It has been about five years since we last saw an “all-new” Mazda6, and that was about five years after Mazda first introduced the new midsize sedan to the world as a replacement for the 626. In that time it’s made valiant attempts at grabbing marketshare from key competitors Accord and Camry, but efforts always fell short – until now.
All that is pretty much changed with the 2014 Mazda6, as Mazda may just have the secret weapon it needs to best those global behemoths of the industry. The midsize sedan segment is crowded with worthy vehicles loaded with new technology, comfortable driving experiences and value-based packaging. So how does one go about garnering attention and, more importantly, consumer dollars? You build the Mazda6.
Released about a year ago, the 2014 Mazda6 was strongly influenced by the Takeri Concept that made the auto show rounds a short while before release of the 6. Architects followed the new KODO “Soul of Motion” design language in creating the unique looks of this car, making it perhaps the most attractive vehicle on the road in its class.
Adding to the allure of the new 6 is a radical powertrain approach by engineers in doing away with a six-cylinder offering and giving the sedan its new Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 184hp and 185 lb. ft. of torque to the front wheels while delivering a whopping 28 mpg city and 40 – that’s right, 40 – mpg on the highway, and all in royal comfort for up to five adult occupants.
The new Mazda6 is the epitome of the tagline “great little car” and it is not little. The midsize sedan offers a host of creature comforts, safety features and new technologies designed to improve the driving experience.
Some standout features include new i-ELOOP regenerative braking similar to that found in hybrid vehicles with energy recaptured during braking and sent back to the electrical system; active grille shutters can close at highway speeds improving aerodynamics and with it, fuel economy; Smart City Brake Support to aid drivers in avoiding collisions under 20 mph with automatic brake application; and soon the automaker will bring its clean diesel engine variant to North America.
All models are currently offered with choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, with our loaded Grand Touring tester arriving with the latter that included steering wheel shift paddles and manual shift mode. It was outfitted with 19-inch alloy wheels shod with all-season rubber. The car utilized electric power steering and features independent front and rear suspension with stabilizer bars fore and aft.
Inside the cabin is a comfortable cockpit with leather seating (thanks, GT) and a host of amenities including Bose premium 11-speaker sound system with satellite and HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity and auxiliary inputs, navigation system with voice recognition, push-button start and a host of other features.
Pricing for the 2014 Mazda6 begins at under 21 grand for a base Sport model with our Grand Tourer arriving at $32,845.
Mazda has taken a big swing for the fences with this 2014 Mazda6, and from everything I discovered during my week behind the wheel they have hit a home run. The car is fun, dynamic, smooth, quiet and, in my opinion, one of the sexiest-looking on the road today.