Disclosure: I was provided a vehicle for evaluation purposes. I was asked to share my experience with my readers. Opinions are my own.
I’ve been a fan of Mazda for nearly 10 years, it started at the explosion of the import tuner scene. I remember the local dealer had a sweet ’05 Mazda6 in sport yellow with 17″ rims, but it was always out of my reach financially. I drove an inferior ’99 Chevrolet Cavalier RS – it wasn’t fair, driving by that dealership and my dream tuner everyday.
I was ecstatic to receive my review vehicle, but really didn’t know what to expect after all these years. I drive a small SUV nowadays for family purposes, so having plenty of space and safety features tops the list. A mid-size sport sedan doesn’t traditionally fit the bill. Planning out our week, my wife and I decided it might be best if she review the Mazda6 as her daily driver to-and-from work. I would continue operating the family SUV as normal. Fast forward a week, the 2014 Mazda6 in a swanky ‘blue reflex’ pulled up, and right then, plans changed! I was shocked by the attractive body lines and spacious interior of the test vehicle sitting in our driveway. We loaded up the kid’s car seats and set an ambitious goal of treating this vehicle as our full-time family car.
Fuel Economy. I enjoy my daily driver, but the toll it takes on the pocketbook is regrettable. Averaging a whopping 32 MPG (28 city, 40 highway), the 2014 Mazda6 is a cash-saving machine. After a full week, the tank was still over half full. But don’t take my word for it, the sticker prominently boasts the $3,250 dollars in fuel savings over the course of 5 years, compared to the average comparable vehicle. Mazda’s i-ELOOP regenerative braking system (optional) helps with some of that fuel economy by recovering energy produced by deceleration and storing it for future use, such as for powering the headlamps or BOSE audio system. The Skyactiv-G 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder engine produces 184 horsepower and plenty of torque for the speed junkie. I thought I had grown out of that phase years ago, until I noticed an inconspicuous “sport” button located near the shifter. That peculiar little button combined with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters reinvigorated ‘fun driving’ for me. It’s no wonder I averaged a much lower MPG during test week!
- Skyactiv-G 2.5L 4-cylinder engine offers amazing gas mileage while maintaining the Zoom-Zoom
- 32 MPG average, equates to 28 city and 40 highway
- i-ELOOP tech converts, stores and uses kinetic energy elsewhere, furthering fuel economy
- Sporty features such as paddle-shifters and sport mode increase performance and experience
Safety. Government crash test ratings were not readily available on my new test vehicle. Mazda6 received the Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2014 Mazda6 is packed with safety features such as front, rear and side-impact airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and dynamic stability control. The forward, rear, and side obstruction audible and visual warnings are also key safety initiatives employed in this sedan. These features not only offer peace of mind, the implementation is cool as well. During my driving while signaling a lane change on the highway, the car noticed potential obstructions approaching the blind spot, notifying me through non-intrusive audible beeps and visual cues in the side view mirrors.
- Top Safety Pick Plus awarded from the IIHS
- Front, rear and side-impact airbags are standard
- 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with braking assist and dynamic stability control are standard
- Audible and visual cues from oncoming obstructions offer additional peace of mind
Style and Comfort. This is where the vehicle shocked and awed the most. The Mazda6 is not only full of zoom-zoom, it has the room-room of a full-size sedan and the sex-appeal of a high-end sports car. There’s a curving body line that begins its journey at the headlamps, extends over the front wheel wells and disappears just below the side mirrors – it is a beautiful and well-articulated body detail. The nose of the car appears to aggressively stare down anything standing in its way. The black leather-trimmed sports seats and contrasting red stitching are high-style, but they effectively envelope the body during sporty driving conditions. The true test of comfort for anyone over 6′ is most commonly, the back seat leg room… Mazda6 has that too. Like I said before, “room-room”.
- Distinct and attractive body lines and front stare
- Plenty of rear leg room for taller passengers, not traditionally prevalent in a mid-size sedan
Gadgets. The 2014 Mazda6 boasts plenty of mechanical tech, though the technological wealth adorns the cabin as well. Standard features include an 11-speaker BOSE audio system with integrated steering controls, touch-screen navigation and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio control. A joystick located below the shifter controls the action, thereby reducing the drivers attention on the head unit and promoting a safer driving experience overall. Sirius satellite and Pandora radio are available. There’s a USB charging port in the center armrest console and an additional 12-volt connection. I found myself frustrated with the Bluetooth connection to my smart phone – music automatically plays, and it always restarts from the first track alphabetically. My time with the vehicle prevented me from determining the issue, and I don’t see the average buyer wanting to troubleshoot the issue, likely opting to avoid the feature all-together.
- 11-speaker BOSE sound system with touch screen/naviagtion head unit, Sirius and Pandora radio available
- Joystick control and Bluetooth connectivity for eyes-on-the-road operation
- Playlist operation can be frustrating to manage
Conclusion. The 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring edition (as tested) is a moderately priced vehicle for its size, but the real savings come in the form of excellent gas mileage. Performance is not an afterthought as the car handles excellently and with the push of a button, can really kick it into high gear. The cabin is spacious for a mid-size sedan as well, offering some of the best back seat leg room I have experienced so far. As for a family-daily-driver, I could absolutely envision our family cruising one of these roomy, sporty vehicles. The 2014 Mazda6 brings the Zoom-Zoom, the Room-Room, and a ton of fun!