Entering the midsize sedan class is much like entering a gauntlet. You have to be prepared for anything that comes your way or you're going to get hurt badly. In the midsize class, you have the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord as the top dogs, and the Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion ready to pounce. One automaker who believes they have a fighting chance is Mazda with the 2014 Mazda6. After spending some time with it, we have to agree.

For starters, the 2014 Mazda6 is a knockout in design. Pull up in one of these and no one will mistake it for anything but a Mazda. This is thanks to Mazda's new KODO design language which feature details like a five point grille, aggressive headlight design, and flowing fenders. The interior isn't as stylish as the exterior, but it's well put together and features a number of amenities such as dual-zone climate control, Bose sound system, navigation, and a sunroof.

Powering the 2014 Mazda6 is Mazda's 2.5L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. You can pair that with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. EPA rates the 2014 Mazda6 at:

  • Six-Speed Manual: 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined
  • Six-Speed Automatic: 28 City/40 Highway/32 Combined

Like all Mazdas, the 2014 Mazda6 is an absolute joy to drive. The steering is very communicative and the suspension displays sporting qualities. However, this also means that the Mazda6 isn't as smooth as other midsize sedans when driven over a bumpy road.

A 2014 Mazda6 will set you back $20,990 for the Sport with the six-speed manual and climbs up to $29,695 for the Grand Touring.