Beauty isn’t just skin deep when it comes to the ’14 Mazda6.
Arguably the best-looking midsize sedan on the planet, the all-new model delivers on the promise of its striking exterior once the doors are opened as well.
The first thing noticed when sliding behind the wheel is this Mazda6 is all grown up. Although a sport sedan at heart, its materials, layout and overall design exude a more mature sense of luxury, long absent from previous-generation models.
Our Ward’s 10 Best Interiors test car’s Soul Red Metallic exterior is complemented inside by the distinctive burgundy-hued accent trim that flows the length of the instrument panel.
Adding to the upscale appearance is the striking white-almond and black leather seats and white-leather door-panel inserts. Brushed aluminum sill plates with raised Mazda6 lettering lend an extra touch of class.
High-quality stitching picks up on the color scheme, with red, white and black threading elegantly mixed into the seats and along the doors and armrests.
“The black and ivory (theme) is a beautiful combo,” notes one 10 Best Interiors judge.
This is blended brilliantly with strategically placed polished aluminum trim on the dash, doors and various knobs and switches, joining with the piano-black plastic finish around the gear selector to provide the performance half of the Mazda6’s luxury-sport dual personality.
Gauges play to the driver’s-car theme as well, with their clean fonts, honeycomb graphics and white/black color combination when lit at night. But their beveled edges and aluminum trim also are suggestive of an expensive timepiece.
The in-dash infotainment screen isn’t exactly Cinerama-size, but several testers give the system points for its sharply drawn icons, simple dash-mounted buttons and strategically placed console-mounted controller that make operation a snap.
“One of the easiest infotainment systems to control,” writes one tester. “The central controller is intuitive, simple,” adds another.
Even the most persnickety among us find few flaws in the car’s workmanship.
“Can’t find any faux pas, save for a loose plastic piece in the trunk,” writes one 10 Best Interiors jury member. “This interior exemplifies what we look for,” sums up another.
The kicker is the price.
Our tester, in top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim, checks in at a reasonable $31,490, including $600 in options unrelated to the interior and a $795 destination charge.
That puts it solidly among the best bargains in the group of 46 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors nominees.