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Mazda 6 GT vs Toyota Camry SL V6 Comparison

By Trent Giunco | Photos: Nathan Jacobs, 20 Nov 2019 Comparisons

Mazda 6 GT vs Toyota Camry SL V6 - Car Comparison

Mazda’s new turbo 2.5-litre four takes on Toyota’s big-boy V6

THE CONTENDERS

If you’re looking for a replacement to the large, Aussie-built six-cylinder sedan, then both the Mazda 6 and the Toyota Camry have plenty to offer. Officially classed as mid-size rivals both of these Japanese contenders offer loads of space, decent power and, believe it or not, keen dynamics. In terms of price, only two slabs of beer separate the $43,990 6 GT and $44,090 SL V6.

Mazda’s venerable 6 has long been a favourite in the Wheels office, especially since it dropped the ‘26’ from its badge. With a model refresh bringing a new interior and the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder from the CX-9, the perennial overachiever is ready to take on all.

The Camry, on the other hand, is a beacon of staid motoring and sales success. In this V6 guise, it’s missing Toyota’s appealing hybrid tech, though the 3.5-litre donk is surprisingly punchy and the ‘funkier’ exterior styling is certainly eye catching.

Mazda 6 GT vs Toyota Camry SL V6 Rear

EQUIPMENT AND VALUE

The GT-spec Mazda is left wanting for little in overall specification; about the only thing you don’t get are ventilated seats. Mazda’s own infotainment is antiquated, so good thing there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A few key standard features are the Bose audio system, head-up display, keyless entry, along with a vast array of safety kit, highlighted by Emergency Brake Assist.

Like the 6, the Camry is suitably kitted out and has electrically adjustable leather seats and a decent-size touchscreen. One glaring omission is the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Instead you’re forced to use the Toyota infotainment, which looks and feels dated. Curiously, the Camry has ventilated but not heated seats.

Ultimately, both enter the $40K bracket, which isn’t exactly cheap. However, the 6 is the better deal given the equipment level for the price. It’s the one more private buyers will opt for, while the Camry goes to fleets. 

Read next: Active safety features explained 

Mazda 6 GT dash

SPACE AND COMFORT

In terms of overall space, the Camry offers slightly more room inside the cabin. Both have decent glasshouses but the Camry does offer greater head and toe room for rear passengers. However, despite the Toyota’s size advantage, it’s the 6’s cabin that feels lighter and airier.

If boot size is a priority, then the Camry offers the most capacious at 524 litres. Sans hybrid tech, the floor is flat and the opening is wide. However, at 474 litres, you’d hardly call the 6’s boot small. And if you need more space, Mazda has a wagon version.

Cabin ambience is an area where the 6 shines. It looks and feels like a more expensive product. The fit and finish, as well as the materials, are top-notch.

The Camry can’t match the level of quality in the 6. The Mazda’s high-end touch points and Audi-like design make it a space you really want to be in.

Read next: Boot sizes of popular sedans

Toyota Camry SL V6 Driving

HOW THEY DRIVE

Both the 6 and the Camry have enough power for their respective front wheels. In some conditions there’s too much for the front axle – especially with Toyota’s
3.5-litre V6 feeding it all 224kW. Tied to a slick eight-speed auto, the Camry is surprisingly energetic. There’s also a level of dynamic ability that starts to contradict its cardigan-wearing reputation.

While the Mazda might be down on kilowatts, it makes up for it with a strong 420Nm, meaning the 6 feels almost as fast – although neither car is trying to be overtly sporty. The Mazda’s six-speed auto is intuitive and obedient, while the steering feel is more natural and road noise is better suppressed. The Camry has the tauter suspension, but the 6 remains engaging despite having a waftier nature.

Ultimately, both offer variants that are more fuel efficient, while the 6 is the more rewarding drive.

Read next: 2019 Mazda 6 loses twin-turbo diesel power but gains new tech

Mazda 6 GT Motor

VERDICT: HIT FOR 6

Both the 6 and the Camry have enough power for their respective front wheels. In some conditions there’s too much for the front axle – especially with Toyota’s
3.5-litre V6 feeding it all 224kW. Tied to a slick eight-speed auto, the Camry is surprisingly energetic. There’s also a level of dynamic ability that starts to contradict its cardigan-wearing reputation.

While the Mazda might be down on kilowatts, it makes up for it with a strong 420Nm, meaning the 6 feels almost as fast – although neither car is trying to be overtly sporty. The Mazda’s six-speed auto is intuitive and obedient, while the steering feel is more natural and road noise is better suppressed. The Camry has the tauter suspension, but the 6 remains engaging despite having a waftier nature.

Ultimately, both offer variants that are more fuel efficient, while the 6 is the more rewarding drive.

Read next: Top 8 environmentally-friendly cars

 Mazda 6 GT vs Toyota Camry SL V6 twin test

MODEL: MAZDA 6 GT SEDAN

Engine: 2488cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo
Max power: 170kW @ 5000rpm

Max torque:420Nm @ 2000rpm Transmission 6-speed automatic
Weight: 1607kg

0-100km/h:7.0sec (estimated)

Fuel economy:7.6L/100km

Price: $43,990

On sale: Now

 

MODEL: TOYOTA CAMRY SL V6

Engine: 3456cc V6 (600), dohc, 24v
Max power: 224kW @ 6600rpm

Max torque:362Nm @ 4700rpm

Transmission:8-speed automatic

Weight:1625kg

0-100km/h:6.7sec (estimated)

Fuel economy:8.7L/100km

Price: $44,090

On sale:Now

 

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