Late last year when I was doing the radio show live from the DFW Auto Show, I saw the 2014 Mazda6 up close for the first time. From a distance, I was not sure what it was, and as I got closer, I was shocked to find out it was the new Mazda6. It is a real head turner.
The first Mazda6 came out in 2003, and it was a contender with the Camrys and Accords of the world. Version 2.0 came out in 2009 and I thought it was a nice car, but did not keep up the quality or styling of the competition. Now comes the 2014 model, a totally new car with bold styling and one that lives up to the Zoom-Zoom name.
My review vehicle this week is the Grand Touring package, in Snowflake White Pearl with Almond leather interior. The paint is beautiful and is a bargain as a $200 option. The exterior looks of this car is stunning with the changes for 2014. It has new lines starting at the bold in-your-face grill. The hood is long, the roofline slopes much like a coupe, and although I rarely remark on tail lights, the Mazda6 has some cool ones. The Grand Touring comes with 19” wheels and dual exhaust, which finishes out the overall look of a car that could be mistaken for a Lexus or Audi at a glance.
Inside, the Mazda6 has a very nice leather interior with heated front seats. The dash is well laid out, and you can run the radio, navigation system, and change all the settings either by touching the screen, or using controls in the center console. Steering wheel controls are easy to operate, and it has shift paddles if you want to maximize the power bands of the car. Headroom and legroom for the front passengers is very good, headroom for the rear seat passengers will be tight for people over 6’ due to the sloping roofline.
Under the hood, you get a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that is rated at 185-horses, although it feels like more than that due to the light curb weight of the car. At just 3300 pounds, it is one of most svelte midsized sedans out there. You can get a six-speed manual in the base version, but my tester has the six-speed automatic.
Notable standards features on the Grand Touring include power moon roof, power driver’s seat, navigation system, Bose sound system, and Bluetooth. You also get climate controlled air conditioning, push button start, keyless remote entry, and rearview camera. Options on my review car include the pearl paint, and the Mazda radar controlled cruise control, aka adaptive cruise control.
The Mazda6 drives quite well, and it handles really tight. Steering is very light and responsive. Interior noise is much improved for 2014 and is minimal, even at 75 miles per hour.
If you watch a lot of ads, you’ve heard of Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. In short, SkyActiv is a series of technologies developed by Mazda which increase fuel efficiency and engine output, as well as new engines, transmissions, and changes to the body and chassis. It all works in concert on the Mazda6. The car gets exceptional fuel economy and it feels like it has a lot more than 185 horses.
The Mazda6 is an outstanding value and a real contender in the red-hot midsized car segment. Later this year, we get a diesel version of this car and I think it is going to be a huge hit.
What I liked most: The exterior appeal and fuel economy.
What I would change: Navigation system seems antiquated.
Fuel Economy: 26 City/38 Highway. Getting 27 in town and 37 on the highway.
Warranty: 36 month/36,000 bumper-to-bumper, 5 years/60,000 mile powertrain and roadside assistance.
2014 Mazda6 in a few words: Zoom-Zoom is alive and well in the Mazda6!
Dealers: We have dealers in the following markets if you would like to purchase a Mazda6: DFW, Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Phoenix. Click link to connect directly to a dealer in your area: http://www.carprousa.com/car-pro-approved-dealers/