2014 Mazda 6 » Eric Peters Autos

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Mazda 6

2014 Mazda 6

by eric October 23, 2013 • 11

The 2014 Mazda6 was one of the earliest-release models. I got one to test drive in late March of this #8211; less than three months into year 2013.

The big news in addition to the bodacious new bodywork was the announcement that the new 6 would be cylinder-only. The optional V-6 had been from the roster #8211; and not return. But, there was

First, the updated #8220;SkyActiv-G#8221; 2.5 four that was the new 6#8242;s powerplant would deliver fuel economy #8211; as as 38 MPG on the highway, superb for a mid-sized and exceptional for a mid-sized sport

Second, Mazda promised a diesel four (and on the highway) later in the year.

that promise hasn#8217;t fulfilled #8211; at least, not

At the time of this review very close to November and so about eight weeks in calendar year 2014 there#8217;s still no Sky-D engine option. And, won#8217;t be until at least spring#8221; of 2014. Mazda a release a few weeks back that the delayed rollout is to #8220;accommodate final emissions and certification.#8221;

Uncle, again.

But at the diesel#8217;s still on deck.

Unfortunately, the (drop-… gorgeous) version of the new 6 isn#8217;t. It#8217;s an only deal #8211; Mazda believes not enough are interested in sportwagons.

Not Uncle, time.

Mazda#8217;s decision no sense to me. Benz and BMW and Audi and have no difficulty selling here. In the compact class, in all but name (because what the else is a #8220;four door with a fifth door ?) are common.

I wish Mazda have given the 6 wagon a here, at least.

And I hope the has not been put on the Sky-D engine because as pretty as the 6 is, without a more powerful engine #8211; or a much more efficient one #8211; it is at a competitive relative to others in this that may not be as pretty, but give you scoot or more MPGs available hybrid powertrains and so

This is a damn nice

It#8217;s just not #8211; yet a complete car.

The 6 is Mazda#8217;s Altima-Accord-Fusion-Optima fighter, the chief difference between it and other mid-sized sporty being fuel-efficient sportiness. It no offers a powerful but consumptive V-6 but it does offer a peppy and fuel-efficient four cylinder #8211; with an even fuel efficient (and sporty) turbo-diesel engine on

Well, allegedly.

Prices for the model start at $20,880 for the trim iSport #8211; vs. for a base Ford Fusion, for the base-model Nissan Altima, for a base Honda Accord and $21,200 for the base Kia Optima.

A i Gran Touring lists for #8211; vs. $30,200 for a top-of-the-line Titanium, $30,560 for a V-6 Altima SL, for an Accord Touring w/V-6 and for the turbocharged Kia Optima SX (the of the bunch).

The 2014 Mazda6 is a complete redesign cosmetically as as functionally.

When #8211; if? the diesel option becomes the 6 will be the only sport in this class to offer a powerplant (The VW Jetta a diesel, but it#8217;s a smaller the Passat diesel is larger but not especially sporty. The Chevy diesel is also smaller and not very sporty.)

WHAT#8217;S

One of the #8211; if not the #8211; best-looking in this class.

Supple, ride. Precise, engaging

New SkyActiv-enhanced 2.5 liter four much better power/performance the old four #8211; and better than most competitor equipped with their four-cylinder engines #8211; with exceptionally good gas

If it ever gets here, diesel engine will the 6 close to hybrid-car fuel with (probably) better and without (for sure) the of the hybrid layout, such as the weight of batteries and electric

WHAT#8217;S NOT SO GOOD

The 6#8242;s maxxes out at 184 hp #8211; a bit loose-toothed to several competitors#8217; available hp V-6s (and turbo

SkyActiv diesel engine be on the menu now #8211; not later.

No for us .

UNDER THE HOOD

The 6 has lost its optional V-6 and for now is available only an enhanced SkyActiv-G 2.5 liter four. It#8217;s the same as before, but Mazda has tweaked and it to get 184 hp (and 185 lbs.-ft. of torque) out of it as to 170 hp (and 167 lbs.-ft. of torque) year.

The object appears to have to bridge the gap between last too-weak/too-slow base-engined 6 #8211; and the V-6 that was optional but which one had to buy because the base four (in the old 6) getting it done, performance-wise.

Or efficiency -wise.

The updated in the new 6 rates a very solid 26 highway #8211; and gets the car to 60 in seconds, depending on the transmission: choice of six speed manual or automatic. This is an epic over the old four-cylinder 6#8242;s 9 second to 60 run #8211; and not-so-hot 21 30 highway EPA mileage stats than some of competitors with their optional and much more powerful turbo fours or up-sized

The 6 is now one of the #8211; if not the #8211; quickest cars in its class. And it is without the most fuel-efficient.

The new Honda can match the 6#8242;s 0-60 but falls short MPG-wise, an EPA rating of 27 city, 36 highway. close #8211; but no cigar. And the top numbers are only valid if you buy the variable (CVT) automatic. ordered with the available manual transmission, the Accord#8217;s at the pump drop to 24 city, 34

With the 6, you only lose 1 MPG if you the manual over the six-speed

Pretty sweet. Also is the fact that performance of the 6 with the SkyActiv four is about a second or so off the pace of year#8217;s 6 with its optional

Of course, there will be comparisons between the power/performance by the new 6 #8211; which is after a sporty-minded car #8211; and sporty-minded like the Optima and Accord, and Fusion when fitted their much stronger engines. which Mazda got an answer for at the moment.

The Fusion, for has also nixed its six #8211; it comes with fours But you can upgrade from the gimpy 175 hp to a turbo 2.0 engine that 240 hp and cuts the 0-60 time to 6.8-6.9 seconds. So equipped, the still gets decent gas too: 22 city, 33 highway.

The Kia can be equipped with a 274 hp turbo 2.0 that beats the turbo #8211; and runs circles the 6 #8211; with a 6.5 second to 60 It also carries a very (given the power/performance) EPA fuel rating of 22 city, 34 highway.

And the V-6 powered Honda Accord is ferocious: Zero to 60 in about six flat. It#8217;s not a hog, EPA says 21 city, 34 highway which isn#8217;t at all that far the Mazda#8217;s 26 city, 38 highway.

The will be the 2.2 liter Sky-D that#8217;s #8211; hope/pray #8211; on deck for next

It will #8211; reportedly deliver better acceleration the current 2.5 liter gas engine in to much higher fuel (should be mid-40s on the highway and 30 or so in driving).

Unfortunately, we#8217;re in a pattern.

The risk Mazda is that the newness halo of the 6 may have waned by the time we get to 2014. It will have on the market for more than a by the time the diesel engine available next spring/summer by which time, competitors be unveiling their 2015s .

The engine is quiet and smooth with good torque for a four. The nearly 20 ft.-lbs. in output is particularly relevant as how the car pulls at lower road (and engine RPM). is substantially more torque to last year #8211; and available almost 800 RPM sooner: at revs vs. the old non-Sky-G four#8217;s 167 at 4,000.

That means it struggle or feel flaccid you#8217;re really working it. it gets the car moving with apparent effort #8211; no to ring it out to four or five RPM just to keep up with In sum, it is an economical four doesn#8217;t behave like an four.

The only other car in segment that deserves kudos is the four-cylinder Accord but, again, to get mileage comparable, you must forgo the fun-to-drive manual transmission and the CVT automatic. With the 6, you get to have cake (very high economy) and eat it, too (excellent performance/driving

Still, the absence #8211; at the #8211; of an engine upgrade is a I think. Because the 6 is not a Camry or  It runs #8211; or looks it wants to run #8211; in the same as the Accord and Altima, the Fusion and other mid-sized sport

All of which offer engine

Good gas mileage is good certainly. But it#8217;s not everything . maybe it is for the government control who keep insisting on ratcheting it upward #8211; and to the exclusion of every other consideration. But car have different needs and

Mazda 6

This is the crux of the dilemma.

A mid seconds to 60 run isn#8217;t slow.

is it quick enough? Relative to the competition offers?

If the 6 still had its V-6 (or could be ordered with the but not-yet-here turbo-diesel four) the uptick achieved by the base would be hailed as exemplary.

It is no longer all-but-mandatory to upgrade to get snappy performance #8211; as it was last model year. The 2.5 SkyActiv four absolutely has enough to achieve freeway-matching on merge ramps  and do it quickly that you don#8217;t feel as you#8217;re driving an overloaded Geo

You will never feel way driving the new four-cylinder 6.

Unless, of you square off against a V-6 Accord or #8211; or the turbo#8217;d versions of the and Optima. The can rip the paint right off pretty fenders, unfortunately.

If the Sky-D engine gets the 6 to 60 in seconds flat #8211; or in ballpark #8211; while delivering mid-40s in the highway . that#8217;s another kettle of

The ride/handling of this car is superior.

#8211; and firm. It sounds a contradiction in terms, I know. But go for a You will find the suspension#8217;s to roll with the road jostling your guts to be top-drawer. If the road dips or a pothole drops a wheel the driver (and passengers) hardly know it.

Perhaps is due to the new car#8217;s longer wheelbase now 11.4 inches vs. 109.8 for the old But Mazda deserves credit for more than just the chassis.

  That helps but that alone does not a car make.A lot of work went tuning this car to behave #8211; to strike that and often-elusive balance between (and too harsh) and too soft too squishy).

The 2.5 liter engine is also quiet #8211; especially for a

The only deficit is you can#8217;t out of the curves like you used to be to #8211; when the 6 could be had 270-plus hp under its hood.

the new 6 is slightly smaller #8211; and #8211; than before: 2.2 shorter and about 100 pounds beefy (3,183 lbs. vs. for the #8217;13). It sits almost 1 inch lower to the ground, 57.1 inches vs.

57.9 year.

The front clip is almost feline in the way it stretches over the arched wheelwells with the arches rising a an ocean swell from the door area before wash over the tires. The grille opening, meanwhile, a lust for airflow #8211; and a for speed.

It#8217;s a pretty   a … car.

The elongated allowed Mazda to carve out 3/4 of an inch more rearseat #8211; which stands at inches for the 2014 vs. 38 for the #8217;13.

is an area where the Mazda mops the floor with the appealing Kia Optima #8211; is otherwise one of the strongest contenders in segment and arguably, the 6#8242;s competition. It has only 34.7 of backseat legroom. That#8217;s full inches less a big difference.

The Optima makes up for with 45.5 inches of seat legroom #8211; is more than any car in this by several inches, including the 6 inches). But frankly, unless an NBA forward, the Kia#8217;s 45.5 up front is an on-paper advantage and than you#8217;ll ever to be comfortably situated. I say this as a guy six feet three #8211; means I#8217;m taller longer legged) than 95 of the population.

If you#8217;re my height or you#8217;ll be fine with the 42.2 inches up front and your passengers in the second row be fine, too.

Meanwhile, if you buy the your backseat passengers be.

However, all is not sunshine and light. The of those 2.2 inches of overall from the 6#8242;s silhouette has had a meaningful downsizing effect on space #8211; which to 14.8 cubes from the old much more generous cubic foot trunk. The new trunk capacity is less many of the other cars in class, including the Fusion (16 feet), Accord (15.8 the Optima (15.4 cubic as well as the VW Passat (15.9 feet).

Though the base iSport is well-equipped (standard AC and major options, 17-inch wheel/tire LCD driver display, etc.) stuff that probably to be included #8211; like radio/Bluetooth #8211; isn#8217;t. available #8211; but extra-cost. the base car with six-speed transmission comes with a LCD display. If you order the optional automatic (which brings the up to $22,495) you get a larger (5.8 vs.

3.5 inch) display, Bluetooth/HD and a rearview back-up camera.

You can get (in Touring trims) a Smart Brake Support system can detect objects in the car#8217;s and commence braking the car automatically if the fails to notice the need to do so. I am ambivalent about the wisdom and the functionality #8211; of these

They strike me as a form of (why not encourage drivers to pay to the road as opposed to texting?) and the fact is the systems I#8217;ve miscue frequently #8211; road berms with in the road, or getting frantic a car up ahead of you slows and signals a turn. You know the turning car have turned by the time you get the system doesn#8217;t. It flashes and hits you with buzzers if you brake #8211; which can be and distracting.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The 6 is a player #8211; but a Sky-D 6 be a game-changer.

I just wish it in the game #8211; instead of in the wings.

Throw it in the Woods?

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