Midsize sedans have a reputation for middle-of-the-road designs, but the 2014 Mazda6 that made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show last week could help change that. With its aggressive styling and cutting-edge technology, the new Mazda model will be a distinctive option when it goes on sale in January.
Taking strong design cues from the Mazda Takeri Concept vehicle, the 2014 Mazda6 features a bold exterior, with sharp lines contrasting smooth curves. The brand’s new five-sided grille, which debuted on the Mazda CX-5, is flanked by angular headlights that pull back over the front fenders and curve away from the creased hood. Meanwhile, Mazda’s lightweight and fuel-efficient SKYACTIV technologies encompass the engine, transmissions and chassis.
“Mazda is showing America that midsize sedans don’t have to be boring to look at or drive,” said Les Enger, general manager of Rosen Mazda Lake Villa, an Illinois Mazda dealer. “The new Mazda6 has the head-turning styling that most cars lose after their concept phase, and because it’s a Mazda, you know it’s going to have the performance to back up that aggressive exterior.”
Mazda hopes its sleek new addition will help push the brand’s overall U.S. sales to new heights, with Automotive News reporting that the automaker is aiming to surpass 400,000 units annually by its fiscal year ending in March 2016. That ambitious goal isn’t relying solely on the Mazda6, but also with other refined models like the 2014 Mazda CX-5 and 2013 Mazda CX-9 crossovers, which made their North American debuts at the LA Auto Show as well.
While the 2014 CX-5 will get upgrades like an optional 184-horsepower 2.5-liter engine and a more advanced Technology Package following its market debut for the 2013 model year, the 2014 CX-9 has received a more dramatic mid-cycle refresh. Featuring Mazda’s KODO, or Soul of Motion, design language, the updated CX-9 sports new front- and rear-end designs that mimic that of the CX-5. Currently arriving at dealerships, the 2013 CX-9 wears angular headlights that are connected by a winged chrome grille surround, complementing the expressive fog-light openings in the bumper.
Inside, Mazda’s seven-seater gets a tech-savvy touch with the automaker’s next-generation audio and infotainment system, which uses a 5.8-inch touchscreen to control communication, entertainment and navigation settings. The system also features Bluetooth connectivity to enable hands-free phone calls and streaming audio from smartphones, as well as SMS text message audio receipt and delivery to keep drivers connected, but not distracted.
“Mazda is pushing new products that offer unique styling, innovative features and excellent performance to drive sales,” added Enger. “While many automakers are playing it safe by recycling the same ideas, Mazda is introducing new ones that meet driver demands for fuel efficiency while still keeping driving fun.”