CleanMPG's First Drive Review of the 2014 Mazda6

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    They do in fact look pretty cool and I bet the shorter wheelbase of the 3 will make it look even better.

    Temps in the high 70’s (no temperature compensation needed) and minimal winds Traffic was heavier heading southbound at 02:00 AM in the morning for some reason which in turn provided an approximate 1 to 2 mpg boost as speeds climbed. The averages including the display and odometer offsets incorporated (0.979 * the displayed fuel economy) is what you see directly below.

    2014 Mazda6 Touring Review

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    Using a straight line analysis, the 2014 Mazda6 Toruing with a stick touches its EPA highway rating of 37 mpgUS at 72 mph. Breaking an EPA abve 70 mph tells a lot about a given vehicles real world highway capabilities.

    The SG-II showed an indicated 2115 RPM at 60 mph vs. the 2,085 calculated.

    Something else I found a bit interesting. The indicated speed was 2 more mph than actual. Usually the manufacturers are either real close to actual or slight under to give maybe 1 or 2 mph leeway to help owners avoid speeding tickets and such. If you are traveling an indicated 70 mph in a 60 mph zone, you are actually 12 mph over, not 10 so be a little careful with this.

    Other tidbits...

    The left side driver vent blows directly on your hand vs. your body or face. The right side drivers side vent is placed low in the dash and is not optimal for quick cooling. Ride is decent. Through the 1.5 inch entry way curb test at 23 mph, the Mazda6 did not bounce and did not hit as if you ran over a piece of concrete in the road. Very well composed in no uncertain terms. While the quick steering will keep you attention, the on-center feel with all of that extra camber built in is the best of the affordable midsizes.

    Handling? Completely neutral right up to its limits. I mean Purchase like good and surprising given its 60/40 weight distribution.

    Brake and accelerator tip in was superb and the progressive nature of both was for all intents and purposes, executed very well. You have to jump into another highly rated midsize right before and after to get a feel as to how good the Mazda6 truly is when it comes to the little things that an enthusiast would notice right off and the rest of us need a little convincing.

    The stick is a dream. Moving the shifter through the gates upward felt slight notchy whereas shifting down (down as in direction, not a downshift) the into lower gates was buttery smooth.

    A 184 hp and 185 lb-ft. of torque engine is strong. Adding, the idle fuel consumption was just .20 gph. Amazingly low for a gasoline fueled 2.5L. During light acceleration in top gear at 30 mph, the expected lug and engine knock was not occurring. Still not exactly sure how the Mazda magicians accomplished that with its 13:1 CR. Intake patch and swirl, piston dome shape, and the exhaust header geometry may only explain a part of the story?

    Creature comforts were a bit on the questionable side as the Touring with a stick had the NAVI button on the head unit and central Command Controller, NAVI is not available in that trim? Leather seating felt ok but maybe a little hard in places and the seat height adjustment moves the seat up while also tilting it forward. Some other competitors have figured out that up means up, not up and tilt forward allowing less lower thigh support as that height increases. Soft padding under the center armrest/console was a welcome addition. Only the driver side window was backlit for night ops and the MFD between the tach and speedo was very simplistic like all 2014 Mazda's are.

    Here is one you will probably not find in any other review? The pups hair was almost being coaxed to stick to every surface in the 6's interior. It took over 45-minutes to vacuum it out as it was statically attached to the soft touch dash, the standard plastic interior pieces and especially the carpeted mats. Probably the softest mats available in a midsize but wow it was tough to get her hair off of them!

    Pricing. This is where the Touring with a stick let me down a bit. The base Sport is priced at $21,675 whereas the Touring with a stick, leather, BSM, RCTA, display audio, commander switch and 19 vs. 17 inch alloys (the last six are std. on the Touring) as driven was $25,010. While the keyless push button start was nice, not being able to open the doors with the same proximity key was a letdown. For $25K, you are looking at a Sonata Hybrid territory and minus the leather, BSM and RCTA. And the AT equipped HSH looks pretty darn good by comparison. Of course price creep for trims is nothing new in the segment but the $3,325 seemed a bit much for the few extras you received?

    Hands free calling was also a little different. If you pressed the “Talk” button, you had to say phone to get into a phone menu. If you pushed the phone button, you could request to call the person and it would recognize and make the call after verifying that was your choice. Similarly, the infotainment sound (Phone, radio, Pandora…) was just ok.

    All in, I wish the rest of the midsize segment would copy everything that Mazda did for its Ride and Handling and driver interaction attributes. The KODO exterior is a standout but after a week, that shockingly good exterior becomes more “like then love” as many of the mid-sizes today (Sonata and Fusion are also good looking) have a modern cab rearward layout with a little taller rear green house to accommodate rear passengers needs. From the front, the Mazda6’s vertical 5-point grille is in a class all of its own.

    2014 Mazda6 Touring

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    Pups liked it too!​

    Now all we have to do is wait for the 2.2L SKYACTIV-D to arrive as that appears on the surface (pricing dependent of course) will be the one to buy imho ;)

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  2. jbart

    jbart Well-Known Member

    Wow!
    Mazda6 one week and new Sonata Hybrid the next?!?
    You must be having a great summer. The Highway mileage looks great. How do you find the city MPG numbers around town? Im very interested in the new Mazda3 with the 2.0 Skyactiv. The CX-5 is still on the list but a compact might suit me better :)

    Enjoy, Wayne!
     

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