Here’s our latest review! This time we get some time behind the wheel of the all-new 2014 Mazda6.
The midsize sedan segment is one of the most competitive segments in the US and for years it’s been dominated by models like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. In the past year it’s gotten even tougher for automakers competing in the segment since Honda, Ford and Nissan all released new models. Now Mazda has put its hat in the ring with its all-new 2014 Mazda6, which makes you take notice with its sexy Kodo design and efficient SkyActiv technology under the hood.
The last generation Mazda6 was a great sedan, but was often forgotten in the segment. Now Mazda is pulling out all the stops with the new one to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Let’s start with the exterior. Mazda has already applied its new Kodo design language to the CX-5 crossover where it works very well and that same statement can be made about the Mazda6. It’s sexy curves are a fresh alternative to more conservatively styled sedans like the Camry and Accord. The new Maxda6 is pretty much on par with the new Ford Fusion in the styling department. It’s new muscular fenders, aggressive grille and sexy rear end make this one midsize sedan that you definitely do not have to feel embarrassed to drive.
Inside the thrills are a bit less exciting, but everything is laid out as it should be and the materials are on par with the rest of the class. Our middle trim Mazda6 Touring didn’t have leather seats, but at least the leatherette was a nice step up from the standard cloth seats. Our major gripes with the interior were with its audio system which failed to connect to any of the several MP3/ iPod devices we had in the car and the overall audio system’s interface. The small screen for the audio system felt like an afterthought and could have been better integrated into the overall design of the dashboard. Also for some reason our tester’s audio system had buttons for the navigation system, but that’s not an option on this trim level. You can imagine how annoying it would be to see a navigation button when your lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Lastly that sexy exterior we love does come at a few costs to interior space, with the Mazda6 not feeling as spacious as the Accord.
Under the hood the 2014 Mazda6 is offered with only one engine, the new 2.5L SkyActiv four-cylinder that puts 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are offered. Our tester was equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, which transformed the sedan into a quasi sport sedan. The Mazda6’s six-speed manual is one of the best in the class with its short throws and near perfect linkage. But with only 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque under the hood you have to really rev Mazda6 to get going.
Although the we wished for a bit more power, its suspension is again one of the best in the class. The Mazda6’s handling was fluid and its steering was well centered and quick. The Mazda6 manual is rated at 25/37, while the six-speed automatic with the i-eloop technology is rated at 28 city/40 highway. We averaged 31 mpg in our tester, but that was due to the non-stop traffic we experienced heading out to the Hamptons for the weekend.
If you’re in the market for a midsize sedan and also love to drive, the Mazda6 should be at the top of your list. Compared to the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, the Mazda6 earns the title of the “driver’s car.”
2014 Mazda6 Touring
Base Price: $24,440
Price as Tested: $24,740