The 2014 Mazda6 is our most recent addition to the Autoblog long-term fleet, and we spent the month of June getting to know our Soul Red tester, generally enjoying the honeymoon phase of this twelve-month relationship. During June, the Mazda6 spent the majority of its time with director of photography Drew Phillips, who in addition to putting together this pretty gallery of our rakish long-term car, had a lot to say about it as a daily driver.

You see, not too long before Mazda delivered our long-term 6, Drew bought a 2014 CX-5 crossover to support his growing family. The CX-5 was the first vehicle to use Mazda's full suite of Skyactiv technologies, and we've generally enjoyed the good-to-drive CUV. A lot of that CX-5 goodness lies beneath the more shapely lines of this sleek Mazda6 sedan, so it's only fitting that Drew had a lot of comparisons between Mazda's two housemates during his month behind the wheel.
Long-Term 2014 Mazda6
Long-Term 2014 Mazda6Long-Term 2014 Mazda6Long-Term 2014 Mazda6

A few folks have noted that Mazda's interiors, while better than the previous generations, still don't look and feel as up-to-date as what other automakers are doing in the class. But that doesn't mean Mazda is doing anything bad, and Drew agrees.

Everything is laid out intuitively so you don't have to hunt to find controls.

"The materials used are fairly good all around, and everything is laid out intuitively so you don't have to hunt to find controls," he writes. "The leather seats are comfortable and use a higher-quality material than the CX-5. The red stitching is a nice touch that gives the interior a sporty, upscale look."

"Some might complain about the size of the touchscreen. It's definitely not large, but for me it was never an issue. The only thing that's noticeably lacking is the navigation system. It just doesn't have enough detail in the screen," Drew writes. Indeed, Mazda's tech still feels a generation behind here in the 6, though a lot of that has been addressed with the updated system and seven-inch touchscreen found in the 2014 Mazda3. Still, "The center console control knob is a nice addition compared to the CX-5. You can easily control media/navigation functions without having to look away from the road. The materials used are fairly good all around, and everything is laid out intuitively so you don't have to hunt to find controls."

Long-Term 2014 Mazda6Long-Term 2014 Mazda6

On the performance side, the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline four-cylinder engine is breaking in nicely, and we're seeing relatively good fuel economy right from the start. Our car isn't fitted with Mazda's nifty new i-Eloop regenerative braking system that reportedly increases fuel economy to 28/40 miles per gallon city/highway (up from 26/38 mpg). That said, Drew notes how "easy it is to get good fuel economy" and that the Mazda6 "could probably exceed the 38 mpg highway if you really tried."

The Mazda6 "could probably exceed the 38 mpg highway if you really tried."

Of course, the Mazda6 isn't exactly a speed machine. Drew notes, "The engine won't exactly give you a rush, but it's good enough. It never felt strong, but I never found it lacking on an on-ramp either. Good combination of performance and efficiency." But what's most important here is the ride/handling balance – something Mazda has long been known to exceed at. Other staffers who have had the opportunity to drive the Mazda6 in other variations have given the car nothing but compliments, and generally speaking, Drew noted that the car handles pretty well and, also importantly, it's quiet.

Overall, "Everything I love about the CX-5 is why I like the Mazda6. No-nonsense and intuitive interior, fun to drive, good gas mileage, great looks."

Next month, we'll hear from west coast editor Michael Harley, who in addition to properly wringing out the Mazda6 on some of southern California's best roads, will talk about how the car performs its intended functions as a family sedan for folks with older kids. Stay tuned.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 67 Comments
      Mazdafreak
      • 1 Year Ago
      What kind of fuel economy is "relatively good?" Could we get a report on that?
        Cheddar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mazdafreak
        I bought one in March -- With a heavy foot, I'm averaging 31. Roadtrips I get a solid 36 mpg (80 mph w/radar cruise) and 39 is easy if I ease up. By my definition & experience (coming from BMW's), it's "EXTRAORDINARILY good." Darn near astonishing given the ride/handling and styling.
      Sean Conrad
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love my first-gen 3, really wish I was driving this instead.
      Merc1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Such a good looking car. I have never seen so many of one particular car in red in this segment. They're everywhere almost. Easily the best looking car in the segment for me. M
      Pato Man
      • 1 Year Ago
      really hoping for a mazdaspeed CX-5 in the future ;) also really hoping the CX-9 redesign in the KODO look will be awesome as well
      bookemd
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car looks better every time I see it. Best in the segment easily if you enjoy time in a motor vehicle.
      bcoppola04
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kinda Infiniti Q50ish/Maserati Ghilbiish
        MistyGreen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bcoppola04
        The new Infiniti headlight looks like it came from the same, heaven-sent parts bin as Mazda's new one.
      Rochester
      • 1 Year Ago
      Such a beautifully designed sedan, through and through. And a great value in its segment. When the day comes, a Speed6 will be very well received indeed.
      bonehead
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would absolutely love it if we had a mazda6 wagon in the states. We currently own a CX-9 and while good, we have since recently realized we could manage to get by without a 3rd row (less carpooling as kids get older) but we still need cargo space. A mazda 6 wagon would fit the bill nicely. Hopefully they make it available in the states.
      kcroc10077
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good looking car. I really hope a Speed6 is coming because as is Mazda is missing the "a" and "v" from the zoom-zoom equation..
        360_AD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kcroc10077
        Give them time. They need to be back on solid footing first before they can start thinking about halo cars (after the divorce from Ford and being on their own).
      Mike Cornell
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stunning photography, Drew! Well done!
      nicola ciaccio
      • 1 Year Ago
      this is a piece of junk car........here in italy only boy racer punks drive asian cars.....they are ugly and slow and cheap quality why americans buy asian cars and not amazing american cars is what i dont understand..........i know cause i imported a lincoln town car over here.......it is a totally beautiful car and drives very well.........very comfortable to.
        Sean Conrad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nicola ciaccio
        I'm sure those narrow streets are very conducive to such a large vehicle.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nicola ciaccio
        [blocked]
        Justin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nicola ciaccio
        lol @ lincoln town car. Even Americans aren't buying those anymore. Giant, outdated land barges. Congrats on looking like a ghetto hoopty.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nicola ciaccio
        [blocked]
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nicola ciaccio
        Quick, someone find a picture of a Lincoln Town Car in Italy. ........anyone?
        MistyGreen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nicola ciaccio
        Why Europeans buy American cars and not amazing European cars... err, wait. I guess Americans buy American cars too. Hm, this theory seems to be collapsing..
      Gator
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now if these can last as long as an Accord or Camry without issue, then I would consider one. The fit and finish just doesn't have the longevity as the Accord or Camry.
        Vien Huynh
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gator
        Cant talk for the Accord but the Camry interior sux, as an owner, I have to say it is that BAD.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gator
        [blocked]
        MPLS612
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gator
        It's always funny to me when people think that Mazda's don't last as long as Honda or Toyota. Have you every looked into consumer reports? When the last time a Mazda had a major recall? Take care of your car and it will run forever.
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