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Car Review: 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring

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From the time we saw the first teaser images of the 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring, there was no doubt that this new Mazda had some mojo! The midsize car segment is very competitive, and after a week driving the new 6, we came away with a favorable view of this car’s possibilities.

EXTERIOR

The hot new Mazda6 Grand Touring proudly wears its equally skin-deep beauty on its sleeve with a sense of confidence reserved for the real deal and not for pretenders. An evolution of the TAKERI Concept, Mazda’s new midsize features the brand’s KODO “Soul of Motion” design language, which is inspired by the movement of animals in the wild – their ability to showcase power in its purest form combined with agile finesse. KODO’s prominent personality, inside and out, easily distinguishes the Mazda6 from competitive people movers, whose personalities seem to have been relegated to match their prudish exteriors. The Mazda6 makes no excuses for its muscular manner, nor does it need to. With pronounced sheet metal strokes, the vehicle evokes a controlled intensity, seemingly moving yet standing still. Not meant to be ignored, the stunning Mazda6 presents an uncommon but welcome appeal of emotion to the midsize segment. With 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhaust with bright outlets, the new Mazda6 has that It factor that some rivals can only dream about!

INTERIOR

The zoom zoom statement continues into the cabin with black leather seating that can stand up to much more expensive sedans. As tested, the highly-optioned Mazda6 Grand Touring offers Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, HD Radio Technology, Pandora, Sirius Satellite Radio, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink, an 11-speaker Bose Surround Sound System, a TomTom-based navigation system with real-time traffic alerts, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and memory settings, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, those upscale leather-trimmed seats with front seat heaters and paddle shifters. Standard interior equipment for all Mazda6 models include a push-button start, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, cloth seat upholstery, power windows with a driver’s side one-touch auto open/close feature, sliding sun visor extensions, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, carpeted floor mats, six-way manual driver’s seat adjustments with lumbar support, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 six-speaker audio system, auxiliary and USB connection ports as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, parking brake and shift knob.

There is so much room in the 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring that it’s hard to believe at times that you’re actually in a midsize sedan!

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PERFORMANCE

Now that we’ve established that the new 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring looks great and has a top-shelf interior, the performance factor needs to come through big for this car to be included with the leaders. The all-new midsize sedan 6 is the second vehicle in the Mazda lineup to fully incorporate SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, the brand’s breakthrough engineering approach toward increasing overall vehicle efficiency. Offering both powerful performance and improved fuel economy, the 2014 Mazda6 features best-in-class highway fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon (MPG). The engine was smooth with plenty of power coming in at 184 horsepower. It’s hard to believe that a car as roomy as the new Mazda6 can come in at 28mpg in the city and a 40mpg in highway driving.

Safety appears to be at the top of the list for the engineers of the new Mazda6, as i Touring models feature a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) as standard equipment with the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system available as an option. The i Grand Touring models (as tested) feature BSM and SCBS systems as standard equipment, as well as RCTA and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and High Beam Control (HBC) are available as part of an optional package, and we were lucky to have these on our test vehicle. I can tell you that all of these Mazda safety features made me a better driver when behind the wheel of the 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring.

OVERVIEW

We knew that the 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring was a great looking ride before we tested it, but there is so much more that we enjoyed about this car. The interior was equipped with high-end materials, and the fit and finish was spot on. The driving experience is a great match of fun and smarts, because this car is safe and efficient. With all that we talked about, the model we tested came with a sticker price of $32,845, and that is a bargain! The Mazda6 has now worked her way back into the upper tier of midsize sedans, and that should make the folks at Mazda excited to watch customers flock into dealerships.

  

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