Now there are a number of variants?
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 5, 2012
The all-new Mazda6 with the 2.2L SKYACTIV-D with Start/Stop – Pricing TBA. On the NEDC in its most fuel efficient form including the 6-speed stick, the all-new Mazda6 is rated at an excellent 60.3 mpgUS combined. Maybe 47 mpgUS combined on our own EPA?
The all-new Mazda6 brings together the most advanced state of sustainable propulsion Mazda has ever offered held within the Jaguar-“esque” KODO interior and exterior design.
The 2014 Mazda6 will be the second Mazda to offer the entire suite of SKYACTIV technologies and the first Mazda to exclusively incorporate company’s unique i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system.
The all-new 2014 Mazda6s KODO design language -- which was inspired by the movements of animals in the wild -- is not just the latest auto speak acronym but an idea in which a beautiful form really does follow a focused function.
Up front you have the new signature wing grille with DRL LEDs and a new halo ring light. The wraparound lenses link the aggressive face to the side flowing character line on back to the signature tail lights. The profile shows off prominent fender flares accentuated through the rear haunches that allude to a powerful yet fully modern platform. Even the base 17 in alloys fill the wheel wells with a hint of frugality while the more prominent but optional 19’s imply elegance with a road holding character second to none <-- This may be my best exterior design poetry yet
All of this comes down to a Cd of just 0.26 placing this D-segment midsize clearly at the top of its class when it comes to cheating the wind.
To finish off the exterior, four all-new and riveting body colors include Soul Red Metallic, Blue Reflex Mica, Meteor Grey Mica and Jet Black Mica
Following the KODO design language of form following function, the driver-oriented cockpit’s control layout makes instrumentation comprehension and controls operation as intuitive and easy as it has ever been.
Even driver and passenger sightlines have expanded from the current Mazda6 as the A-pillars were moved rearward and side mirrors repositioned providing an even wider horizontal and vertical field of view.
Bringing the best of the exterior inside. There are two main lines flowing across the instrument panels and through the doors. Included is a 3.5 in. multi-information display in the main instrument cluster and 5.8 in touchscreen located in a high position on the center stack
The heavily bolstered yet lightweight contoured 8-way power drivers and manually adjustable passenger front seats are said to induce a supportive wrap-around feel while at the same time providing long-distance comfort.
A purposely designed Mazda interior.
Adding, we see polished aluminum like door handles and gearshift knob with soft plastics or leather residing on items most often touched. The driver and passenger alike will enjoy what Mazda is calling “segment-leading” dimensions (generous rear seat leg and knee room) along with the very latest infotainment technology, including 11-speaker BOSE surround sound system within the top trim level.
The interior is available in leather in a choice of ‘off-white’ or ‘subtle black’ and a woven fabric upholstery in deep black.
These interior subtleties are what makes Mazda interiors consistent Ward’s 10 Best award winners. I suspect the Wards Auto crew will have few quibbles about placing the all-new 2014 Mazda6 in the same 10 Best category as well.
i-ELOOP: Mazda’s brake energy regeneration system
Mazda’s new brake energy regeneration system called i-ELOOP (“intelligent Energy Loop”) is the world’s first passenger car system to use a capacitor to store electricity recovered during deceleration to power the vehicle’s electrical systems, thereby improving fuel economy.
Mazda determined that a typical vehicle deceleration phase lasts only about 10 seconds. Realizing that the effectiveness of regenerative braking to date has been limited by the charging and storage drawbacks of conventional Pb-acid starter batteries, they instead adopted an electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC), which recharges fully within a few seconds. An efficient 12V-25V variable voltage alternator generates the electricity and charges the EDLC; a DC/DC converter then steps down the voltage to power electrical components like the climate control and audio systems, with any surplus going to the starter battery.
A full capacitor charge is enough to run the vehicle’s electrical systems for approximately a minute making i-ELOOP the perfect companion for i-stop with little or no need to revert to the 12V battery after Mazda’s idle-stop system has shut the car off. During stop-and-go city driving, charging often resumes before the capacitor is fully discharged allowing i-ELOOP to provide most if not all of a vehicle’s electrical needs. By freeing up the engine capacity from driving the alternator, i-ELOOP increases fuel economy under everyday urban driving conditions.
The 6-speed stick is surely a good one.
While drivers in Europe will have the choice of five SKYACTIV engines (two diesels and three gasoline variants), we will more than likely see just two. Which two is the very biggest of questions however?
Transferring power to the wheels will occur with a SKYACTIV design based six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The direct injected 2.0L SKYACTIV-G directly out of the Mazda CX-5 we tested earlier this year is an excellent choice. However the 2.0L SKYATIV-G out of Europe has two different specs from the 155 HP variant we have experienced here in the US. The two outputs include a spec of 143 and 162 HP. The most fuel efficient 143 HP output variant is surely not going to make its way here and even the 162 HP variant would be short on power vs. most of it I4 based rivals in the D-segment ranks.
This is where the just recently announced direct injected 189 HP 2.5L SKYACTIV-G fits.
It incorporates the same technology as the 2.0L SKYACTIV-G but with a few additional internal components to balance the much stronger power output. NEDC combined figures for the most likely engine (the 2.5L SKYACTIV-G) come in at 37.3 mpgUS combined when mated to the SKYACTIV based 6-speed AT (6-speed MT is not available) or about 30 mpgUS combined on our own EPA tying it for second place in the fuel economy ranks with the 2013 Accord. The 2013 Altima would probably still own top billing with its 31 mpgUS combined rating.
The 2.2L SKYACTIV-D Turbo Diesel separates the men from the boys
Here again there are two outputs listed? Which we will receive is put into question as there is a standard 148 HP at 4,500 rpm & 280 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm output variant and a 173 at 4,500 rpm & 310 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm high output variant being displayed in Paris right now.
The lower power output 2.2L mill is rated at an eye popping 60.3 mpgUS combined on the NEDC or as high as 47 mpgUS on our own EPA when mated to the SKYACTIV based 6-speed stick and when (or if?) equipped with the Auto Start/Stop system and regenerative braking based i-ELOOP.
When mated to the SKYACTIV 6-speed AT with Auto Start/Stop, the same lower power output 2.2L SKYACTIV-D provides a less enthusiastic but still high 49.0 mpgUS combined on the NEDC or maybe as high as 38 mpgUS combined on our own EPA.
However, chances of us seeing the lower power 2.2L SKYACTIV-D are suspect given the 173 HP output 2.2L SKYACTIV-D is available. With the SKYACTIV based 6-speed stick and Auto Start/Stop, the Mazda6 has a 52.3 mpgUS combined rating on the NEDC or maybe as high as 40 mpgUS combined (far short of the 47 mpgUS possibility from the 148 HP engine). When the high output turbo diesel is mated to the SKYACTIV 6-speed AT, a 49 mpgUS combined result on the NEDC is being touted with the possibility of achieving as high as a 38 mpgUS combined rating on our own EPA.
All engine power outputs and fuel economy ratings whether mated to the 6-speed MT or AT are tremendous but oh how I would love to see the 148 HP mill with the 6-speed stick in the US based 2014 Mazda6 as that is the drivetrain that will bury the rest of the segment.
A luxuriously looking automobile without the luxurious price
And the verdict is?
Mazda has a bevy of engines and drivetrains to place in this beautifully artistic exterior and interior.
Whether we see the most fuel efficient 2.2L SKYATIV-D with the 6-speed stick or the least efficient 2.5L SKYACTIV-G with the 6-speed AT (or any configurations in between), having your bottom match the “Best in Class” and your top screaming fuel economy world record at every push of the start button or turn of the key is a very enviable situation to be in.
Which variant would you choose?