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2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Review

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2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.5

The midsize sedan segment is filled with all-new versions of popular nameplates this year, but among them, the 2014 Mazda6 seems the most willing to break from the "appliance-car" mode in both its exterior styling and its sports-sedan-inspired handling. In a quest to improve across-the-the-range fuel economy while refusing to sacrifice dynamic handling, Mazda has filled the model with a number of related technologies under the Skyactiv umbrella. The innovations stretch from its two engines to its two transmissions to various aspects of its body and chassis structure. The Japanese carmaker has chosen to eschew a V6 in the new Mazda6, instead offering a 4-cylinder gasoline-fueled powerplant and, eventually, a 4-cylinder turbodiesel. Despite the lack of a V6, the Mazda6 is still a credible competitor to Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. In fact, we named the new sedan one of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

While many midsize sedans are plain-vanilla, the Mazda6 spices the segment up with dramatic exterior styling, innovative technology and a significant dollop of fun-to-drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

We'd never say you would be making a mistake if you chose a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, which are the segment's front-running choices, so if you don't want to stand out a bit, you might shop elsewhere.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.5
  • 8.8
  • 7.7
  • 9.3
  • 8.0
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#15

out of 26

Fuel Economy

#5

out of 25

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.3 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

The 2014 is all-new is the truest sense of the term. Not only is the body shape utterly new, so too are the engines, transmissions and virtually every mechanical bit.

Driving the MAZDA6
2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions We have to admit there are times when driving the new Mazda6 that we would've preferred the added horsepower a V6 would have given us. But most buyers in the...

... midsize segment opt for 4-cylinder power, and the 2.5-liter, 184 horsepower Skyactiv-G engine is a willing enough performer. By designing the body, engine and transmissions at the same time, Mazda engineers were able to tailor the body and chassis to match the other components, resulting in a lighter yet stiffer body, which offers more precise handling. At the same time, the suspension was optimized to enable more confident cornering. We also appreciated the very quick 15.5:1 ratio offered by the fully electric power steering. Those who seek ride comfort above all else might find the Mazda6 a trifle harsh at times, but we will make that trade to gain better handling capabilities.

SKYACTIV-G ENGINE
With an almost diesel-like 13:1 compression ratio, the Mazda6's 4-cylinder gasoline engine wrings eight percent more horsepower and nearly 11 percent more torque than the MZR 2.5-liter gasoline-fired engine Mazda used previously.

I-ELOOP ENERGY CAPTURE
The ingenious I-Eloop system uses a capacitor – not a more expensive and slow-to-charge battery – to gather energy that would otherwise be lost while the Mazda6 is coasting, and the stored energy is used to power ancillary equipment.

2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Details
2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

We think the interior of the Mazda6 is among the most upscale in the segment. The dash sweeps gracefully from driver's to passenger's side, but while the passenger side offers only a large expanse of soft-touch materials, the driver is presented with a dense cluster of highly legible instruments, gauges and knobs. It's a not-so-subtle bow to the car's "driver orientation." Another is the Mazda6's small-diameter steering wheel that feels great to the touch. Well-bolstered 6- or 8-way power-adjustable driver's seats are standard on all but the lowest trim level, which is equipped with a 6-way manually adjustable driver's seat. Rear legroom is among the most generous in the midsize segment thanks in part to the car's 111.4-inch wheelbase.

Exterior
2014 Mazda MAZDA6 photo

The Mazda6's pretty face and voluptuous curves immediately capture the attention of midsize-car buyers, who too often are offered safe, conservative designs. Mazda designers took more chances by basing the new model on Mazda's well-regarded Takeri concept vehicle. Among the important elements are the long hood, rearward-set windshield and muscular haunches over the rear wheels. The Mazda6 also echoes and refines the Takeri's bold front end with its sweeping "wing," prominent Mazda badge, and finely sculptured lower valance. From both front and rear, the emphasis is on width, giving the 2014 Mazda6 the curb presence of a more expensive car.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The entry-level I-Sport trim level is equipped with the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine and Skyactiv-MT 6-speed manual transmission. It also offers 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels – the largest standard wheels in the competitive set – plus power-operated side-view mirrors and automatic headlight shutoff. Push-button start, cloth seats, power windows with a driver's side 1-touch auto up/down feature, 60/40-split fold-down rear seats, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise control functions, and air conditioning with a pollen filter are also standard features. The standard entertainment system is a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system that can deliver MP3/SiriusXM satellite radio reception.

Optional Equipment

In this era of connectivity, the Mazda6 features all-new infotainment options. A 5.8-inch in-dash touch screen tops the center console, and it controls phone, audio and navigation functions. Other available features include Bluetooth connectivity and iPod audio with the familiar information accessible via the touch screen. Grand Touring models feature an 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System. When a smartphone is connected, text messages can be shown on the touch screen, and the system can voice the messages and allow users to send replies using fixed phrases. A speech recognition system allows users to search and manipulate audio tracks. The most interesting new bit of optional safety equipment is the Smart City Brake Support system designed to assist a driver in avoiding frontal collisions when traveling at speeds of less than 19 miles per hour.

Under the Hood
2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Engine photo

At introduction only the Skyactiv-G gasoline engine will be available in the Mazda6. It features a radical 13:1 compression ratio for greater efficiency, facilitated by an all-new exhaust manifold design that necessitated a new body structure. Equally innovative are the Skyactiv-MT 6-speed manual transmission and the Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed automatic. The latter employs aspects of both torque-converter and dual-clutch transmissions to deliver both excellent low-speed feel and admirably quick shifts. The transmissions are lightweight and help the Mazda6 turn in segment-topping gasoline-only fuel economy. Waiting in the wings is the Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter "clean-diesel" engine that will arrive some six months or so after launch.

2.5-liter inline-4
184 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
185 lb-ft of torque @ 3,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25 city/37 highway (manual), 26/38 mpg (automatic)

Starting at right around $21,000 (MSRP), the base 2014 Mazda6 is value-priced versus its top-tier Japanese brand competitors like Accord, Camry and Altima. Although it is as all-new as a car can be, the base i Sport is priced only $155 more than the previous model. The mid-level i Touring trim (around $25,000 including destination charge) includes virtually all the features of the i Sport model plus extras like dual-zone automatic climate control and a 6-way power driver's seat. The top-of-the-line i Grand Touring starts close to (but still under) $30,000, and it features a wide variety of additions including unique 19-inch platinum silver alloy wheels, a power moonroof, and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. For a more precise look at the prices consumers are currently paying, please view our Fair Purchase Price pages. We expect that the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 will not hold its value quite as well as the Accord or Camry, but that hit might be offset by a lower purchase price.

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2014 Mazda MAZDA6 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 102 Ratings for the 2014 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Nice Family car for long trips

By on Friday, January 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "No motion sickness, great auto transmission"

Cons: "Interior Lights can kill battery"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car keeps everyone in my family happy. My wife and sons don't get motion sickness on winding roads like all the other cars we have tried and its fun to drive. I'm not sure what Mazda has done to the suspension that's different from all the other midsize cars (we tried everything from Ford, Kia, Toyota and Honda) but it's the only car that doesn't make my wife motion sick. The suspension is slightly stiffer than the Kia, Toyota, Honda but softer than the Ford. The interior noise is slightly more than the Honda but not by much. The automatic transmission is the best I have driven in any car of any type. It is smooth shifting quiet and quick. After it learns your driving (a couple hundred miles, I know because it looses its settings after the battery goes dead, see con section below) it seems it's never in the wrong gear. The manual mode is great too and allows very precise and quick shifts which allows precise engine breaking for long down slopes. The car handles the curves nicely without being too harsh or rolling too much and the breaking is smooth and linear and handles dry roads to slick ice well. The steering has the best driver feedback of all the current midsize cars. On long stretches of highway the car seems to glide along effortlessly but never puts you to sleep. The blind spot monitoring system and backup monitoring is brilliant. Its never obtrusive and extremely reliable and it definitely adds an extra layer of safety to everyday driving without being annoying. The interior is exactly like I like it simple, clean and convenient. Modern Hondas are exactly the opposite, with lots of very complicated and confusing controls, so if you like Honda interiors you will probably dislike the Mazda 6 interior and vice-versa. Fuel economy in my car is entirely dependent on the driver. It never gets bad economy but it can get amazing economy. My Brother drives like the police are chasing him and gets about 26mpg but on long trips I can drive it gently and get 45mpg easily, my wife gets about 33mpg average. The cars fuel monitor is almost exactly 9% pessimistic in my car reporting 9% less mpg than I actually get. I keep a log of every fill-up and its always consistent. The interior is roomy even with two car seats an adult can sit in the back comfortably and the two front seats keep plenty of leg room for anyone under 6 feet tall. My friend who is 6'4" cannot fit comfortably in the drivers seat but another who is 6'1" can. I'm 5'9" and I fit great, my wife is 4'11" and she fits great. So I can't recommend the car for a driver who is much over 6' tall but even very short drivers like my wife fit great with great visibility. Cons: The automatic cabin light system can drain the battery. My sons love to play with any buttons they can find and there are several ways to turn on the cabin lights so that they stay on continuously which will drain the battery if your not careful, everything else in the car shuts off after a while just not the cabin lights in specific modes. A good design is like Fords I have owned, they shut off everything accidentally left on after an hour or so. Also the I-drive knob (or some other such stupid name) between the passenger and driver seats is stupid and useless but at least its not intrusive, everyone simply ignores it. My wife doesn't like the sound of the trunk when it closes she says it sounds cheap. The other doors sound nice when you close them."

19 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Pizza Delivery :D

By on Monday, December 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, looks, LED headlights, gas mileage"

Cons: "Tiny things, steering wheel leather fades quickly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I actually owned a 2014 Mazda 6 Sport from May to December of 2014. Once I saw the Grand Touring model on the street, I traded it in within a month for it. Since getting my GT in mid December of 2014, I have put almost 20,000 miles on my car. I actually delivery pizza and I couldn't think of a better car to drive every day, I love it. I get so many compliments, people thinking the car costs $40K< and turns so many heads even though the car has almost been out for 2 years. I can't think of a single complaint about this car, everything about it is perfect."

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

You won't be sorry with this gorgeous car

By on Sunday, December 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun, gorgeous, thrifty and all sport"

Cons: "Noisy on a rough road, hard to get in and out"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this vehicle about 5 months now and have a second car so it doesn't get a ton of miles on it. But, every time I take it out for a drive, I enjoy myself. The car could probably use a few more horsepower to be a super driver, but it also gets great gas mileage. I don't really feel its underpowered, I would say its adequately powered for most situations. No, you won't scream from the stoplight, but it has sprightly acceleration and its smooth. When you need to speed up on the highway, you simply go faster without any harsh transmission kicks. I used the cruise control on a mountain pass and you literally could not feel the switches in RPM's and shifts. The Bose stereo option is excellent. Everything in the car is where you expect it to be and of good quality although I'm not in love with the look or feel of the headlight and wiper arms on the steering wheel. I've had much more expensive sport sedans and this is on a par with all of them. It is a perfect mix of fun to drive with a great value and great gas mileage on regular to boot. It is a long time between fill ups. One other minor gripe is as a tall guy, it isn't an easy car to get in and out of, being so low to the ground and I have to watch my head on the door too, but once in, I'm very comfortable for a long drive."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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