New Car Review: 2012 Mazda 6

Front 3/4 view of 2012 Mazda 6 being driven on country road
The 2012 Mazda 6.

There are great mysteries in automotive journalism, as in life itself. The one I've been pondering lately is why you don't see more of the car pictured above on streets all over America.

The car is the 2012 Mazda 6, and as we've been telling everyone who'll listen for years, if you're shopping for a family sedan, this car absolutely needs to be on your test drive list.  Not only does it hold its own in every comparison with Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu, it's arguably a more satisfying car to drive.

Black interior of 2012 Mazda 6
The 2012 Mazda 6 interior.
That is actually just a "Mazda thing". They focus more on driver involvement...and, as we've mentioned in reviews of other Mazdas, they live up to their slogan "Always The Soul of a Sports Car".

The 2012 Mazda 6 we drove recently came from Chapman Mazda in Phoenix. And it came absolutely stock. No options. A base price of $21,240 gets you a 2.5 liter V6 with 170 horsepower and a 5-speed automatic transmission. 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, dynamic stability control, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, an AM/FM/Sirius/CD/mp3 audio system with six speakers and an auilary jack, power windows and door locks.

Tack on $795 for delivery, processing and handling and the bottom line is $22,035. Very, very, very reasonable for any family sedan...and with this one, you get the added fun quotient.

Seriously. Drive one. Thank us later.

2012 Mazda 6

Base price: $21,240.

As tested: $22,035.

Likes: Solid, roomy and fun to drive.

Dislikes: None.

EPA estimates: 22 city/31 highway.