2014 Mazda 6 Review

Before you go buy that Accord/Altima/Camry, stop and consider this

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Mazda6 Review

It’s had a lot of positive press, this new Mazda 6, with reviewers hailing it as Mazda’s return to form, dialling back in a much-missed sporty edge to the daily-drivers category of one of the biggest segments in the Middle East, the mid-range saloon.

This is Mazda’s self-styled riposte to the category best-sellers: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. It comes in two engine flavours, the 155bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder, which is even available (rather uniquely in our market) in estate or wagon body shape, and the more potent 185bhp 2.5-litre four-cylinder.

2014 Mazda6 Review

Prices start at AED75,000 for the base 2.0 with AED79k asked for the estate. The 2.5 kicks off at AED83k, there’s a mid-spec edition for AED95k, and the range-topping R, which is of course the car we tried, weighs in at a still reasonable AED110,000.

I say reasonable, particularly when you see the level of kit on the car – for example you don’t usually get Active Cruise Control, and Automatic Stop-Start in cars in this part of the market. Plus there’s an 11-speaker Bose sound system (6 in the lesser 2.5s), Sat-Nav, leather upholstery, adaptive front lights, lane departure warning, 19-inch alloy wheels and more. It’s also a big car, with very good interior space and comfort, particularly in the back and it features a big boot.

2014 Mazda6 Review

The most stand-out feature of the Mazda 6 is of course its styling, which will set it slightly apart from in the Mall car park – it does look particularly fetching in red. It’s slightly engorged and imposing front is its best feature with an almost Maserati-esque feel from the gaping grille, slanted headlights swooping bonnet and muscular fender lines, which emphasise the front-drive stance of the car.

The side profile is sleek and handsome too with pinched lower door frames slimming its waistline considerably. At the back it’s more conventional, although a slight departure from the rather Alfa-esque rear ends of recent Mazdas going back, it seems, to an earlier era.

2014 Mazda6 Review

That less-than-radical, but comfortably familiar approach, continues inside with a well thought-out and presented, if uninspiring , cabin. One thing I was a little puzzled by, was why our car featured a controller knob (not shown on these pictures) just aft of the transmission lever to control the functions on the screen, which itself was a touch-screen anyway. Potentially to give drivers a choice, I surmise.

It’s got a proper handbrake, which is always nice these days in an era of automatic systems, so we release it and head off into the Dubai’s traffic.

2014 Mazda6 Review

The electric power steering is very consistent and linear in its effort, quite accurate with decent feel and response belying its evident mass. We’ve said it’s a big car already, but don’t let that put you off, as it never feels ungainly threading through traffic. If anything its lightweight construction gives it a deftness you’ll appreciate.

Even on those huge 19-inch rims, the ride is remarkably composed and well damped, especially impressive at the rear – so your passengers will be pleased. It goes for great bump-thump absorption rather than a flat composure and taught body-control.k

2014 Mazda6 Review

Performance can hardly be described as blistering, but it’s more than adequate with eager get-go, and easy cruising speeds, whilst maintaining excellent fuel economy, despite ‘only’ having a six-speed auto (with paddleshifts). They seem to be plenty enough gears.

Handling is about as keen and on par with the best of its rivals, perhaps it’s a little more incisive, possibly a little less inclined to understeer, but it does still very much feel like a front-wheel drive car. It’s a pleasant and satisfying steer, if not quite a thrilling one.

2014 Mazda6 Review

It would be great to put this up against the new Honda Accord, to which I think it is closest in concept. But overall then, this is another great contender in this fiercely fought-over segment, and one in which it seeks not to dominate or conquer (it’s sales volumes are naturally smaller), but provide an alternative to the default choices. It is possibly, not entirely coincidental that the car’s likeness reminded me a little of the aforementioned legendary Italian marque because Mazda seems to be, at this end of the market, what Maserati is to the luxury segment – the maverick’s choice of distinction.

2014 Mazda 6 2.5
Specs
Prices:
2.5 V AED83,000 ($23k)
2.5 V Sunroof AED95,000 ($26k)
2.5 R Sunroof AED110,000 ($30k)
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder, 185bhp @ 5700rpm, 184lb ft @ 3250rpm
Performance: 8.1secs 0-100kph (est), 230kph, 7.8L/100
Transmission: Six-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight: 1466kg

5 responses to “2014 Mazda 6 Review”

  1. Adnan says:

    Picking this up in the the next two months. Went around the market looking at everything from Altima, Accord, Malibu, Sonata, Passat, Camry, to even the Velostar(underpowered but sexy), 86(brilliant. only if desi dads were cool with a “sportscar”), FJ(over the budget), Safrane, Maxima, and the retarded 308 (OMG “special edition SIRR”) (Hate Peugeot). My only aim was to get a car comfortable enough and which actually looked good. Accords 2.5L were not that great in terms of features vs price, Altima 2.5L didn’t have a sunroof even in its full option, Malibu was a tight-space car at the back, Sonata was really good but not to my liking (a taxi -so to say for the camry) and the passat was just a little tooooo boring. Having said that, I then went to mazda, not knowing that this was the new 6. I went to look at the ultra. But when I saw this, I fell in love with it. Its just so beautiful with all its lines that one cannot let it go. So, one month of research and alot of petrol burnt on test drives, I’ve found the perfect car.

    But maybe not. Mazda doesn’t allow you to choose seat colours. Thats the weirdest thing ever. You buy a car which has a dark colour on the outside and are forced to keep beige seats. Seriously now Mazda? What happened to customer satisfaction and paying for what you want etc etc?

    But then, I’m getting it at a bargain so I’d customize the seats later to my preference!

  2. Zahid says:

    Always been a fan of Mazda though never owned one.
    Liking that they are offering the estate here. I think there should be more on the road.

    You never hear anything good about dealer support and service in the UAE – Mazda again isn’t supposed to be that great. Does that put people off?

  3. Rojy says:

    Interior design is disappointing , feels like they did not have money to hire a designer.

  4. RV says:

    I’ve had the chance to own a mazda 6 previous model which was a great car to drive and i loved the model. The new one is even more appealing in terms of design. However the only downfall is the resale value here in the UAE. You won’t get for the asking price.

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