This 2014 Mazda 6 video review describes how it compares to other midsize family sedans. Fuel economy, interior space, comfort, technology features and the driving experience are discussed.
Are you the type of person who really likes driving? Do you prioritize feeling connected to the road? At the same time, do you also want a family sedan? For years now, the Mazda 6 has been the car for you. Trouble for Mazda is, there aren't a lot of you out there. Let's see if the 6's appeal goes beyond just driving enthusiasts.
For everyone else, the latest Mazda 6 is safer, better equipped, more comfortable and more efficient than the car it replaces. It's the last part (fuel economy) that you should really notice. The standard 2.5-liter 184-horsepower Skyactiv four-cylinder returns 30 mpg combined and it'll top 38 mpg on the highway. That's exceptional, though also on par with competitors.
Which brings us back to driving fun. Those other family sedans are nice to drive, but they can't match the 6's athleticism. The steering is more precise, the suspension's more buttoned down and the transmission's more responsive. In other words, your fun won't come at the expense of fuel economy, or vice versa.
The ride isn't as comfy as many competitors, but in terms of interior comfort and space, the 6 doesn't disappoint. The front seats are highly supportive, while the rear seats offer plenty of legroom. The trunk has 14.8 cubic feet of space, which is large, though not the biggest in the class.
In terms of value, the Mazda 6 starts around $21,000 and includes Bluetooth phone and audio, a rearview camera, Pandora radio and a leather-wrapped wheel. That's a lot of stuff. But, if it's not enough, the Touring or $31,000 Grand Touring step it up with luxuries like dual-zone climate control, heated power and leather seats, an 11 speaker Bose stereo, a navigation system and radar cruise control.
The Mazda 6 has a lot of toys, but, unfortunately, the touchscreen interface to control them isn't as user friendly as those in other midsize sedans. The display and its buttons are small, the system doesn't always get along with your iPod, and in many ways this brand-new system already feels a generation behind the times.
The same could be said for the interior design. Most of its competitors are visually dynamic or at least classy and refined. This is just kind of sad. And that's a shame, because this is one of the best-looking family sedans from the outside.
This Mazda 6 does have appeal for those who don't prioritize driving fun. But, is that appeal greater than that of the class-leading Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion? Not really, and that should maintain the 6's status as just the sporty alternative.