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2014 Mazda6 pairs good looks with impressive fuel economy

Mazda may be known for "Zoom-Zoom", but the company's midsize sedan offering has never been a big sales success in the U.S. market. However, Mazda is looking to make its Mazda6 a credible player in a market dominated by the Camry/Accord/Altima/Fusion/Sonata.
The first key to catching the attention from buyers is with its more dramatic styling. While the midsize sedan category is known for its boring designs, entries like the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2011 Kia Optima showed that you don't have to be stuck driving a boring box. More recently, Ford wowed customers with its Aston Martin-esque 2013 Fusion. The Mazda6 too brings its own design flair to the segment with eye-catching curves and creases. The huge grille may not be for everyone, but it seems to "work" on the Mazda6.
Mazda is also looking to attract buyers with its thrifty 2.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine. Rated at 184hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, the engine definitely won't make the Mazda6 a road rocket by any means, but it should have no trouble getting out of its own way. More importantly, however, the engine is rated a 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (29 mpg combined) with a 6-speed manual transmission (yay for manuals). However, if you step up to the 6-speed automatic, the numbers jump to an even more impressive 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway (30 mpg combined).

And Mazda will also take a page from Volkswagen's playbook during the second half of 2013: it will offer a diesel engine in the Mazda6. The 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D will find its way to the Mazda6, offering up an alternative to the hybrid powertrains that are typically made available in this vehicle class. There is no word yet on what the EPA numbers will be for the diesel, but rest assured that they will likely surpass the already impressive numbers available for the gasoline version of the Mazda6.

Source: Mazda

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Is this really news in the US?
By Dingmatt on 1/4/2013 10:11:17 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, I must remember to trade in my combined 67 mpg Diesel Mini Cooper (80 mpg Imperial)... actually I'd rather not.

Are all cars on the American market still this bad? Do your dealers just drill holes in your tanks before you can buy the car?

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By ipay on 1/4/2013 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
What country? What year? Curb weight?

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Dingmatt on 1/4/2013 10:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
Hi ipay,

Its a 2009 MINI Hatchback 1.6 D Cooper 3d with the Chilli pack registered in the UK, I think the curb weights around 1090 kg.

I've also looked up its advertised mpg (rather than my specifics) which is 60 mpg (74 mpg imperial).

Granted its a bit smaller than the standard American car but it won't be far off the Mazda.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Spuke on 1/4/2013 10:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
I've also looked up its advertised mpg (rather than my specifics) which is 60 mpg (74 mpg imperial).
Also look up US EPA testing methods versus the UK and the differences between US gallons and UK gallons. The numbers are not comparable.

By Dingmatt on 1/4/2013 10:57:30 AM , Rating: 2
Had a quick look and your correct, that would explain a few things.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Dingmatt on 1/4/2013 11:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
I just had a thought, though the official figures can't be compared the real life ones can with a simple imperial conversion.

Over a 260 mile journey last weekend the Mini hit a 67 mpg (80 mpg imperial) average though that does drop if I start to driver around the cities, what kind of RL mileage are you getting?*

(* real question no sarcasm or malice meant)

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Dr of crap on 1/4/2013 12:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'll answer that one. We here in the states we are lucky to get over 30 mpg. The smaller cars, Focus, Mazda2, Mini, Fiesta, Cruise, can get up to 40 mpg. And yes that's it.

Don't know how that would increase IF we had diesels over here, but we do not.

We do have Mini's over here, but I don't think they are the same car as you have over there. It's about the size of a Focus, seats 5, and again might get 35 mpg, not sure of the exact EPA numbers. And our cars weigh more over here from govt mandated safety addons.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Spuke on 1/4/2013 1:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
Our Mini's and theirs are the same. We don't get the diesel engine and maybe one other engine but they're the same.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Spuke on 1/4/2013 1:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
Oops forgot to answer your question. I don't own a Mini let alone a diesel Mini so my numbers are NOT comparable at all. I have a Pontiac Solstice, sports car with a 2.0L 4 cyl turbo engine. EPA rated at 19/28/22 (City/Highway/Combined). I get 27-28 mpg with a best of 33 (achieved 3 times). Worst was 24. I live in a rural area where there are long stretches of 2 lane road with a few stops and I don't drive like a grandma either.

By Argon18 on 1/4/2013 3:17:48 PM , Rating: 1
What do you mean we don't have diesels? VW and Mercedes have been selling them for decades in the US. True though, that most other manufacturers have ignored the US when it comes to diesels. My '02 Golf TDI delivered a genuine 52 mpg on the highway, and that was after a bigger turbo, chip, and exhaust upgrades.

By FreeTard on 1/6/2013 2:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
Bought a used 2012 Mazda3 skyactiv. 14.5 gallon tank and I average 480mi per tank. That's combined city/highway.

Set the cruise at 75mph on I-70 from Denver to Salida and it goes up to 550mi per tank.

No regrets since I commute 60mi per day and was driving a Jeep that did well to get 10mpg.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By ipay on 1/4/2013 1:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
High sixties is pretty nice.

Not only do our car generally weigh more, as noted my the post above, but since we use our cars differently than in many other parts of the world, they care often tuned a bit differently. Which effect economy, of course.

Also, regarding our diesel car's specifically, our diesel fuel is different than European diesel. Ours has a lower cetane number, but slowing that is changing with ultra low-sulfur diesel becoming more common.

What do you pay for your diesel?

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By superstition on 1/5/2013 12:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
Ultra low sulfur diesel in the US has a cetane minimum of 40. It also has a wear scar that's too high according to the EMA, at 520 microns.

By Bad-Karma on 1/5/2013 2:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
I have a pair of 7.3 T444Es in my 1 & 1.5 ton trucks. Within weeks of switching to low sulfur mandated fuel they started leaking from just about everywhere. It is a common issue with older diesel engines. Not only does the sulfur help as a friction modifier but a lot of the gaskets and seals were not formulated for the low surfer diesel. It causes them to leak and wear out much faster. And since diesels have such loose tolerances you get a lot of blow back from the cylinders down into the crankcase and then into the oil, so the seals in that system is affected as well.

As the gaskets fail, I've been replacing with gaskets designed for the new fuel, but what a headache. Even my fuel, lines,bowl and fuel heaters started leaking until they were refitted with a rebuilt kit that used hydraulic level components and seals.

The other conundrum is that until the engines have to be completely tore down and rebuilt, I also have to use additives to put the surfer back in.

If you ever peruse the any of the diesel truck forums you'll see the issue all over the place.

By Dingmatt on 1/6/2013 9:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
If I've got my maths right Diesel in the UK is around $8.35 per us gallon (more commonly known over here as £1.34 per litre), that's the cheap supermarket stuff; the good brands around 10% more.

By Jeffk464 on 1/4/2013 10:21:01 AM , Rating: 2
This is no mini cooper, its a roomy mid sized car and the mileage numbers are great for a non hybrid. I would love to get that kind of mileage. Ten years ago you would be lucky to get these numbers from a gutless econo box.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By drycrust3 on 1/4/2013 10:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
I must remember to trade in my combined 67 mpg Diesel Mini Cooper

Wasn't someone fined a huge amount in the US recently for having too optimistic fuel consumption figures? I think you'll find all the cars released in the US this year will have more realistic fuel consumption figures than before.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Kurz on 1/4/2013 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
Hyundai on the Elantra

By Alexvrb on 1/6/2013 12:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
No sir, in reality it was most of their Hyundai/Kia lineup. Not just one vehicle. Some of them were really hugely inflated too.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By cyberguyz on 1/4/2013 4:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
And Ford (aka Mazda) is currently fighting class action lawsuits because its inflated economy numbers.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By sprockkets on 1/4/2013 10:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
Ford no longer owns any stake in Mazda.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By cyberguyz on 1/8/2013 7:38:46 AM , Rating: 2
True 'nuff, but the 2006 Mazda 6 I owned was an old-school Ford thru and thru (aka pure crap).

Happy to see Ford finally turning themselves around over the last couple years. The Focus I'm driving now is a major step up in quality from what I am used to from any other american car company. It is certainly 100 times better than that 06 Mazda was.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By M6nut on 1/11/2013 10:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
I own a 2012 6 and agree that the fuel economy numbers are inflated a bit. Admittedly, my commute is city and am averaging 20.5mpg, which is not particularly good for a 2.5L 4-banger. Pretty quick to 40mph but performance drops off dramatically after that. No complaints on handling- great in corners compared to Camry, Sonata, Altima, etc... Also stable at high speeds. Cannot wait to test drive the 2.2Sky-diesel. If it delivers, will have a new 6 in the garage!

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By retrospooty on 1/4/2013 10:39:49 AM , Rating: 2
"Wow, I must remember to trade in my combined 67 mpg Diesel Mini Cooper"

This is much larger than a mini, and it isnt Diesel. Its really good for a standard gas car of its size, weight and power.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By retrospooty on 1/4/2013 10:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
I menat to add... With that said, I would really LOVE to get my hands on your Mini. I drove a friends once a few years ago. Really fun to drive.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Dingmatt on 1/4/2013 11:01:01 AM , Rating: 2
Couldn't agree more in fact that was my main reason when I bought it, its like driving a go kart.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By BZDTemp on 1/4/2013 12:27:00 PM , Rating: 3
I am sorry but it seems you have never driven a actual go kart!

The original Mini may have a little bit of it but that was a true mini car half the size and weight of the fashion item of yours that BMW calls a Mini.

Your mini must weigh something like 2500 pounds and a actual go-kart is something like 170 pounds or maybe slightly more. There really is no comparison it is not even the same wheels that drive the two vehicles and the power to weight ratio is night and day.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Spuke on 1/4/2013 1:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
C'mon, the new Mini is not that bad. It's really a fun car to drive. Although if I was looking at a cheap, great handling car I'd get a Chevy Cobalt SS with the 2.0L turbo engine (NOT the supercharged one). Car and Driver called it the best handling FWD car and its lap times in their Lightning Lap articles back up that statement.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By BZDTemp on 1/4/2013 4:17:15 PM , Rating: 3
The "Mini" handles rather well but nothing like a go kart. It is simply as a cynical exploitation of the legacy of what was originally a cheap but brilliant car.

The original Mini is a model of clever packaging and cheap motoring fun for the masses and it really was small. In contrast the BMW Mini is neither especially clever or cheap it is simply a marketing ploy taking advantage of the love for the original Mini. It's just like the remake of the Beetle which made the original car of the people into a fashion accessory with style over substance.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By 91TTZ on 1/4/2013 4:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
Please explain what was "brilliant" about the Mini. It seems that term is just loosely thrown around nowadays.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Spuke on 1/4/2013 5:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
Please explain what was "brilliant" about the Mini. It seems that term is just loosely thrown around nowadays.
Just like the phrase "drivers car".

By BZDTemp on 1/5/2013 9:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
Lots. You need to remember the Moris Mini is from over half a decade ago so compared to modern cars it is of course primitive.

The original mini was build to be cheap, compact and efficient in both construction and use. They mounted the engine transversal in the front and gave it front wheel drive and packaged everything very compact by for example using rubber pieces rather than springs to save space. A bonus to the packaging and efficient use of material meant the cheap car had, for it's time, decent power to weight ratio and with wheels literally in the corners and low weight the car had fun and safe handling.

Almost every compact car since the Moris Mini has used FWD with a transversal engine mount.

By Lord 666 on 1/5/2013 12:32:04 AM , Rating: 1
During a trip to London, was loaned a modern Mini to drive around. Being my first time driving on the opposite side, the most challenging part was circles/roundabouts. The Mini handled hitting curbs and shit like a slot car and without any real damage. Definitely earned my respect as a city car.

By Dingmatt on 1/6/2013 9:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
Your right a go-kart doesn't grip the road as well.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By JCheng on 1/4/2013 11:53:04 AM , Rating: 3
Mileage ratings in the UK can't be compared to those in the US, they're based on different testing standards and the UK always has dramatically higher numbers. For example, the Mini Cooper (petrol) is rated at 52.3mpg combined in the UK and 30mpg combined in the US.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By JCheng on 1/4/2013 11:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I see someone else already said that :)

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By SAN-Man on 1/4/2013 12:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that engine and most engines aren't clean enough to meet US emission standards, the strictest in the world.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By Argon18 on 1/4/2013 3:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. US emissions standards are not the strictest in the world, they're the stupidest. They're based on gasoline engine emissions. Modern diesels don't pollute more than gasoline engines - they pollute less in fact. But the mixture of exhaust gasses is different. The US emissions standards do not take this into account, while the Euro standards do. Look up the top 10 green cars list for the UK - 8 of the 10 greenest cars are diesels.

RE: Is this really news in the US?
By SAN-Man on 1/4/2013 10:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
And yet they still can't meet US emission standards.

You saying it doesn't make it true.

By FITCamaro on 1/6/2013 7:25:14 AM , Rating: 2
As he said, because the standards are based off a different kind of engine. But hey just keep believing the lie that diesels are dirty.

In reality we should be embracing diesel. It's easier to produce from oil. And we can grow it from algae. It wouldn't matter how dirty it was if all the carbon expelled from burning the fuel came out of the air to begin with.

Improved Looks
By jt63 on 1/4/2013 10:15:05 AM , Rating: 3
The grille on this is an improvement over the anime cartoon smile from previous models.

RE: Improved Looks
By Jeffk464 on 1/4/2013 10:16:50 AM , Rating: 2
Its a great looking car.

RE: Improved Looks
By Da W on 1/4/2013 10:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like a 1970's american muscle car!

RE: Improved Looks
By Spuke on 1/4/2013 10:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
Great looking car indeed.

RE: Improved Looks
By Lord 666 on 1/4/2013 5:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Very nice indeed. That second picture reminds me of a 93-95 RX-7.

RE: Improved Looks
By Slaimus on 1/4/2013 11:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like a 5 point version of the MB SL grill.

RE: Improved Looks
By Dr of crap on 1/4/2013 12:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I just hate that damn smile on the Mazda. I hope all of their models will stop using that grill style, and MAYBE they'll sell more over here!

And this 6 looks great with great mpgs!

RE: Improved Looks
By cyberguyz on 1/4/2013 4:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
Used to own a 2005 Mazda 6 (V6 GT). It looked good, but I absolutely hated the car.

RE: Improved Looks
By superstition on 1/5/2013 12:45:52 AM , Rating: 2
True, but the angry gopher look (basically copying the Cruze) with the oversized wheels leaves a lot to be desired, unless you like driving something that looks silly.

Diesel also costs 20% more
By Mitch101 on 1/4/2013 12:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Since Diesel costs about 20% more than regular its comparable to a car that gets 31 mpg on regular. The pathetic part is Diesel is supposedly cheaper to produce than Regular on the plus side a diesel vehicle would allow for biofuels. Is it convenient anywhere to get biofuel yet and at what cost?

RE: Diesel also costs 20% more
By cyberguyz on 1/4/2013 4:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Many of the gas cars allow E85 Ethanol though we can't get it where I live.

You have to watch out for the biodiesel. It thickens like molasses in the winter and is absolute sludge at -20C. You would need some kind of heater to keep it liquid enough to push through your injectors.

By superstition on 1/5/2013 12:47:50 AM , Rating: 1
Ethanol? No thanks.

Waiting for Sky-D 3
By jthistle on 1/4/2013 11:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
When they bring out the 3 with the new styling and the Sky-D I will be in line for one

RE: Waiting for Sky-D 3
By sheltem on 1/4/2013 11:50:46 AM , Rating: 2
Same here. Sky-D Mazda3 hatch is my ticket. While I love my 2010 Mazda3, its fuel economy is awful (I have the bigger 2.5l engine).

By agent2099 on 1/4/2013 12:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
Nice looking vehicle, mazda is stepping their game up.

By BZDTemp on 1/4/2013 12:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
Having driven the Mazda6 diesel at a dealership event I gotta say it is a very nice car.

The Mazda6 is a world market car and I think Mazda have a hit on their hands. The car feels both solid and nimble with loads of room and gizmo's enough for anyone (radar cruise control, energy recovery using brake energy to power AC and more, autobrake system for city use...). And the engines - gas ones that have almost diesel grunt and a diesel that revs like it runs on gas!

Anyone buying should go for the 6-speed manual because it is really nice with a very satisfying feel and the engines like to rev :-)

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