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2014 Mazda6 Sedan: 31 MPG Combined (Or So), But Not For Sale

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2014 Mazda Mazda6

2014 Mazda Mazda6

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In olden days, new models for the following year came out in September.

Now, they're all over the calendar.

The latest example is the 2014 Mazda Mazda6 sedan, of which several hundred already sit in Mazda showrooms across the country.

Its highly efficient 184-hp SkyActiv 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will likely return a combined EPA rating around 31 mpg or so.

That's equal to the best (non-hybrid) mid-size sedan this year, the 2013 Nissan Altima.

There's just one problem: You can't actually buy one of those 2014 Mazda Mazda6 models.

You can't even go for a ride in one yet.

They're strictly for show, as Autoblog learned.

Due to Federal motor-vehicle rules on model years, Mazda can't display a window sticker or EPA gas-mileage ratings for its 2014 car until Jan 1, 2013.

When it does, however, Autoblog says it learned the ratings will come in at 27 mpg city, 38 mpg highway.

2014 Mazda Mazda6

2014 Mazda Mazda6

Enlarge Photo

That pair of ratings will likely result in a combined fuel-efficiency rating of 31 mpg, give or take 1 mpg.

If Mazda makes it to 31 mpg--and we'll know January 2, when the cars officially go on sale--it will be another all-new entry in a field of mid-size sedans that's more competitive than ever.

The mainline entries in the field are the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima, closely followed by the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata.

Of those models, the Sonata is the oldest, having launched as a 2010 model. The Camry was new for 2012, and the rest were redesigned for the 2013 model year.

All but the Altima offer at least one hybrid model, and the Altima is likely to follow suit within a year or two.

The 2014 Mazda Mazda6 sedan, however, isn't nearly as high-volume as those models. Instead, it competes with sportier sedans like the Volkswagen Passat and perhaps the Subaru Legacy.

2014 Mazda Mazda6

2014 Mazda Mazda6

Enlarge Photo

The new Mazda6 offers only one engine, but the 2.5-liter SkyActiv four can be paired with either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.

Toward the end of 2013, it will add a second offering: a 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D four-cylinder diesel engine, which competes directly with the VW Passat TDI--which is rated at a combined 35 mpg when fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox.

No word yet on any projected fuel-efficiency ratings for the diesel Mazda6, but that's one we'll be waiting eagerly to hear more about.

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Comments (31)
  1. "Its highly efficient 184-hp SkyActiv 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will likely return a combined EPA rating around 31 mpg or so."

    Since when is 31 combined MPG "highly efficient", or is this sarcasm I have missed?

    If one had to pay $9 per gallon like people do overseas, I wager it would not be considered "highly efficient" any more.
     
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  2. @Annatar: It is not sarcasm.

    In the U.S., the 2014 Mazda6 competes in the midsize sedan market. If it achieves 31 mpg, that will equal the most fuel-efficient gasoline car in that class, as measured by the EPA combined mileage rating.

    You can check the combined ratings of the other cars in the class--which I helpfully listed in the article--to prove this for yourself.

    You are right that it may not be viewed as efficient in markets outside North America, where gasoline is $8 a gallon or more. However, the bulk of our audience is in the U.S. and we write with them in mind. I'm not about to add a disclaimer to that effect to every article. Sorry.
     
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  3. that is why the Diesel will be released mid year. The sad part is that no tax credits are currently offered for the clean diesels. Ironically all of the EV vehicle pricing include their $7,500 to $2,500 credit.
     
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  4. it is highly efficient because their are no other non hybrid full size sedan that have that fuel economy rating
     
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  5. "The 2014 Mazda Mazda6 sedan, however, isn't nearly as high-volume as those models. Instead, it competes with sportier sedans like the Volkswagen Passat and perhaps the Subaru Legacy."

    Interesting thought. In Europe, mazda6 competes directly with Mercedes C-class and BMW 3-series. What exactly makes you think that mazda competes with drab, cheap econoboxes like the VW and Subaru?
     
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  6. @Annatar: What makes me think that? Gee, I dunno, maybe covering the U.S. car market in detail for years? Maybe reading the monthly sales figures?

    Perhaps even talking with executives at all of these companies about which cars *their research tells them* are cross-shopped against their own?

    Or is that not good enough for you?
     
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  7. That is most certainly not good enough for me - "executives" have been wrong for years - their maxim being "perception is reality".
     
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  8. Nobody in the US is going to cross shop between Mazda 6 and Mercedez Benz and BMW...

    That is just my observation.
     
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  9. I will, and I have, and will continue to cross shop mazda with Mercedes and BMW. And I am in the U.S.
     
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  10. @Annatar: [chuckle] Well, that's one ...
     
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  11. Mazda is not a luxury brand so it can't compete with Mercedes and bmw
     
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  12. And by the Mr Voelcker, call to authority makes for a very poor argument.

    Just to be clear: I have a problem with your assertion that 31 MPG combined is "super efficient" - we could perhaps argue that 42 MPG is "efficient" - 31 MPG falls ridiculously short even of that number.

    I also have a problem with your implication that mazda6, a luxury performance vehicle, which mazda themselves advertize as worthy competition to a 4.0L V8, is comparable to a drab econobox like a Passat or Subaru. As an owner of a VW, Subaru and a mazda6, the first two are nowhere near comparable to a mazda in quality or performance.
     
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  13. @Annatar: Yes, you made those points earlier.

    Mazda's two most popular cars in the U.S. are compacts: the Mazda3 compact hatchback and sedan + CX-5 compact crossover. While its 3rd + 4th most popular are the Mazda6 + CX-9, the Mazda6 has never been viewed by the market as a "luxury performance vehicle."
    Sales data: http://www.mazdausamedia.com/2012-12-03-MAZDA-ACHIEVES-BEST-NOVEMBER-SALES-SINCE-1994

    Instead, the Mazda6 is a "sporty mid-size sedan," at least $10K cheaper than any comparable A6, 5-Series, or E Class.

    Neither the Passat nor the Legacy seems to qualify as an "econobox," since neither has remarkable fuel efficiency (except for the Passat TDI, one of your beloved diesels).
     
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  14. @Annatar: I would also add that Mazda can compare the Mazda6 to whatever it likes in an advertisement.

    Whether the market takes that claim seriously is an open question. IIRC, Mercury used to compare its sedans to Mercedes-Benz cars too. We see where that ended up, eh?
     
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  15. Poor argument. Did you price a mazda6 wagon lately in Europe? Well I have, and when you convert the euros to U.S. dollars, a 2014 mazda6 wagon diesel comes to almost $48,000 USD. Now compare the features to a Mercedes C-class or a BMW 3-series.

    We went over this before: you keep citing data such as sales numbers which is worthless because it is easily conjured and impossible to verify.

    On the other hand, a sticker price and a list of are.

    As for the Passat and the Subaru, neither are performance vehicles. If you had a Subaru Legacy boxer diesel wagon, that would be comparable in features, although not in performance. And the Passat, even the TDI is a front wheel drive econobox with a markup.
     
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  16. By "list of" I meant "list of features" - this web software is really missing an edit button.
     
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  17. @Annatar: First, the Mazda6 wagon is no longer sold in the U.S. Second, as I'm sure you're aware, features vary considerably among different markets--so what Mazda offers in Europe may or may not have any relevance to the configurations it sells in the U.S.

    Third, and most important, we don't know how Mazda will price the SkyActiv-D version of the Mazda6 here in the U.S. I'd lay money it will be priced against the Passat TDI and *not* against the E Class or A6 diesels. That's because to U.S. consumers (whether or not you agree with it), the Mazda6 competes more directly with the Passat than it does with German luxury marques.

    In the U.S., Mazda IS NOT a luxury marque. End of story.
     
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  18. No, that is not the end of the story.

    There is no significant difference in options between the "European" and "American" mazdas - it is the exact same vehicle, so much so, that importing a mazda6 wagon is now a possiblity, since the vehicle is mechanically and options-wise identical to the U.S. model.

    Moving right along, the market perception is irrelevant. Completely and utterly irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is which luxury options mazda6 will come with. It is a luxury car.

    If you want to understand the difference between a luxury vehicle and a non-luxury one, try driving a Trabant, then compare it to a mazda. Even better, drive a Passat, then drive a mazda. You will know the difference.
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  19. @Annatar: No, actually, importing a Mazda6 wagon is not a possibility. The EPA has not certified that body style in the line, and hence even if it were identically equipped, it would not carry a U.S. market VIN. That means it would not be allowed into the country--except impoprted by the manufacturer, and I believe those vehicles must be destroyed after some period (6 months or a year, IIRC).

    Arguably you could import a wagon shell as "auto parts" and transplant the contents of a sedan into it, but not a running vehicle even if it were identically equipped.
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  20. "Third, and most important, we don't know how Mazda will price the SkyActiv-D version of the Mazda6 here in the U.S."

    If you want to be an automotive journalist, should you not be pulling some of those "executive connections" you have been writing about a few posts earlier, and getting the inside scoop?

    If I have to do all the research myself, the logical question becomes: what exactly do we need you for?
     
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  21. @Annatar: Feel FREE to decide you don't need us. You have my most sincere invitation to stop reading + commenting at any time if you don't like, appreciate, or value our stories.

    We relish constructive criticism, but your comments passed well beyond that months ago. Your last several dozen appear to be different constructs of, "No, you're wrong, and I'm right, and everything you say to support your position is wrong, and if you think it's right, you're an inept + useless journalist."

    That got repetitive quite a while ago, and it doesn't add a lot to the serious discussions that most of our regular commenters are trying to have.

    Happy a Happy New Year, with or without Green Car Reports!
     
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  22. Hang in there, John. Annatar is trying to get your goat by proving how much of an asshat he can be. He's not operating with correct information or a full deck. Save the bandwidth bro.
     
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  23. "No, you're wrong, and I'm right, and everything you say to support your position is wrong, and if you think it's right, you're an inept + useless journalist."

    Any time I have lashed out have been when I knew you were wrong and were spreading blatant misinformation. Where the potential damage comes in is that someone will read what you write and actually think it is the reality.

    Perception is NOT reality. If you have an opinion edition piece, that is fine, just make that clear before hand. For instance 31 MPG is not "super efficient", that is just your opinion.
     
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  24. @Annatar: Well, if nothing else, I suppose it's good to know that this site has one reader for whom nothing we do will ever be right / sufficient / adequate.

    There is this thing called context.

    31 mpg is not "super efficient" for a hybrid vehicle like the Toyota Prius (and, please, don't bother to tell us how much better your diesels are than the Prius. We know, we know, believe me).

    31 mpg IS, however, "super efficient" for certain classes of cars--among them, at the moment, gasoline-powered non-hybrid mid-size sedans. Check the ratings for all the cars that fall into that category.
     
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  25. "@Annatar: Well, if nothing else, I suppose it's good to know that this site has one reader for whom nothing we do will ever be right / sufficient / adequate."

    Nooo, I never wrote that! Not even implied it!

    I am simply telling you this: on the Internet, "anyone can be a journalist", but it takes much more to be a journalist than link to articles from other sites, or rely on information of someone else who also purports to be a journalist.

    One has to do investigative journalism, like a detective. That getting hold of documents which are not necessarily publicly available, before anyone else. Using data which can be verified.

    Why do you think that professional journalists are criticizing "internet journalism"? There is a reason for that.
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  26. "@Annatar: No, actually, importing a Mazda6 wagon is not a possibility."

    Here we go again. I spent the last three years researching the procedure of importing vehicles into the United States: one goes through one of eight independent commercial importers who performs the homologation, including any U.S. DOT adjustments and EPA compliance modifications. Then the ICI issues an EPA certificate of compliance, and DOT compliance certificate. A form has to be filled out (several, in fact) for U.S. customes. Finally the bail is released and the vehicle may be legally driven in the United States.

    There is a clear process for U.S. homoligation, and yet, here we are, with you lecturing me it cannot be done. And then you complain when I lash out.
     
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  27. That should have been "customs". Edit button?
     
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  28. @Annatar: Aha, private homologation of a single vehicle! Fair enough. It's now so rare, I'd forgotten it was still even a possibility. Two Qs:

    (1) Because the Mazda6 wagon isn't sold here, I'm curious how the homologator proves that it complies with our rear-crash safety requirements. Euro tests differ from NHTSA's, so would it have to crash-test a wagon?

    (2) How much, pray tell, would any of those eight private importers charge to import the car, make all the compliance modifications that would be necessary, issue the various paperwork, get those forms processed by the appropriate agencies as necessary, and so forth?

    I think the answers to those two questions might be instructive.
     
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  29. My research indicates that crash testing does not have to be performed. When one thinks about it, that makes sense: one's only vehicle one is importing would be crashed. What would be left to import after that?

    As for the pricing, according to ICI's I have contacted, it will take anywhere from $8,000 to $100,000 USD; it is an expensive sport. One basically ends up doing what mazda should have done in the first place, homologating a make and model. One good thing: according to an EPA official in Michigan, with that certificate, "one can import that make and model year all year long, as many as one wants."
     
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  30. Also, VIN numbers are like UUID's, they are world-wide unique. There is no such thing as "U.S. VIN". In Europe, they are simply called "chassis numbers", but the format is identical. Now, ranges might not make it into insurance databases here, but there is a form for that too, which differs from state to state.
     
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  31. Hi, John. Excellent site and reporting!

    I'm curious to know if your reporting has uncovered any information on further options for the manual transmission versions of the 2014 Mazda 6. I'm partial to manuals, but am always frustrated that they generally only come in a base, or stripped down, trim level. Please let us know if Mazda plans to support any nice features on manuals.
     
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