2014 Mazda 6 new car reviews

When we were on a press trip to try out the new Mazda3 in San Diego, we borrowed one of their bigger sedans for a day trip to visit some shops in the area: Monster Miata and Bauer, Ltd. Both shops are doing excellent things with Miatas.

The 6 we got to drive wasn’t the forthcoming diesel model—we wait for it with bated breath—but it did come equipped with that joy of joys: a proper three-pedal manual transmission with six forward gears.

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Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar

Tire noise was the only complaint I had on this car. It had enough power to slice and dice through San Diego traffic. It was comfortable, spacious, but entertaining to drive. When I picked up a friend in a nearby town, he got in and said, "Holy crap, this thing's a stickshift?!"

Truly not something you expect in a mid-size sedan, but the four-cylinder mated with the manual transmission was fantastic fun. It's responsive through corners as well. This car is a joyful thing to drive, so long as you don't mind maintaining momentum.

The interior is well organized and is designed with a modern look—but the infotainment system is not as simple and thought-out as the new Mazda3. For the ultimate in easy-to-use tech, look to the new Mazda3's control system. The brand spent a lot of time trying to minimize distractions and make the system as easy and intuitive to use in an eyes-off way as possible. The 6's system just isn't as good. Here's hoping they'll adapt the new system to the 6 shortly.

Still, the 6 is a great car. You certainly don't get as much entertainment from a Camry; in fact, the closest you can get in a front-drive, mid-size sedan is the Accord—which, even in coupe form, weighs an extra 200+ pounds. Granted, that Accord has a V6 with an extra 100 horsepower.

There have been delays in getting a diesel-powered 6 to the U.S., so we don't yet have another engine option beyond the base gas four. That Skyactiv 2.5 a torquey and thrifty engine, but there's no V6 option for ultimate grunt. Here's hoping the diesel provides the oomph we're looking for in this dynamically impressive machine.

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sethmeister4 Dork
12/13/13 11:59 a.m.

Man that is one gorgeous car. Kudos to Mazda, they are getting it right!

pinchvalve MegaDork
12/19/13 10:22 a.m.

It's Kodo, not Kudo. The design language is Kodo. And yes, it is way better than Nagare.

jstein77 SuperDork
1/15/14 1:31 p.m.

Okay then, kudos to Kodo!

sylvain65 None
3/6/14 5:14 p.m.

I will either get this car or a Ford Fusion Ecoboost manual. Nice car.

997PDK None
4/29/14 7:04 p.m.

Nice review! I've never been a fan of Mazda especially when Ford had influenced and nearly destroyed them. When I drove my 6 rental this year I was very very impressed. Perhaps the engine can use a small boost but it did feel just right. The syncing dynamics of the trans, engine, handling, and braking was absolutely on par. The quality of the interior is better than most premium class cars. I liked it because it didn't try to be another higher class car. Instead it exceeds by the quality of craftsmanship. This is a car I would love to drive again. In fact, it is one of the best sedans I have driven in a very long time. I'm anxious to see what else Mazda will be bringing to the US.

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