2014 Mazda Mazda6: The pinnacle of Skyactiv technology
The real magic of the 2014 Mazda6 doesn’t happen in the cabin, and it’s only partially related to the exterior good looks. Mazda has stated that the new 6 is the pinnacle of Skyactiv technology. That means everything on the car from the ground up is aimed at making the most of what the Mazda6 is capable of achieving from an efficiency standpoint. Cars are getting heavier, and therefore less fun to drive, but Mazda is working against that mindset while also ever mindful of the increasing requirements of consumers for improved fuel economy.
Starting with the chassis, Mazda engineers were able to add more strength while dropping weight. Increased high-strength steel is the key here. Additionally, the new chassis employs aggressive front caster angles. What does that mean for the driver? More steering feel at higher speeds, less brake dive, and a better driving experience overall. In fact, the steering response is nearly the same as that of the oh-so-delightful MX-5 Miata.
A good chassis is nothing without the proper engine and transmission, of course. Under the hood of the 2014 Mazda 6 sits a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. This mill can be paired with either a six-speed automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual transmission. Additionally, you don’t have to settle for the base Sport trim if you want to row your own gears because you can also get the manual on the Touring trim. Not that the Sport trim should be considered settling, since it comes well equipped.
Mazda worked hard on the new Skyactiv-G engine, and the result of their efforts pay off when it comes to the fuel efficiency of the Mazda6. The 6MT-equipped car is rated to return 29 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. The 6AT-equipped machine does even better thanks to some engineering magic, and is rated to return 30 miles per gallon combined. It’s also no slouch from the driver’s perspective thanks to rev-matched downshifts and quick upshifts. The manual is as good as it gets because Mazda has been cranking out the best manual gearboxes for years.
Even more good news exists on the horizon too, as Mazda plans to bring a diesel version of the Mazda6 into the United States. We didn’t get to sample the oil-burning variety, but we’re nearly giddy with anticipation. The 2.2-liter turbodiesel should prove to be an excellent match for this sultry sedan. Performance and fuel efficiency can coexist, and the diesel Mazda 6 will help prove that concept.