DALLAS, October 23, 2013 — With a new design for 2014, the Mazda 6 has a big interior for passengers, a stylish new look and a fuel economy that works well for a midsize sedan option.
Competition for the Mazda 6 includes the Nissan Altima, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord. However, for a fun and sporty drive experience, this Mazda takes high marks and even more important, it’s fun to drive.
There are three trims on this five-passenger Mazda 6; Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.
On the standard Sport it’s a manual-transmission with 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, all power accessories and a 60/40-split rear seat. You also get a 3.5-inch multi-information display and audio equipment includes four speakers and a USB/iPod interface with audio jack.
You can opt on the Sport as well an automatic transmission that gives you additional Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a bigger display screen at 5.8-inch with a rearview camera and audio upgrades too.
On the Touring the wheels are 19-inch alloy with premium vinyl on the interior, a dual-zone automatic climate control, sliding console armrest and a six-way power driver seat. For options that can be added you can choose a Technology package that will give you keyless ignition/entry, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, heated side mirrors and an upgraded audio system.
On the Grand Touring you get all the goodies from the first two trims and add to that more upgraded wheels, a rear spoiler, adaptive/bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, fog lights, a sunroof, leather upholstery, eight-way power driver seat and heated front seats with satellite radio.
To take it even further the Grand Touring options include adaptive cruise control with a forward collision warning system. Another package option on the Grand Touring is the Advance package with a lane-departure warning, automatic high beams and an energy capture system called i-Eloop that stores energy during deceleration for using when the car in stopped at a stoplight or not in movement.
Under the hood the 2014 Mazda 6 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. You can choose either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, keep in mind the Grand Touring comes standard with the automatic transmission.
For safety features this Mazda has antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. On the Touring and Grand Touring there are also blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring safety features as well.
Another stand-out safety feature on the Grand Touring is the Smart City Brake Support that is used for collision-mitigation by means of an infrared laser sensor, thus detecting the possibility of a crash before it happens. In turn, this mechanism will automatically stop the car even if the driver does not decelerate. Also, on the Grand Touring is the optional forward collision-warning system using a radar to detect distance from vehicles in front of the car and a lane-departure warning system.
One interior standout is the roominess in the backseat and impressively, even tall passengers can be comfortable and there is also quite a generous amount of headroom as well. For luggage, the trunk offers 14.8 cubic feet of space.
Inside the 2014 Mazda 6 it’s a clean design and all the buttons and knobs are placed functionally with the interior material used both thoughtful and stylish.
For driving, this Mazda is easy to handle and intuitive so that the driver feels the road and, at the same time, can take the turns and curves with confidence.
Should You Need to Know: A good midsize sedan option, but as the wheel size increases the ride does get a bit more stiff, nevertheless, it’s a practical choice all around for price and fuel economy matched with what you get for your money.
Miles Per Gallon: On the 2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring I drove the fuel economy came in at 28 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon the highway.
Cost: The 2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring with optional equipment added was priced at $29,695.
Rita Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association and can be followed on Twitter at @ritacook13. She is also a 15-year veteran journalist and author, her latest book from History Press www.historypress.net is about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
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