2014 Mazda6 i Touring Long-Term Update 1
I noticed the emphasis on ergonomics the very first time I got behind the wheel of the Mazda6. The midsize family sedan segment is one of the most competitive classes on the planet, with manufacturers often staking claims to different core values: technology, efficiency, value, etc. Mazda clearly values the driver, and it shows in things such as the weighting of shifter and how well it falls under hand. The shift lever throw is not incredibly short, but it is smooth and clean, and snicks positively into each gear. Less appealing is the lightness and shortness of the clutch pedal action, though admittedly, this is from someone who prefers the quad workout that comes with a 911 Turbo's third pedal.
The steering wheel is a nice size and shape, with a clean, unfussy design, and just the right amount of buttons. The stereo controls are on the left, as God intended. I will never understand manufacturers who put basic audio controls on the right side of the wheel, inches away from the volume and present buttons on the head unit. Thank you, Mazda.
I have already mentioned and will continue to highlight how well the Pandora app integration works and how much I welcome it. My iPhone automatically and seamlessly syncs via Bluetooth just after ignition and begins playing if the app is already open and a song is in progress. Artist and album information is displayed on the head unit, and tracks and stations can be changed there or via the steering wheel controls, the phone, or the i-Drive-like controller that rests behind the shifter, between the seats. This rotary dial controller looks neat but is somewhat redundant after the head unit touch-screen and steering wheel controls, especially since many of the features it could control (such as navigation) are not on this car.
If you have a smartphone, navigation is available via a number of different apps. Apple Maps is popular among iPhone users, as is Google Maps, which also works on phones equipped with Android and other operating systems. My favorite is Waze. Like the others it provides turn-by-turn directions through the audio system (when connected via Bluetooth) and offers destination rerouting based on real time traffic information provided, but Waze also lets users report traffic accidents, police activity, etc.
As with Pandora, Spotify, and other music apps, constant usage of navigation through your smartphone will not only drain the battery of the phone very quickly, but also will eat up huge chunks of your data plan. Best to read your plan's fine print and plug your phone into the USB port or 12V socket before firing up these apps.
|Service life||5 mo/8506 mi|
|Average Fuel Economy||27.0 mpg|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||25/37/29 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.72 lb/mi|
|Energy consumption||125 kW-hr/100mi|