Americans won’t see a 2014 Mazda6 on these shores for a few more months—but that didn’t stop us from driving one—even if it meant going to France to get behind the wheel. On the heels of the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Mazda invited us to drive what will be its latest Skyactiv, efficiency-driven model, the 2014 Mazda6. This is no small affair for the Japanese automaker—the midsize family sedan segment is the toughest in America, filled with very strong offerings from seemingly every major player.
While the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord have consistently outpaced all others for years, today’s market is increasingly competitive. Nissan’s Altima has gotten the twice over and is fit to play, as are the highly-styled and competitively priced Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima from Korea. The Volkswagen Passat is riding a wave of momentum, and the Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu represent competitive American takes on the midsize. With so many good players, how will Mazda’s family sedan fare? You can read our first drive of the 2014 Mazda6 Euro-Spec to get our impressions.