The new 2014 Mazda 6 with Skyactiv technology has undergone a style and performance makeover that makes the car a strong competitor for its class.
But a big drawback to the new 6 is the lack of powertrain options that are available on the model.
"The new 6 lacks the variety of powertrain choices offered by others in this segment. But to extend the metaphor, if the ball is still in the park, it's off the fence and the batter is heading into third base standing up," Car and Driver included in their report of the 2014 Mazda 6.
The automotive magazine gave a full review of the new 6 after having the opportunity to take it for a test drive, having mostly positive feedback for Mazda's new mid-size sedan.
"The new 6 is a dynamic sweetheart that can dance step for step with a Honda Accord, and it's a bold design statement that eschews the timidity that still afflicts some of the segment's major players," Car and Driver reported.
The new Mazda 6 took little direction from the previous model and was inspired mostly by the CX-5 crossover with the use of high-strength steel, increased structural rigidity and reduced mass.
The new 6 also lost some weight in comparison to its predecessor.
According to Car and Driver estimates, the new generation will not weigh more than 3,330 pounds, depending on the trim level---that is compared to the previous model that weighed in at about 3,600 pounds.
The 2014 model's wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer but the overall length has decreased by 2.2 inches to make it 191.5 inches. The height was lowered by 0.8 inch to 57.1 and the width remains the same at 72.4 inches.
But do not be fooled by the numbers, the new Mazda 6 certainly has a forceful and brawny presence with its newly sculpted front and rear.
There is no V-6 option on the new 6 that has been outfitted with a new 2.5-liter DOHC direct-injected 16-valve aluminum four engine. However, that is the only engine available on the new model until a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is added to the line later in the year, according to Car and Driver.
And the interior of the 2014 Mazda 6 has also undergone a makeover that includes improvements to rear-seat legroom, materials and instrument panel and gauges.
The price tag on the new 6 with the basic Sport model starts at $21,675 or $23,290 for the six-speed automatic. The Touring trim starts at $29,290 and boasts the addition of 19-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery, a power driver's seat, dual-zone auto climate control, a 5.8-inch center dash display, blind-spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system.