2016 Mazda MAZDA6 vs Subaru Legacy

2016 Mazda MAZDA6 vs Subaru Legacy

If you’re looking for a mid-size sedan, Mazda and Subaru offer two attractive options. Today, Carsforsale.com is comparing the 2016 Mazda MAZDA6 vs Subaru Legacy. We’ll analyze pricing, specs, performance, design, safety, and features to help you decide which mid-size sedan will best fit your needs.

Mazda6 Overview (base)

Engine: $21,495

Horsepower: 2.5L 4-cylinder

Fuel Economy: 25 City / 37 Hwy

MSRP: From $21,495

2016 Mazda MAZDA6 Review


The 2016 Mazda6 looks unlike any other car in the class. With a slight facelift in 2016, the Mazda6 has menacing, yet elegant sculpting. Its sporty presence stands out on the road and shatters the “family sedan” mold. The rear of the car is more detailed than before. Muscular fenders and an arched roofline truly set this sedan apart visually.

2016 Mazda MAZDA6

Inside the 2016 Mazda6, you’ll find a new dash and improved overall design. Material quality has improved slightly, and attractive silver trim is more abundant. Overall, the layout follows a circular, symmetrical theme. Without being overly flashy, the Mazda6 interior is modern and attractive.

2016 Mazda MAZDA6 interior

Front seats are both spacious and comfortable. Because of the roofline, rear seating may not have adequate headroom for taller drivers. The Mazda6 offers a large trunk with folding rear seats, offering great cargo space for its class.


A 2.5L 4-cylinder SkyActiv engine with FWD is standard across the board with either a 6-speed automatic or manual. Producing 184 hp and 185 lb ft of torque, this sedan has excellent handling, ride, and steering. The output of this engine is great for a 4-cylinder, but performance-minded drivers may want more. Sport mode is available with an automatic transmission.

2016 Mazda MAZDA6 performance

The Mazda6 is very efficient, achieving an estimated 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway in the base model. The Mazda6 earns 2 mpg better in the city and on the highway with the available i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.


The 2016 Mazda6 earned perfect crash test scores from both the NHTSA and IIHS. Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts, smart city brake support, forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, and more. Backup camera comes with every automatic transmission Mazda6.


Every Mazda6 comes with perks like push-button start, keyless entry, 7-inch screen, Mazda Connect infotainment, Bluetooth, and more. Upgraded models received, improved audio, leather seating, navigation, dual-zone climate control, paddle shifters, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, heated mirrors, fog lamps, and more.

2016 Mazda MAZDA6 moon roof


Subaru Legacy Overview (base)

Engine: 2.5L 4-cylinder

Horsepower: 175

Fuel Economy: 26 City / 36 Hwy

MSRP: From $21,745

2016 Subaru Legacy Overview (base)


On the outside, the 2016 Subaru Legacy is a handsome, no-nonsense choice. The Legacy is full of Subie DNA, but looks more like a family sedan than a sports sedan. The front features a trapezoidal Subaru grille and a blunt presence. Side-sculpting is attractive, and the back features a small logo with very typical sedan appearance.


The interior of the Subaru Legacy strikes a good balance between luxurious and simple. Temperature controls are placed low, below either a touch screen or display screen. The shift knob is place toward the driver, while inline cup holders are set toward passenger. Materials are soft touch and high quality, giving the cabin a modern feel.


Passenger space is as good as you could expect for a mid-size sedan. The trunk has a wide opening, and rear 60/40-split folding seats are great for longer items. Cargo and passenger space feel almost like that of a full-size sedan.



AWD comes standard on every Legacy. Drivers of the 2016 Subaru Legacy choose between the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine or a 3.6L 6-cylinder engine. This sedan is characterized by confident handling and precise control. Acceleration with the 4-cylinder engine is only average. The 6-cylinder engine isn’t jaw droppingly fast, but it’s a nice upgrade from the base engine.


While vehicles with AWD tend to be less efficient, the Subaru Legacy is a competitive option. The base 4-cylinder engine achieves 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The 6-cylinder option is less efficient, achieving 20 mpg city and 29 mph highway.


With perfect ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS and optional Subaru Eyesight, the Legacy is an over-achiever in the safety department. Rearview camera comes standard, while adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, blind spot detection, lane departure and sway warnings, pre-collision braking, and more are optional as part of the Subaru Eyesight suite.


Every 2016 Subaru Legacy comes with rearview camera, USB port, Subaru Starlink, iPod port, and the expected power accessories. Upgraded features include moonroof, 6.2-inch touchscreen, navigation, USB, keyless start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and more.


2016 Mazda MAZDA6 vs Subaru Legacy Winner:

Base model: Subaru Legacy        

With standard AWD, the Legacy has incredible value at the base level. Every Legacy also comes with iPod connectivity, rearview camera, infotainment, USB, and more.

Upgrades: Mazda MAZDA6

Fully stacked Mazda6 sedans come with the new i-ELOOP system mentioned earlier, providing great efficiency and power. Mazda offers similar safety and tech as the fully loaded Legacy, but the Mazda6 is extremely fun to drive in comparison.

Overall Winner:  2016 Mazda MAZDA6

In an extremely close matchup comparing the 2016 Mazda MAZDA6 vs Subaru Legacy, we’ve selected the 2016 Mazda6 as our winner. Mazda takes the edge over Subaru thanks to a superior driving experience, slightly better efficiency, and an extremely attractive exterior. The Mazda6 is arguably the best looking car in the class. Subaru comes very close, providing AWD and the highly acclaimed Subaru Eyesight safety system, but the 2016 Mazda6 comes out on top.

2016 Mazda MAZDA6 exterior

Mazda6 or Legacy? Let us know your favorite in the comments below!