Serving up a solid measure of style, sportiness, economy and practicality, the Mazda Mazda6 moved to the head of KBB's Cost to Own class in the Mid-Size Car realm for 2015. Armed with a full suite of Mazda's efficiency-enhancing SkyActiv design technologies and bristling with zoom-zoom attitude, this front-drive 4-door will add an unexpected measure of fun to even the most mundane daily drive. Fully remade for 2014, the Mazda6's enhanced appeal also extends to its price of entry. While the base Sport model with a 6-speed manual transmission formally starts just under $22,000 and a range-topping Grand Touring with 6-speed autoshifter opens around $30,500, KBB Fair Pricing figures show many buyers often end up paying less.
Borrowing numerous styling cues from Mazda's Takeri concept car, the Mazda6 makes a bold visual statement which is reinforced by standard alloy wheels across the lineup. Its clean, contemporary and comfortable passenger compartment boasts even more features for 2015, and offers a new eponymously-named Touring Moonroof/Bose/Satellite Radio Package for the mid-range trim.
All Mazda6 variants share a spirited 184-horsepower/2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, but Grand Touring models can add Mazda's trick i-ELOOP (Intelligent Energy Loop) system as part of a Technology Package that also brings Radar Cruise Control, Forward Obstruction Warning, a Lane Departure Warning System, and High Beam Control. Working with active grille shutters, this capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system converts kinetic energy into electricity under deceleration and helps raise the car's EPA highway rating to 40 mpg.
As a final value-enhancing flourish, the 2015 Mazda Mazda6 also boasts a 5-Star Safety Rating from NHTSA and has earned a Top Safety Pick+ designation from IIHS.