The new 2014 Mazda6 mid-size sedan left me with a new respect for the brand. Not since my first spin in a Miata many years ago have I been this enthused about a Mazda vehicle; it’s just that special.
From the front, there’s a touch of Ford Fusion styling, while the rear shares some resemblance to the new Jaguar. But that’s not to say that this third generation Mazda6 is not its own car. With seating for five, it’s not too big and not too small, and it’s fuel efficient, competitively priced, handles with precision, is beautifully styled and fun to drive.
As for styling, the Mazda6 has an elongated cab rearward stance, muscular fenders and sweeping character lines. A pronounced crease starts at the hood and continues along the prominent front fenders then curves across the A-pillar. Another crease blends into the taillights and signature chrome wing on the trunk lid. The sleek shape delivers an impressive coefficient of drag as low as 0.26.
The Mazda6 is the second production vehicle to get the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies (ed. note: SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY is the umbrella term for a host of performance-oriented, fuel-saving engine, transmission, body and chassis components developed by Mazda and introduced in the 2012 Mazda3 compact and incorporated into the 2013 CX-5 compact SUV) and even has Mazda’s latest technology, i-ELOOP, the world’s first capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system to power all the car’s electrical systems.
Under the hood, there’s a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine that produces 184 hp at 5,700 rpm and 185 pounds-feet of torque at 3,250 rpm. This 13:1 race-car-high-compression ratio gasoline engine offers eight percent more horsepower and almost 11 percent more torque than the 2.5-liter gasoline engine it replaces. Standard equipment for all three trim levels — Sport, Touring and Grand Touring — the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L can be paired with a choice of transmissions in the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or SKYACTIV- Drive six-speed automatic. Available later this year, a SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine that will deliver higher torque and cleaner combustion, and weigh 10 percent less than the current MZR 2.2-liter diesel engine sold in other global markets.
The Mazda6 entry-level Sport trim level comes standard with a SKYACTIV-MT transmission and offers an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 25/37 mpg. Paired with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive automatic, fuel economy increases by almost 24 percent to 26/38 mpg. Touring and Grand Touring models come standard with the SKYACTIV-Drive transmission.
The 2014 Mazda6 is built on a long wheelbase at 111.4 inches and is just 72.4 inches in width. It has a sculptured, lean body with an overall length of 191.5 inches and rides on 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Touring and Grand Touring vehicles get 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
The MSRP on the 2014 Mazda6 ranges from $20,880 to $29,495.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com