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Aaron Gold

Test drive: 2014 Mazda6

By February 25, 2013

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2014 Mazda6

A car like the 2014 Mazda6 is almost guaranteed to get good reviews. Mazda's whole "Zoom Zoom" campaign is not just an empty promise. Their cars are great to drive, and that's the sort of car reviewers like me love. But typical mid-size sedan buyers are more like my father, who loves his 2009 Hyundai Sonata, not because it's a great driver's car -- it's not -- but because it's comfortable, roomy and reliable.

Recently, I asked you to vote on what's important in a mid-size sedan. People who read this blog are more likely to be enthusiasts, but even you rated quality (19%) and price/value (16%) above driving dynamics (15%), with fuel economy (14%) and styling (12%) not far behind.

You know I'm bound to love the Mazda6, and I'm sure you're bound to love the Mazda6 -- but what will the general public think? I've done my best to predict just that in my 2014 Mazda6 review. -- Aaron Gold

Photo Mazda

February 25, 2013 at 9:36 am
(1) George in Ohio says:

Excellent review, Aaron. You acknowledge a point that all of the other reviews I have read on the Mazda6 seem to ignore – it’s not just the critic’s opinion on the car that counts, it’s also the public’s opinion as well. I understand most cars critics’ love for sharp driving dynamics – that’s important to me, too. But some critics will overlook a host of other shortcomings if the car simply is “fun to drive.” Good for you for pointing out that a sporty driving experience, while significant, isn’t the only factor in the car buying decision for many folks.

That said, I definitely think this car has the potential to sway me from my default decision of replacing my Sonata with a Legacy in the next year. As much as I love AWD in uncertain weather (to which Ohio is certainly susceptible) and how happy I have been with my Subaru wagon, the 6 looks to be a car with enough assets/charm to win me over. It certainly looks to be worth a test drive, along with the Passat and Accord, before I would pull the trigger on the Subie. Give Mazda props – they were smart enough to ignore the Mazda 3 when designing the front end of the car. Don’t care how great the 3 drives, that grill is a deal breaker.

Really lots of incredibly good choices in the midsize market today – it’s not easy to choose among so many excellent options.

February 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm
(2) Eric says:

I’ve been waiting ever so impatiently for a review of the new Mazda 6. I’ve always liked the Mazda 6, but, not quite as much as some of its rivals. I really like the new style. To me it’s every bit as stylish as the Ford Fusion and much more so than the Sonata. I think that Mazda finally has a competitive mid-size sedan on it’s hands. This car will be on my short list too.

February 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm
(3) Hawaiian Don says:

After spending a week behind the fabulous Mazda 3, I am not surprised by this review at all. Though this size vehicle is not suited for my daily use, I would love to see a head to head comparo with the Fusion.
George, having sold Subies, I have been disappointed with the Legacy Sedans of late. Interior materials, power, MPG all were marginal at best.

February 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm
(4) George in Ohio says:

Thanks for the Subaru input, Don. I have noticed that the Legacy reviews are currently a bit mixed, although improvements apparently have been made to the 2013 in the mid-cycle refresh. The Legacy should be due for a complete revision in 2015, and I would hope they would address some of the issues you mention. Don’t know if I’ll wait that long to buy, however.

I agree – a broad comparo of Mazda6/Accord/Altima/Passat/Fusion/Legacy would be great to see. Still don’t like the Fusion, but the 6, Accord, Passat and maybe the Altima could definitely be in play.

February 26, 2013 at 12:36 am
(5) Hawaiian Don says:

As a Marketing/Sales Director I attended all meetings, including mechanic sessions. To my shock the #1 discussed issue was the Head Gasket problems with the 2.5 Boxer. I was usually at the VW/Subaru store for these meetings. When I asked the mechanics which brand they would buy, not a single mechanic said Subaru. They did not trust the 2.5 Boxer at all!
Most were choosing the VW Diesel or the 2.5 5 cyl gasoline …but not the Subie.
Research online “2.5 Subaru Boxer engine problems”.
There a really comprehensive artical from ALL WHEEL DRIVE that discusses this in detail. Subaru said they fixed the HG issue in 2002…not true!!!

February 26, 2013 at 8:44 am
(6) George in Ohio says:

At the risk of turning this Mazda thread into a Subaru thread: Don, I definitely know first hand about the head gasket issue for Subies, and apparently, so does Subaru. I had the infamous HG repair on my 2003 a year and a half ago, but Subaru paid for all of the repair (minus a $100 “deductible”), even though it was 5+ years out of warranty. So I was pretty satisfied with their position on the matter. Other than that issue, the car has so far been bulletproof. I can’t say if Subaru has solved the problem or not, but it’s for sure they know about it. It’s certainly another consideration to ponder when making the next car decision.

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