Difference Between the Mazda6 & Mazda3


The Mazda3 and Mazda6, while sharing several option packages, are two entirely different vehicles. The Mazda3 is positioned as a small car in the automotive marketplace, while the Mazda6 is considered a midsized sedan. Different styling cues further differentiate the models, with the Mazda3 sporting a much more youthful design theme, while the Mazda6 appears more practical and refined. Other differences include engine choices and interior trim packages.

Engine and Transmission

  • The Mazda6, being a larger car than the Mazda3, is powered by a 2.5-liter dual overhead camshaft engine. This engine produces 170 horsepower while delivering 31 miles per gallon. The Mazda3 is powered by a 2.0-liter dual overhead camshaft engine that produces 148 horsepower and returns 33 miles per gallon. The Mazda6 has an available six-speed manual transmission as well as an available five-speed automatic transmission. The Mazda3 has a standard five-speed manual transmission as well as an available five-speed automatic.


  • The Mazda6 is a larger car than the Mazda3. Its sporty character comes from the Mazda RX-8, notably its pronounced front fenders, grill and emblem. The Mazda3 is a smaller car featuring a front grill that portrays a large, toothy smile and headlights that beam like an overjoyed kid.

Interior Options

  • The Mazda6 offers much more legroom than the Mazda3, and has more interior passenger room, at 101.9 cubic feet. The Mazda3 interior, meanwhile, measurese 94.1 cubic feet. Other interior options such as seating surfaces, vehicle amenities and trim are similar between the two cars.


  • There are six option packages available for the Mazda6, including a grand touring edition with an optional V-6 engine which carries an MSRP of $29,320. The base price of the Mazda6 is $19,990. By contrast, the Mazda3 base MSRP is $15,800 and can be optioned as a grand touring package for $22,510. All prices are effective as of March 2011.

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