2014 Mazda6: Family Checklist

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The redesigned 2014 Mazda6 is an impressive car with stunning looks and a sporty drive, but I found its family-duty chops to be just OK.

When it was just me and my toddler in this midsize sedan, things went well. She was able to get in all by herself, and I was happy behind the wheel. The Mazda6, with its 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, doesn't drive or handle like a boring sedan.

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During my test drive, my husband, daughter and I got to play tour guide for an out-of-town guest, and things got really cramped with three adults and one kid inside the Mazda6. My tall visitor barely had enough headroom in the front passenger seat — I had to make sure the moonroof sunshade was open to keep him from feeling claustrophobic.

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He was able to slide the front passenger seat back far enough to be comfortable with my forward-facing toddler sitting behind him, but if your family has a child in a rear-facing safety seat and a tall parent regularly riding up front, you're likely to run into problems. My husband sat in back, and at 5 feet 8 inches, he had enough legroom when seated behind me, but I'm just 5 foot 3. While the Mazda6's 38.7 inches of rear legroom barely beat the Honda Accord's 38.5 inches, the Volkswagen Passat's rear legroom bests it at 39.1 inches.

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Aside from our somewhat cramped quarters, the Mazda6 did yield some great fuel-economy averages. Since I mostly stick to suburbia with my 2-year-old during the week, my weekly averages tend to come in below the EPA's estimations. The Mazda6 gets an estimated 26/38 mpg city/highway, but during our tour-guide weekend, I managed to maintain numbers in the high 20s or low 30s.

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Although the Mazda6's trunk at 14.8 cubic feet is smaller than the Accord's 15.5-cubic-foot trunk and the Passat's even larger trunk at 15.9, it handled my groceries with room to spare, and my stroller fit in easily. If you need extra room, the Mazda6's 60/40-split rear seats fold flat, and the levers to fold the seats are conveniently located in the trunk.

2014 Mazda6: Car Seat Check

My daughter's forward-facing convertible installed easily in the Mazda6, which has two sets of lower Latch anchors. They can be difficult to use because of stiff seat cushions. I also had to wonder how my toddler would fare if she were older and buckling up on her own in a booster seat because the seat belt buckles were recessed into the cushions.

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There's no doubt, you sure do get a lot of car for the price when it comes to the 2014 Mazda6. My top-of-the line Grand Touring trim came in around $31,000, including the destination charge, and had a standard blind spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert, which is my favorite feature because it lets you know if a car is approaching when you're backing out of a parking spot. Adaptive cruise control is optional and can be added for as little as $900.

While I loved the Mazda6's good looks and drive experience, those only took me so far. In the end, I would've appreciated more clever storage solutions, cushier interior design and better tech to woo me away from its many competitors.

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By Carrie Kim | August 2, 2013 | Comments (14)

Comments 

GK

For additional tech options on the new Mazda6, the Grand Touring (GT) version also comes with a technology package available for $2,000 which gives you: lane departure warning, smart city braking/forward obstruction warning, radar cruise control, bi-xenon adaptable pivoting headlamps with high beam control, and Sirius satellite radio to tickle your 11-speaker Bose sound system. Zoom zoom.

Tony

"... get a lot of car for the price..." (31K)

"Adaptive cruise control ... can be added for as little as $900..."

Are we still taking Mazda6 here? Author of this is in the dreamland. For those money one can buy a Maxima and then set of furniture.

Skankzilla

"For those money one can buy a Maxima and then set of furniture."

Doesn't a base Maxima START at $31,000? Not even including the $790 destination charge. I'll take the Mazda and steer away from that cheap furniture you buy out of the back of that unmarked box truck.


Tony

Of course, Maxima now 6K under MSRP...

Peter

To match the heated leather seats of the Mazda, you have to move up to the Maxima SV with the Value Package. So equipped the Maxima runs $35,050 with destination fee. Add in the Mazda gets 26/38 MPG versus the Nissan 19/26 MPG and the Mazda is looking like a good value.

Tony

Ok. Let me rephrase myself. 30K is way too much for a 4cyl, regular family car. Independently, what options are installed. It is not a "deal" as author of this may suggest. This is a pricey purchase. And again, manufacturers just find a way to sell less car for more money. I still don't understand how is same trim of Mazda3 in 2 years went from 17,800 to 20,300. Looks like we becoming second Europe - small cars, big price.

carguy

you need to correct your checklist as it indicates that the rear seatbacks do not fold down. The rear seats are 60/40 and do fold down (compare this to the cost cutting one piece Accord rear seatback with its narrow opening).

Zoom Zoom

I bought a 2014 Mazda6 Sport, stick shift and a four-banger, with the big wheels.

It is a blast to drive! Great gas mileage. Babe magnet.

Looked at the other trims and liked the Sport much better than any of the others.

Highly recommend Borman in Las Cruces, NM for Mazda6 at a fair price.

Chip

I recently test drove the 6 three times at three different dealers as I'm in the market. I like a lot about the car but can't get over the awful radio design. It looks like a really bad after thought. Why Mazda why!? Also they skimped on the sound deadening material as it's the noisiest car among the Passat, Altima, and Accord. A lot of road noise makes its way into the cabin.

Tony is 100% correct as my neighbor just told me about the heavy discounting Nissan dealers are giving on the Maxima so I'm going to look into them this weekend.

Kat

Tony, have you been paying attention to the car world lately?! $30K is too much for a 4 cylinder sedan? Audi, BMW, Lexus, Acura, and Cadillac would beg to differ.

Tony

Kat,

this is exactly what I said. Look at yourself. You actually believe that 30K is Ok for 4 cyl average car like Mazda6. They can all beg. And those who wants to pay up - go ahead. Check this out. Infinity reduces G37 price by few grand, just because its pricing overlaps Q50. What does it tell you? It tells me, that this Infinity could be sold for $25K with profit made and the pricing is nothing more than manufacturer's wish. And since you fulfill this wish, they can charge you even more, whenever they want to.

j compton

Let me know when you get even a base mamima or G37 for 25k Tony. Get away from the computer and go to a dealership sometime. By the way, that is a fully loaded 6 (drive one, it is not an average car).

j compton

maxima that is.

What car seat do you have? BTW I am 6'4 and I feel like I have tons of space in the Mazda5. Been having a lot of fun with it.

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