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AutoGuide.com 2014 Car of the Year Finalist No. 1 – Mazda6

Proof you can have it all in a mid-size sedan

 |  Dec 02 2013, 11:32 AM

autoguide car of the year 2014 finalist mazda6

It’s award season again. We have already crowned the AutoGuide.com Truck of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year. Now it’s time for the most important award of them all.

Last year, AutoGuide crowned the Scion FR-S and this year we have five finalists vying for the title. Each day this week, we will be presenting another finalist for the  AG COTY with the winner being announced next week. Stay tuned all week and let us know which car is your pick as the winner!

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FROM ALSO RAN TO CLASS WINNER 2014-Mazda6-grille

The second generation Mazda6 was a failure both in execution and from a sales standpoint. So, for 2014, Mazda went back to the proverbial drawing board and reinvented the 6 from the ground up using the brand’s recently introduced SkyActiv technology. A focus was set on making the Mazda6 more stylish, efficient and upscale while bringing back the original generation’s fun-to-drive attitude. And to the engineers at Mazda, we say congratulations. You succeeded.

The new sedan is instantly recognizable as a modern Mazda thanks to the KODO design language. Now on the CX-5, Mazda3 and refreshed CX-9, the new corporate look is gorgeous and nearly makes us forget the goofy smiling face on the last generation of Mazdas – almost. The 2014 6 ditches the old car’s V6 engine and 85 lbs. in the base model despite the fact the new car is slightly bigger.  Power comes from a 2.5-iter four-cylinder engine that generates 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.

See Also: 2014 Mazda6 Review – Video

Available with a six-speed manual or automatic, the name of the game for the new 6 is efficiency and with an official rating of 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, the base manual equipped car crushes the old model’s ratings of 21 city and 30 highway. But what’s more, since the four cylinder engine makes more power in a lighter car, the new Mazda6 isn’t just more efficient, but also faster.

2014-mazda6-interior.JPGAnd it doesn’t end with a peppy engine. The chassis of the Mazda6 is tuned to reward a spirited drive. During a recent comparison test amongst eight mid-size family sedans, we found the new 6 to be the most responsive car in the field. But unlike some other sporty sedan pretenders, the it doesn’t suffer from an overly stiff ride that jars passengers over every road imperfection. In fact, we are impressed by how well the car absorbs road bumps.

Add a comfortable, elegant interior – especially with the optional cream colored seating surfaces – and it is obvious Mazda has built a Mazda6 good enough to not only win two separate AutoGuide comparison tests, but also claim a spot as an AutoGuide.com 2014 Car of the Year Award finalist.

 

GALLERY: 2014 Mazda6

2014-Mazda-6-three-quarter.JPG2014-Mazda6-Driving.JPG2014-Mazda6-three-quarter.JPG2014-mazda6-driving-three-quarter.JPG2014-mazda6-nose.JPG2014-mazda6-interior.JPG

Discuss this story at our Mazda6 forum.

  • Allan Young

    Why can’t you just say “back to the drawing board” instead of “the proverbial drawing board”? Every journalist seems to think it’s cute by adding the redundant “proverbial” word to every common saying. There’s nothing new here – that saying has been used for decades; adding “proverbial” isn’t going to make it more super duper.

  • hewhoiscalledj

    While I feel bad for Mazda regarding overall sales compared to, say, the Totyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima… I feel even worse for the folks who missed out on such an exceptionally good drivers car, which happens to do double duty as a family of 4 mover. The reviews I see online are all right on the money but Mazda seems to be struggling with the overall image to the masses. They did a great job on this car and the rest of the line up. It may just take the world another year to realize how great their products are. Subaru went through the same thing recently with the Legacy and now I see them everywhere so hang in there Mazda. Things will look up… Just hurry up and bring the diesel version (and the wagon variant) stateside, pronto… LOVE MY 2014 MAZDA6 GT!!!

  • ChasinCheckerz

    Mazda has never cared about getting those numbers, though. They want to make cars worth driving, and sell to the few people left in the world, like you and I, who see cars as more than an appliance/people mover. As long as they stay afloat, profit-wise, I think they will be happy.

  • chilli0007

    I bought a 2014 Mazda 6 gt in August after testing other sedans and fell in love with both the design and driving experience of the car. There’s lots of high tech features. It handles great. Mazda really did a great job.

  • Palomar Parkman

    What about the 2.2L diesel in the Mazda 6? That could be the real winner. Whenever it gets to the US…..

  • Zach Conley

    I’ve owned a 2006 Mazdaspeed 6 for the past 2+ years and love it to death. I’ve test driven the new 2014 Mazda 6 and must say it may not have as much horse as the Speed 6 or AWD which is a feature Mazda has steered away from over the years but it is a very smooth ride. The suspension is superb,plenty of room,good mileage,interior is sporty/elegant as well as the exterior. If Mazda ever brings back the Speed 6 with AWD in the future but with a manual feature to disable the ABS I would go to my bank, get a loan, and trade in my 06 for a new Speed 6 AWD. Don’t get me wrong Mazda you guys did a superb job with that ABS a little to good. Ice and ABS just don’t mix.

  • Justin Keough

    Mazda is a niche manufacturer, they don’t care about keeping up with Toyota, and Honda as far as numbers sold. They care more about the people that want a car that drives like a Mazda sports sedan. Mazda people never go back to toyota or Honda, where as Mazda is taking a lot of clientele from other manufacturers.