2014 Mazda 6's styling captures what Mazda calls its
"Soul of Motion" design language.
It’s easy to
be swayed by a pretty face in a new-car showroom. Even if buyers
know that a car’s true beauty is more than skin deep, style has a
greater impact than they realize.
But build a
car with great performance to match its stunning looks, and, most
likely, you’ll have a hit on your hands.
us to the 2014 Mazda6, which is beautiful not just for what you see,
but for what you experience behind the wheel.
with what’s most apparent: the styling. The Mazda6’s gorgeous,
graceful lines emanate from a new five-point grille and flow over
the rounded roof, integrating smoothly into the rear deck. It’s a
marvelous piece of work that captures what Mazda calls its
"Soul of Motion" design language.
the interior seems rather pedestrian, as if stylists spent too much
time creating the exterior.
The test car’s
cabin was all black, which did a good job of hiding the many hard
plastic surfaces; anything a passenger touches is softly padded.
panel functions decently, but it does so with little flair. The
automatic climate control takes up much more space than the screen
controlling audio, navigation and phone. The screen itself is very
small, and the software reacts slowly to inputs. And its small size
makes navigation only somewhat useful.
buyers may find other matters more important. Although Mazda rates
the Mazda6 as a five-passenger car, four is more realistic. Still,
the cabin is roomy given this car’s styling — especially in the
rear seat. Seat comfort is very good front and rear.
storage space is far from ample. The map pockets are minuscule, the
center console bin equally so. There are cupholders front and rear,
along with an open bin below the climate controls. Thankfully, the
trunk is wide, goes far forward and seems generous.
So, you might
wonder, where is the beauty that you don’t see? Hit the road,
front-wheel-drive Mazda6 is offered in three trim levels, Sport,
Touring and Grand Touring, differing mainly in the amount of
standard equipment. All models use the same engine: a 2.5-liter
double-overhead cam four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual or
automatic transmission. Power is rated at 184 horsepower.
taut and responsive, with a firm ride that’s never jarring. The
lack of body lean in corners is impressive. It will leave you with a
grin on your face as you thank yourself for not buying a more
four’s power is ample once speed builds, although it feels meager
off the line. The six-speed transmission is geared for fuel economy;
manual shifting reveals the engine’s true potential. The trade-off
is good fuel economy: 33 mpg in mixed driving — despite my heavy
includes an optional rear back-up camera, lane-keeping assist and
The test car
was flawlessly assembled except for a metallic rattle emanating from
beneath the front door pillar where the seat belt is mounted. No
amount of road noise or music could cover it up. That’s pretty
annoying in a car with fewer than 800 miles on the odometer.
number of midsize cars, including the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima,
Ford Fusion among others, the Mazda6 combines an impressive balance
of power, handling, fuel economy and style that makes this car seem
like more than just another mundane, mainstream, midsize sedan.
2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder
space: 14.8 cubic feet
(city/highway): 28/40 mpg
consumption: 33 mpg
base model: $20,990
test model: $29,695