Mazda's climb from the red back into the black has been led by brand new vehicles like the 2014 Mazda Mazda6. This mid-size sedan not only shows off sexy good looks that have got family buyers talking, but it also showcases the investment that Mazda has made in fuel saving technologies like its Skyactiv family of engines. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 is the third member of the Japanese brand's lineup to go Skyactiv after the MAZDA3 compact and CX-5 crossover earlier in 2012, and many have sat up and noticed Mazda's new level of proficiency in an extremely competitive area of the market.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Mazda MAZDA6.
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 has been completely redesigned in order to mesh fully with the brand's new focus on providing fuel savings without sapping the life out of its bread-and-butter cars. The MAZDA6 gains an improved interior to go with its revised shape, and the choice of materials and attention to detail paid to the passenger compartment are a welcome addition. Four years after it initially hit the market, Mazda has been able to imbue the new MAZDA6 sedan with the same vitality that has always made it feel sportier than the competition from behind the wheel - in part by avoiding the temptation to pile-on weight-adding luxury affectations.
02. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Provides A Beautiful Sedan Shape
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 looks like a far more expensive vehicle than it actually is, with the sedan sporting some of the most attractive sheet metal available in its price range. The Mazda MAZDA6 features the most up-to-date interpretation of the brand's new styling language, and the result is a mature-looking sedan that exudes confidence and power without resorting to superfluous, attention grabbing body work, spoilers, or rims. Beautiful when seen in the front three-quarter view and equally alluring from the rear, the MAZDA6 has been lauded as the best-looking of the new crop of mid-size four-door automobiles.
03. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Offers Skyactiv Technology
Initially, all versions of the 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 will be offered with the same 2.5-liter, four-cylinder Skyactiv engine. 'Skyactiv' is the term that Mazda has given to the combination of direct fuel injection and variable valve timing that are a feature of its new series of motors. The 2.5-liter unit found in the MAZDA6 is tuned to provide a healthy 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, and it also offers a new exhaust manifold that improves flow and helps make it possible to achieve both respectable power without the need to fill the sedan's tank with premium fuel.
04. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Also Features An Available Turbodiesel Drivetrain
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 will be introducing a new turbodiesel drivetrain this coming summer, which will make it the first Japanese passenger car to stray into what has traditionally been Volkswagen territory. In celebration of the company's new diesel effort, Mazda chose to enter a race version of the MAZDA6 into the 24 Hours at Daytona this past January, a vehicle built around a factory version of the same 2.2-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that will soon be found in North American showrooms. Final power figures have yet to be released for the production turbodiesel option, but it is expected to produce close to 170 horses and roughly 300 lb-ft of twist, which would make it a worthy competitor to its European rivals.
05. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Can Be Paired With Two Transmission Options
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6's reputation as a sporty sedan is enhanced by the fact that it makes a six-speed manual transmission standard equipment with the car. The MAZDA6's six-speed is notable for its short and precise throws, which have long been a Mazda trademark. For those who wish to let a computer handling the gear shifting duties for them, the vehicle can also be ordered with a traditional six-speed automatic transmission. The automatic, which is included free of charge on more expensive versions of the car, features a manual mode for passing and towing.
06. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Offers Sparkling Fuel Mileage
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6's Skyactiv engine technologies combine with features such as a torque converter / wet clutch combo inside the vehicle's automatic transmission and a low 3,200 pound curb weight in order to give the sedan excellent fuel consumption figures. The auto-equipped gas-powered MAZDA6 is rated at 26-mpg in stop and go driving and 37-mpg on the highway, with numbers checking in at one mile per gallon lower for each respective measure when outfitted with the manual gearbox. This performance places the car at the front of the mid-size sedan pack. Although the diesel engine has yet to be rated for efficiency, Mazda expects a highway rating in the 40-mpg range.
07. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Delivers Above-Average Handling
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6's extensive use of high strength steel has helped the car deliver even better structural rigidity than its predecessor. This tight chassis works together with 17-inch wheels, an electric power steering system, and a redesigned suspension system out back in order to provide feedback and confident handling that is above what most would expect from an affordable commuter car. It's also possible to order the vehicle with 19-inch rims wrapped in performance rubber in order to squeeze out as much fun as possible from the lively platform.
08. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Comes In Three Trim Levels
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6's entry-level trim is called Sport, and it starts at an MSRP of $20,880. The MAZDA6 Sport comes with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, cruise control, a push button start with keyless entry, intermittent wipers, and a CD player. Upgrading to the MAZDA6 Touring (MSRP $24,495) introduces rear heating and cooling vents, an improved infotainment system, imitation leather upholstery, HD radio, a dash-mounted LCD screen, dual automatic climate control, 19-inch rims, Internet radio, a blind spot monitoring system, and Bluetooth connectivity, while the MAZDA6 Grand Touring (MSRP $29,495) includes all of the above plus LED running lights (and HID headlights), paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, a navigation system, real leather seating with front heaters, a Bose surround sound audio system, and power adjustments for the first two seating positions.
09. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Features A Full Range Of Safety Gear
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 offers an impressive amount of safety equipment, but you will have to play in the higher trim levels in order to take advantage of all of it. All versions of the car come with side curtain airbags, seat-mounted side impact airbags up front, dual forward airbags, and electronic traction and stability control. The Touring trim adds the previously-mentioned blind spot monitoring system (which also comes with rear cross traffic detection) and it can be outfitted with the Smart City Brake Support system which automatically stops the car should a pedestrian or obstacle be detected in front of the MAZDA6 at lower speeds. The Grand Touring trim makes Smart City Brake Support standard and adds the option of a lane departure warning system and a 'forward obstruction' warning system.
10. The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Enters A Shark-Infested Segment
The 2014 Mazda MAZDA6 is the right car at the right time for Mazda, especially considering just how competitive the mid-size sedan market has become of late. The MAZDA6 goes up against new versions of the Honda Accord, the Ford Fusion, and the Chevrolet Malibu, with a tweaked Toyota Camry also in the mix and a new Nissan Altima gunning for family buyers as well. Few of these cars are as attractive or as dynamically interesting as the Mazda, however, which bodes well both for its success and for the future fortunes of a re-emerging automaker.