The 2014 Mazda6 has got it all – speed, impressive looks, and insane traction control on dirt roads. Because if you plan on spending a few days driving long straight roads in the middle of nowhere in rural Texas – you might as well be in a car that will make a great companion on the open road.
For this review, we tested the 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring – which is the highest tier of the Mazda6 line. The new and improved Mazda6 is a spacious midsize sedan that has recieved both an interior and exterior makeover. In the past, the Mazda’s interiors tended to be on the more masculine side, however Mazda has taken some design cues from the Takeri concept car and interwoven its subtle touches inside the Grand Touring’s cabin. What has transpired is a fresh and renewed interior, that feels less boxy and bulky, and more streamlined. That said, while the center console could still use a little more pop, its design is still a major improvement over last year’s car.
The heated bucket seats put you squarely in control of the car, the positioning and comfort is excellent and really connects you with the steering wheel. Speaking of which, the steering wheel feels especially comfortable to grip and control. Making turns and quick maneuvering is pleasurable and smooth – especially on roads that let you speed upwards of 75MPH. You gotta love Texas!
The exterior of the car has also gotten a nice refresh. In general, driving a Mazda hasn’t always been about being flashy, but about being a solid reliable car that goes “zoom, zoom”. To that effect, the Mazda’s looks seemed to be almost secondary or reserved for the more sportier Miata. However the Mazda6 is hot – it sports sleek curves that cut through the wind, plus its grill, and presence on the road make this a keeper. Furthermore, even at 75MPH, we had consistent control over the wheel. Furthermore, the 11 speaker Bose system got the tunes thumping as we sped past lots of cows and farms.
Unfortunately, one of our biggest complaints for the Mazda6 is its lackluster Infotainment system. It does what it does well, but we find that many of the controls are a bit cumbersome to navigate. As a driver, it will be hard for you to get around without pulling over. If you are driving with a passenger next to you, you will be frustrated that you’ll be forced to come to a complete stop for THEM to set your next navigation route or to sync your phone to the system’s Bluetooth. We get the safety reasons for this process, but it can still be pretty annoying when you are on the road and want to change a POI or stream music from your mobile device. On the plus side, the car works just fine with iOS 7.
Overall, the Mazda6 is a solid and sporty ride that puts you in full control of the wheel. Not only is it sublime to drive, but with 400 miles on a full tank of gas, it’s pretty awesome on your wallet too. On the open road the 184 horsepower really kicked into high-gear and worked beautifully in-tune with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. It may not be a V6 but quite honestly, but we could hardly notice the difference. The Mazda6 starts at $20,990 for the Sport model and can reach as high as $29,695 if you opt for the Grand Touring. All in all, the Mazda6 is a great looking car and even a better ride. Furthermore, the trunk space and interior seating is totally manageable for a family, and even younger drives will appreciate the durability and looks of this fine sedan. Overall, this is a fun sedan that almost any driver will appreciate.
The Good: The Mazda6 is Zoom, Zoom and then some. Its redefined exterior and interior looks amazing and really takes this previously dull looking car to the next level. Feels great to drive and handles wonderfully on country roads and various terrains.
The Bad: Infotainment system could be a bit less clumsy to get around.