Yes, the 6 has migrated to the center of the mid-size sedan bell curve. And though like everyone else, I'd prefer spunky, lithe family sedans (both the Suzuki Kizashi and the Volkswagen Jetta fit that bill), you can't really blame Mazda for the decision. Most Americans still want as much sheetmetal as they can afford.
The 6 remains more enjoyable to drive than most V-6-powered, front-wheel-drive sedans, but the differences are now mostly in the details -- steering that's slightly quicker and more natural feeling than that of competitors, and a somewhat firmer-than-average ride.
Given that the 6's packaging and driving dynamics are now similar to the rest of the segment, it may rely more on its styling to stand out. I personally appreciate the "Nagare" themed styling, but I believe several of my colleagues disagree. That leaves me to wonder, like Eric, how Mazda expects its more mainstream mid-size to take market share from the more established competition.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor