SKYACTIV technologies have landed in the all-new 2014 Mazda Mazda6, which is at dealerships now with a price tag that opens at $20,880. That puts it down near the bottom of the midsize-sedan pricing spectrum—only the 2013 VW Passat has a lower MSRP in the segment, at $20,845—yet thanks to that SKYACTIV stuff, designed to squeeze every drop of efficiency out of naturally aspirated internal combustion engines, the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 also will be up near the very top of the fuel-efficiency rankings for the class.
When its 184-hp 3.5-liter I4 engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission in the entry-level car, the Mazda6 will serve up fuel-economy marks of 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway/29 mpg combined. Laying out the additional $1,615 necessary to add an automatic transmission brings an additional 1 mpg in all phases of EPA testing, along with additional standard content like Bluetooth for calling and music streaming, a 5.8-inch color touchscreen, voice control for audio functions, a rearview camera, an interface for Pandora Internet radio and more.
That’s a nicely equipped package, and, at $22,495, is a reasonable $735 more than the only other mid-size sedan in the country that’s able to break 36 mpg on the highway in its least-expensive automatically transmissioned model. (Which would be the 2013 Nissan Altima, priced at $21,760 and owning an EPA line of 27/38/31.)
Then, to help ensure the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 is ready to join the mainstream, it will offer an extensive array of advanced safety measures—adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-departure alert, blindspot warning, etc., etc.—as well as two unique advantages that promise even more fuel-efficiency gains.