Read the complete 2014 Mazda6 Test Drive at AutoGuide.comFuel efficient, fun and fancy looking too
by Luke Vandezande
Available at dealers this month, the 2014 Mazda6 carries on the engine size and name of its predecessor, but discards everything else.
Calling a midsize sedan a flagship might seem a little strange, but that’s the case here and Mazda wants to better distinguish it from the compact, though far more popular, Mazda3. Previous model years looked like little more than a scaled up version of the smaller car; and to many that might have been a barrier to buy.
NEW BODY STYLE SWAPS SMILE FOR SERIOUS FACE
It wears the second production application of Mazda’s new KODO design language, losing the smiling front end and exclamatory headlights for a more pronounced grille and sharper body style.
First seen on the 2013 CX-5 small crossover that replaced the CX-7, KODO is part of Mazda’s stab at staying relevant after splitting ties with Ford. It, and the brand’s heavily-promoted SkyActiv engines are part of a re-imagination for the brand that it says weren’t possible during the partnership. But more on the drivetrain below.
Defined fenders and hips, a high beltline and standard 17-inch alloy wheels on the entry-level “sport” model help promise a stylish package — even at the $21,675 starting price which stays close to the previous entry model in price.