2014 Mazda6 Priced Below Ford Fusion, Honda Accord

Mazda's midsize sedan is fun to drive and good looking, but far from a sales success. The redesigned-for-2014 model's new powertrains and expressive styling should help draw more buyers to showrooms, as should its price.

The 2014 Mazda6 starts at $21,675, including a $795 destination fee, according to Mazda. It costs less than several class rivals, including the 2013 Honda Accord ($22,470) and 2013 Ford Fusion ($22,495), but slightly higher than the outgoing 2013 Mazda6 ($21,520). All prices include destination fees.

The base price is for the entry-level Sport model with a six-speed manual transmission. You'll have to spring for the optional automatic transmission (an additional $1,615) to get standard features such as Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio capability, a backup camera, keyless entry, remote start and a touch-screen audio interface.

The midlevel Touring model starts at $25,290 and adds leatherette trimmed seats, a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and a sliding center console armrest; navigation is optional on this model. The topline Grand Touring trim starts at $30,290 and adds heated leather seats, a navigation system, a power front passenger seat, driver's seat lumbar support and memory function and a Bose audio system.

Options include a Touring Technology Package ($2,000) with features like an 11-speaker Bose stereo system, navigation, a brake assist system, rain-sensing wipers and heated side mirrors. A Radar Cruise Control and Forward Obstruction Warning Package ($900) and an Advanced Package, which will launch later in the year, will be available on Grand Touring models. The latter package features adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system as well as a regenerative braking and a lane departure warning system. 

At launch, the sole engine will be a gasoline-powered 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. It's EPA rated at 25/37 mpg city/highway when equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission; fuel economy jumps to 26/38 mpg with the available six-speed automatic.

During the second half of 2013, the Mazda6 SkyActiv-D — a twin-turbo 2.2- liter four-cylinder diesel engine — will hit dealerships. The automaker has yet to release official price, power or fuel-efficiency specs on the diesel powertrain.

The 2014 Mazda6 just went on sale. Stay tuned for more specifics on the diesel version.

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