The 2014 Mazda6 has been given a full slate of changes that make it a competitive mid-sized family sedan with a big dose of sports-car fun. Changes start with a sexier, sportier exterior then move to a comfortable interior with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and wrap-up with a new 2.5-liter SkyActiv in-line four-cylinder with direct injection and variable valve control.
Exterior design changes make the 2014 Mazda6 look anything but a boring sedan. There’s a new grille with much stronger front fender lines and an arched roof that leads back beautifully to the rear of the car. It’s a good-looking ride.
The inside isn’t quite as impressive but they’ve worked to bring at least some of that sexy exterior into the passenger compartment. There are soft touch surfaces everywhere you want them along with a nice balance of shiny and matte trims that stand out without becoming garish. Seating is comfortable with plenty of room for adults both front and rear.
The performance of the 2014 Mazda6 is a good mix between practical family sedan and sporty, leaning toward the sporty side of things. The 2.5-liter SkyActiv in-line four-cylinder with direct injection gives you 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque to make this a peppy ride thanks in part to weight reductions in the body structure.
Depending on the trim level you choose, the 2014 Mazda6 is available with a new 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission along with front-wheel drive. You have to opt for the lower trim levels to get the manual, but I tested the Grand Touring which comes only as an automatic.
Shifts were quick and crisp although you do have to rev the engine a bit to really take advantage of the torque, but once it gets there the car really moves. There are paddle shifters on some trims that let you play around and have more control except at full throttle when you’ll be forced into the lowest gear available.
The Mazda6 has a new suspension system and it eliminated much of the bounce of rough road surfaces without causing a disconnect in road feel. It also helped prevent nose dive even under hard braking. Steering was agile, responsive and well-weighted with a new electric-power steering system that is suited to the car.
If you’re looking to drive past the pump as much as possible, the 2014 Mazda6 will not disappoint with 28 city/40 highway for a combined 32 MPG rating. I averaged close to 34 mpg in a mix of heavy, city traffic and open highway driving while not trying to be at all gas conscious.
The 2014 Mazda6 is safety focused with dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags, side air curtains, tire pressure monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring. A rearview camera adds yet another level of safety to your ride. There’s also lots of tech like a 5.8″ color touchscreen display with navigation, Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, and Pandora.
The 2014 Mazda6 is as comfortable being your fuel efficient commuter car as it is driving the family around town. There’s a large trunk with a nice wide opening for easy loading. It will have no problem holding a week’s worth of groceries or all the kid’s sports gear. It’s a versatile, sporty, family sedan.
Pricing starts at $20,990 for the base trim level and goes up into the low to mid $30K range for the higher trim with lots of bells and whistles. This is a pretty competitive segment with cars like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Kia Optima and Nissan Altima all competing for your dollar. What the Mazda6 has going for it is a superior combination of sporty styling and driving along with functionality in an affordable package.
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
I give the 2014 Mazda6 a Buy It!
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.