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

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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

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