2014 Mazda 6
Don't let the Best Family Sedan title (page 59 of Road & Track's December 2013/January 2014 issue) mislead you—unlike a lot of mid-size four-doors, the new Mazda 6 is heaps of fun to drive. In a segment full of well-engineered but unremarkable transportation, Mazda has gone for extra credit: The 6 looks fantastic, handles like an oversized Miata, and can be had with a clutch pedal. In short, you don't need a family to enjoy it.
- Tan leatherette and plenty of glass mean the interior doesn't feel like a cave. The big windows—rare on a modern car—make it easy to see out of. Imagine that!
- We chose the mid-range touring, which gave us a nice touchscreen infotainment setup. Unfortunately, nav is limited to the automatic-only Grand Touring model.
- Amazing handling, fab steering, the soul of an autocrosser.
- This car was styled, not just assembled. Unlike some sedans, the 3200-lb 6 doesn't pay for its design at the scales.
- Sport and touring models come standard with a six-speed stick. The clutch and throttle are amazingly well calibrated, and not just for a a family sedan. Did we mention what a hoot this thing is?
- All this for $24,740, including the extra-cost red paint. Affordable, sensible cars don't have to be a drag.
- Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder with VVT
- Horsepower: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm
- Torque (SAE net, lb-ft): 185 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
- EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy (Manual transmission (city/HWY): 25 / 37
- Curb weight (lbs) - Manual transmission): 3183