Vital Stats

Engine:
2.5L I4
Power:
184 HP / 185 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,232 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
14.8 CU-FT
MPG:
26 City / 38 HWY
Base Price:
$20,880
As Tested Price:
$31,765
An Extended Stay With The Sexy Six



The new-for-2014 Mazda6 sedan is more than just a pretty face. For Mazda, it marks the company's best effort yet at competing in the highly competitive midsize sedan segment, all the while staying true to the brand's core value of offering high levels of driver involvement above all. We certainly came away impressed after our first drive of the sleek Six in France last fall, and we knew right from the start that this would be a car we'd want to spend a lot of time with back here at home.

So with that in mind, the folks at Mazda graciously agreed to loan us the fully loaded Soul Red tester you see here for a one-year stay in the Autoblog long-term garage. Because of how important this car is to the segment, and to Mazda as a brand, we know there's going to be a lot to talk about it over the next 12 months. Right now, though, allow us to introduce you to the newest member of our long-term family.
2014 Mazda6
2014 Mazda62014 Mazda6 rear view

We knew right from the get-go that we had to have our Mazda6 in Soul Red.

Unlike our 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, where our staff couldn't come to an agreement about what color to get, we knew right from the get-go that we had to have our Mazda6 in this stunning Soul Red. Mazda doesn't actually offer a huge array of colors for its midsizer (options are limited to versions of white, red, black, blue, gray and silver), and while the car's shape lends itself to making a stylish sedan regardless of hue, the deep red color looks classy, and allows the flowing Kodo-inspired design elements to shine. At least one rival automaker has privately expressed its bewilderment to us about this very paint – apparently it's so rich and complex that it's markedly more expensive than other shades. Even though Mazda is charging $300 extra for it, they still can't figure out how the company makes the numbers work.

It really is attractive, this Mazda6, especially with the large, 19-inch alloy wheels of our Grand Touring test car. GT models start at $29,945 (the base Mazda6 i Sport carries an MSRP of $20,880), and come with all the trimmings. Standard Grand Touring equipment includes these wheels, a power sunroof, rear lip spoiler, Bose Centerpoint audio with Sirius, heated leather seats, pushbutton start, navigation and bi-xenon, auto on/off headlamps with LED running lights. That's all in addition to stuff standard on mid-grade Touring models such as Bluetooth, Pandora radio, a power driver's seat and a 5.8-inch full-color touchscreen display with redundant controls found just aft of the shifter.

2014 Mazda6 front cabin
2014 Mazda6 infotainment screen2014 Mazda6 rear seats2014 Mazda6 infotainment controller

All that, combined with small one-off items like the premium for Soul Red paint, $75 clear film rear paint protection, $75 cargo mat, $125 door sill trim plates and $900 package that includes Mazda's radar cruise control and forward obstruction warning, and the as-tested price of our car is a cool $31,765, including $795 for destination.

The as-tested price of our car is a cool $31,765, including $795 for destination.

Inside, our Soul Red exterior is matched with a full-on black interior (a two-tone Almond and black setup is also available). There isn't much contrast between the dark leather, dark plastic paneling and piano black accents around the center stack and shifter (the latter of which will no doubt be rife with fingerprint smudges by the time we're through). The cabin looks modern, but does lack some of the refinement found in other midsize sedans. We like the operation of the 5.8-inch touchscreen display, but the graphics are seriously last-generation, as is the size (we're living in a time where you can get an 8.4-inch screen in a Dodge Dart, after all). That said, our initial impressions of the interior are that it's comfortable and quiet, though we'll see how that holds up after more butts get in those seats.

We'll be watching fuel economy closely, too, as Mazda rates the new Six at 26 miles per gallon city and a lofty 38 mpg highway. That's with the standard 2.5-liter Skyactiv inline four-cylinder engine under the hood, putting out 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on our GT model).

2014 Mazda6 rear three-quarter

Our first impression of the 2014 Mazda6 has left us very eager to spend a year with this new Japanese sedan. We enjoyed our time with it in France, and beyond the fact that Mazda has a really solid competitor in one of the most frequently shopped segments, this car certainly proves that the automaker is capable of building truly solid products with no assistance from former parent company Ford. Here's hoping we feel the same way after 365 days.

We'll be posting monthly updates here on Autoblog for our long-term 2014 Mazda6. But remember to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for even more on-the-fly impressions as the car spends time with different members of our team.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 184 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      I couldn't help notice that this car is 1,000 lbs lighter than the BMW 5 series you guys just reviewed.
      Typesbad
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is a shame the decidedly last decade upper screen design is such a visible part of the interior. It is the only detraction from a fine design inside and out. I'd have definately gone for the almond interior. That is a whole lot of uninterrupted black.
      Blanka1221
      • 1 Year Ago
      No wagon *sniff* Still going to get one for the wife though. We've had 4 6's and 2 3's (make sense?). Wonderful cars, every one of them.
      bigsaucybob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hot damn, it really does look incredible in that Soul Red.
      Prez
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just picked up the new 6 Grand Touring Soul Red/Almond last week and I must say the car is shockingly good. Personally, no other car in this segment can even come close to the new 6. I work for an auto company and I have driven virtually every D segment car available in the US. The new 6 is a styling masterpiece when compared to literally every other vehicle in this class and price range. Photos do NOT do it justice. You have to see it in person. This is a true drivers car, with simple yet very classy, functional and quality interior. The performance is fantastic. Engine is just right despite the many complaints of having only 184HP. Transmission´╗┐ is spot on and equally responsive, giving you much more feel than any CVT out there. Handling simply wow! It feels like you are driving a much more expensive refined sporty sedan. You actually feel the car being on the road, you are engaged as a driver not simply hitting the gas and brake pedals. Fuel efficiency is spectacular! So far I have finished my first tank of gas and I hit a sweet 488 miles from 16 gallons, combined city and highway driving. My opinion a perfect 10 out of 10! Mazda has raised the bar very high. I love this car. So far it's worth every penny!
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      This weighs as much as a Dodge Dart! Awesome!
        Mazdafreak
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IBx27
        And considering this is a bigger car than the Dart, that's significant.
      Zoidberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      I saw this exact one driving today, it looks pretty clean I must say.
      mawhalen53
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great price point. Looking forward to reading about your experiences,
      Jason Golden
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think this car has a great stance, along with a sense of styling "mojo" and balance, which isn't over-the-top like Altima or Sonata. When I first came upon a new 6 on the freeway, viewed only from the rear, I actually thought it was an updated Sonata with some testosterone (by that I mean nicely-spaced, clearly VISIBLE dual exhaust outlets). On looks alone, this new 6 pushes the right buttons for me.
      JasonR
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm waiting for the Diesel engine due this summer, then I may be tempted to trade in my 2012 CX-9 GT for one of these beauties!
      JAB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great Car. I wish they had topped out the 2.5L GT at 27K and given a 2.5L Turbo with 230 - 250 hp around 28K for the Touring and 30'ish for the GT with that engine. Overall a great car though. I love the design. I like the feel when I drive. The interior is not cheesy like the 2005-2006 Mazda6 interiors....this one is actually rich....in look and feel. I like it.
      Adamnski
      • 1 Year Ago
      Man I wish you guys would have got the Skyactiv D
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