The redesigned 2014 Mazda 6 midsize sedan has been named Car of the Year by special interest magazine Popular Mechanics, mainly due to the car's advanced engineering technology, although other media reports also refer to the redesigned car's much more stylish appearance.
After a year of test driving, Popular Mechanics editors and contributors selected the Mazda 6 for overall excellence among the top 10 choices in the midsize sedan segment. Criteria to select the Car of the Year include: affordability, utility, fuel efficiency, performance, innovation, and bold design. A year ago, the magazine also singled out Mazda's Skyactiv family of engines for an automotive excellence award in the Technical Innovation category.
Features that were called out for innovation in the new Mazda 6 include a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system; front collision-detecting Smart City Brake Support system; and the Skyactiv D 2.2-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged clean diesel engine that will be available in the new Mazda 6 late next spring.
Popular Mechanics Editor-in-Chief Jim Meigs said, "The Mazda 6 really impressed us with how well it delivers so many things modern car owners want: great mileage, fun road-handling, upscale features and looks--and remarkable value."
The 2014 Mazda 6, which is already being sold in the United States, is offered in three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Powered by the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine, buyers have a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The car's standard powertrain produces 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the Mazda 6 is 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
Mazda's second-most popular model in the U.S. market also has enhanced safety systems, including a rearview camera and an available smartphone-linked infotainment system.
Through the first 10 months of 2013, Mazda 6 sales in the United States have risen to 35,632 units, which is higher than the full 2012 calendar-year total of 33,756 unit sales. The Mazda 6 is produced in Japan and in the United States.