2014 Mazda6 is entering its 3rd generation with an all new design and focus. The concept-drawn exterior styling certain works for us, with its stretched wheelbase, shortened length, and pushed back A-pillars. It is both more aggressive and elegant and a big step forward.
Inside, things march upscale, as well. Push button start and leather wrapped steering wheel are both standard. Mazda’s SKYACTIV fuel economy approach is fully embraced by a new 2.5 liter I4. With a super high compression ratio, horsepower jumps to 184. Transmissions are now all 6-speeds. With the auto Highway fuel economy is up 7, to a near-hybrid 38 MPG.
Gone is the 3.7 liter V6, but coming later this year is a 2.2 liter SKYACTIV turbo diesel, a first from a Japanese carmaker for the U.S.
GREG CARLOSS: Even with SKYACTIV fuel savings, the new Mazda 6 delivers surprisingly spirited performance. The balance is also good, making it even more agile and entertaining to drive. And the new facelift makes it look even better, too.
JOHN DAVIS: Available safety features include Smart City Brake Support, a low speed collision prevention system. And, available later in the year, the i-ELOOP regenerative brake system, which stores energy in a capacitor to power electrical components.
Starting around $22,000 and on sale now, the now imported 2014 Mazda6 aims to graduate from runner-up to class leader.
Engine: 2.5 liter I4
Price: Starting around $22,000