The sharply styled 2014 Mazda Mazda6 has gotten out of the gate in fine fashion, enjoying a 172.3 percent sales spike in June, when the brand delivered 3,840 units. But that was with only one member of the Mazda6 team on the brand’s sales roster, and there’s more to come. The current SKYACTIV gasoline model will eventually be joined by a diesel-powered derivative, also with SKYACTIV technologies, as well as a version with the industry’s first capacitor-based regenerative-braking system.
That’s the model in the spotlight today, as the automaker now has released both pricing and fuel economy numbers for the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 with its high-tech “i-ELOOP” system. Per the EPA, Mazda’s midsized sedan will be able to achieve 28 mpg city/40 mpg highway/32 mpg combined with its new efficiency-enhancing technology, which will launch on the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 Grand Touring model (priced from $29,695) as part of its GT Technology Package (requiring an additional $2,080). The bottom line here: $31,775.
Of course, at that price point, the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 also provides a wealth of other premium upgrades, highlighted by Grand Touring features like heated and leather-trimmed seats, a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio system, navigation, a 5.8-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming, 19-inch wheels and LED exterior lighting. In addition, along with the i-ELOOP system, the Tech package brings features like:
- Lane-departure warning
- High-beam control
- Radar-based cruise control
- Forward-obstruction warning
- Active grille shutters
- A “Sport” mode for improved driving dynamics
"Mazda is again changing the game of automotive engineering, this time making fuel efficiency not seem as a compromise but a true complementary feature as part of the complete vehicle package," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda’s North American Operations. "With the addition of i-ELOOP, the 2014 Mazda6 will achieve the best mileage for a non-hybrid midsize sedan. But fuel economy isn't the sole focus of our engineering and design teams, as being a leader in dynamics, design and safety create a win-win for the company and consumers."
2014 Mazda Mazda6: The i-ELOOP Advantage
The i-ELOOP system on the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 captures braking energy that would otherwise be lost during deceleration, stores it onboard the vehicle, and then uses that power to help take some of the electrical load off the engine for better fuel economy. But while that kind of functionality is nothing new for today’s hybrid vehicles, the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 marks a breakthrough by relying on capacitors, not batteries, to store that recaptured braking energy.
The advantage for the Mazda comes because capacitors can be charged and discharged quicker than batteries, while also being more resistant to deterioration under long-term use.
With the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 i-ELOOP model on its way to dealerships, and the 2014 Honda Accord adding a “regular” hybrid model to its lineup, there will soon be 10 midsize sedans capable of getting at least 30 mpg in combined driving:
- Honda Accord Hybrid—49 mpg city/45 mpg highway/47 mpg combined; MSRP TBD
- Ford Fusion Hybrid—47/47/47; $26,200
- Toyota Camry Hybrid—43/39/41; $26,140
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid—36/40/38; $25,650
- Kia Optima Hybrid—36/40/38; $25,900
- Mazda Mazda6 (i-ELOOP)—28/40/32; $31,775
- Nissan Altima—27/38/31; $21,760
- Mazda Mazda6—26/38/30; $22,495
Also, both the Fusion and Accord can be ordered with plug-in hybrid powertrains that deliver non-negligible all-electric driving capabilities. The Ford Fusion Energi starts at $38,700, posts an EPA line of 44/41/43 while using gasoline, and can deliver a 21-mile EV driving range at 100 MPGe combined. The Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid goes 47/46/46 under gas power, then can travel up to 13 miles on electricity alone at 115 MPGe combined; its MSRP is $39,780.