Test Drive: 2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP car test drives mazda
Test Drive: 2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP car test drives mazda
Test Drive: 2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP car test drives mazda
Test Drive: 2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP car test drives mazda
2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jacob Black

The 2014 Mazda6 GT has received plenty of positive coverage from automotive journalists, all of whom are impressed by its driving dynamics and its styling. I was no exception.

The Mazda6 is an engaging drive, even with a whisper-quiet 2.5L Skyactiv inline four. Sure, it only produces 184 hp and 185 lb-ft torque at 5,700 and 3,250 rpm respectively, but it also only drags around 1,466 kg. And while that horsepower number seems low on initial read, the car does hustle off the line – even with the engine primed for maximum fuel efficiency. The only time I wished for more oomph was when I was accelerating from almost the speed limit to overtake an oil-spewing vehicle on the 401, there was a little hesitation and then a slower-than-expected wind-up. My impatience was already strained though, and it’s possible I judged the car through the fog of traffic war.

Further to the efficiency cause, this edition of the Mazda6 GT came with iELOOP – a regenerative braking system that recharges capacitors. Those devices in turn provide electricity to the car’s auxiliary circuits like HVAC and infotainment, even headlights and turn signals. The result is less drain on the battery and in turn the alternator, which improves fuel economy by reducing mechanical friction in the drive system, and also is said to prolong battery life. It’s a little bit like some hybrid systems in the way it harvests power, and could be a mezzanine as Mazda slowly rolls out its own hybrid plans.

Mazda has worked hard on its Skyactiv economy credibility, and the EPA rates the non-iELOOP auto at 9.5/6.2/7.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined. With iELOOP that improves to 8.4/5.9/7.3 L/100 km, around ten percent better in the city, and about six percent better overall. I achieved 9.2 in my week with the car. It’s worth noting that James Bergeron scored a 7.7 during his test of the Mazda 6 GT, which was 0.2 L/100 km worse than his week in the Nissan Altima.

The brakes don’t feel grabby like some hybrids do and I never noticed the system working; I would like to drive an iELOOP vs a non-iELOOP model to find out though. The iELOOP system was included in the $2,800 Technology Package, which also adds SiriusXM Satellite Radio (shouldn’t that be standard by now?), Smart City Brake Support, Forward Obstruction Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, High-Beam Control and Lane Departure Warning. Those are in addition to the keyless entry, power moonroof, blind-spot monitor with cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-view camera and HID Xenon headlights already standard on the GT.  Those headlights also turn corners – using the steering wheel angle to “aim” the beam in the direction of the corner exit.

Test Drive: 2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP car test drives mazda Test Drive: 2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP car test drives mazda
2014 Mazda6 GT iELOOP. Click image to enlarge

The lane departure warning is a clever system in that it sends a rumble through the speaker bank on the side your error is on. Drifting out to the left? The left speakers rumble angrily, and if you drift to the right the right-side speakers rumble. The adaptive cruise control works well, but like many of its competitors the system cuts out at low speed, putting it a rung behind industry leaders whose system can perform a complete stop.




About Jacob Black

Jacob used to write about motorsport for SPEED TV in Australia but met a girl. Now he writes about road cars in Canada and is married to the girl. He lives a very, very good life. Jacob Black is not a werewolf.