horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. It could actually nonetheless obtain 21/34 mpg which is barely higher than the 21/31 mpg of the bottom motor. For lower than $24okay you additionally get bigger 17-inch wheels, power-adjustable entrance seats, a bigger Eight-inch touchscreen show with satellite tv for pc radio and 6 audio system, and Apple CarPlay with Android Auto. The SE can also be obtainable in all-wheel drive. In the event you select this feature, Ford will throw in a vigorous 2.Zero-liter turbocharged engine that’s good for 240-horsepower and 270-pound ft of torque.
The SEL and Titanium trim will get the revised 2.Zero-liter motor together with normal luxurious options corresponding to keyless ignition with distant ignition, heated mirrors, a extra highly effective audio system, bigger 19-inch wheels, ambient lighting, and LED fog lights. Ford can also be providing the Fusion in V6 Sport trim. You get a turbocharged 2.7-liter motor with 325-horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, normal all-wheel drive, adjustable suspension, and a 12-speaker audio system.
However there’s a catch. The V6 Sport Trim is hovering dangerously near $42,000. In my humble opinion, that is an excessive amount of cash for a midsize sedan, and I might slightly fork over $28okay or $34okay for the Fusion SEL and Titanium, respectively. For the cash, the Ford Fusion continues to be among the best decisions within the midsize phase. That is excessive reward given the presence of the perennial and up to date Toyota Camry and luxurious Honda Accord. What the Mazda6 lacks in consolation, the Ford Fusion greater than makes up for it.
2019 Subaru Legacy
I’ve to confess, the 2019 Subaru Legacy caters to a selected area of interest out there. It’s the solely midsize sedan on this comparability that comes commonplace with all-wheel drive, and it’s a very good one at that, if not the perfect out there. The one factor that bothers me concerning the Legacy is the conservative and humdrum styling, particularly in base and mid-level trim choices.
In fact, seems to be are solely subjective, however you see the place I’m getting at, proper? In comparison with the attractive Mazda6 and stylish Ford Fusion, the Subaru Legacy sedan is a bit boring. From the aspect, it even resembles a previous-model Honda Accord. It appears the Subaru Legacy is filling the conservative area of interest that the brand new Toyota Camry beforehand deserted, and that’s not shocking isn’t it?
However for a midsize household sedan that hack it over snow, mud, or tough roads, you are able to do no higher than the Subaru Legacy. Like I stated, even the bottom trim comes normal with symmetrical all-wheel drive and Subaru’s EyeSight driver help know-how that comes with lane maintaining help and sway warning, adaptive cruise management, pre-collision braking, and pre-collision throttle administration.
The Legacy in base 2.5i trim comes with 17-inch wheels, a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with 4 audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite tv for pc radio. All trim fashions of the 2019 Subaru Legacy are additionally outfitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as commonplace gear, and that’s good. You get all of this for lower than $23okay. You additionally get a 2.5-liter Boxer motor that churns out 175-horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, which is mated to a CVT transmission.
Rapidly, the 2019 Subaru Legacy in base trim is beginning to appear to be wonderful worth, proper? The two.5i Premium trim provides greater 17-inch alloys, a 10-way energy driver’s seat, dual-zone local weather management, a leather-based steering wheel, a bigger Eight-inch touchscreen interface, and 6 audio system for lower than $25okay. The Sport trim begins at lower than $27okay and provides 18-inch alloys, LED fog lights, and keyless ignition. The Sport mannequin additionally will get rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring for added security.
The Restricted trim receives an upgraded suspension system together with full leather-based upholstery and a 12-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system for lower than $30okay. Lastly, the top-end three.6R Restricted will get you a much bigger and throatier six-cylinder Boxer motor with 256-horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque. With a beginning worth of round $31,000 the three.6R Restricted additionally comes with twin exhaust and turn-adapting LED headlights.
The bottom 2.5-liter Boxer motor could also be quiet and clean, however it feels a bit sluggish in comparison with the four-cylinder motors within the Mazda6 and Ford Fusion. However it could actually return 34/25 mpg whereas the six-cylinder Boxer can obtain 28/20 mpg. The CVT can also be tame and sluggish to reply nevertheless it does have simulated shifts to make it really feel such as you’re piloting a correct six-speed auto.
With regards to worth, it’s exhausting to disregard the 2019 Subaru Legacy. You will want to pay extra money if you need an all-wheel drive Fusion, whereas the Mazda6 is just bought in front-wheel drive. The Legacy shines if you want it most, comparable to when confronted with tough or demanding terrain.
All of our three midsize sedan contenders are wonderful options to the Camry and Accord. The 2018 Mazda6 is the right selection for fanatic drivers. The 2019 Ford Fusion is a wonderful household hauler with respectable ranges of sportiness. The 2019 Subaru Legacy presents one of the best bang for the buck on this class. All issues thought-about, although, it’s the Mazda6’s dynamics – and dynamic seems – that push it to the highest of our listing.