The 2014 Mazda6 is Mazda's entry in the ultra-competitive midsize family sedan segment. With such formidable competition as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion, the Mazda had to have more than just room for five and great fuel economy to stand out. It had to look great, too. And boy, does it. Here are the five coolest things about the Mazda6's sexy new look.

Classic Profile and Low Roofline

Whereas the previous Mazda6 had a bulbous nose and a cabin in the middle of the car, the new Mazda 6 has classic proportions, with a long, flat hood and rear-set cabin. The key here is that the front wheels have been moved forward several inches (check out how much space there is between the wheel well and the door), while the swept-back windshield appears to push the cabin back and down low in the body. The arcing roofline contributes to a sporty profile, compared to the more formal, angular rooflines of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which appear more conservative and upright. The Mazda6 does this without compromising interior space.

Scowling Headlamps and Vertical Grille

The outgoing Mazda6 had a beaklike grille and headlights that looked like they were squinting. The 2014 model wears a more determined gaze, a la the BMW 5 Series and Audi A4. Top-shelf Grand Touring models feature LED daytime running lights within the light assembly. Then there's the shield-shaped grille, too, which is quite upright. The strong front end is aero-friendly and, combined with its sleek roofline and ducktail rear end, helps the Mazda6 slip though the air easily enough to achieve between 38 and 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

Swept Body-Side Contouring

One of the most visually distinctive parts of the 2014 Mazda6 is its body-side contouring -- specifically, the downward sloping contours that start over the front wheels and sweep down through the doors toward the rear wheels, with a third line that rises rearward from the top of the rear doors back into the trunk. The interplay of these lines, combined with the "light-catcher" line (at calf-height along the bottom of the doors), contributes much to this car's sexiness. It gives the car a "waist," especially compared to its slab-sided competitors.


Show Car Wheels

The wheel wells of the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels of the Mazda6 are stuffed with huge, 3-dimensional 19-inch wheels reminiscent of the gorgeous wheels that Mazda designed for a striking concept car it showed in 2010 called the Shinari. Those on the Grand Touring model shimmer in the sun, thanks to a special metallic finish, turning heads without the garishness of full chrome.

Simple, Elegant Interior With High-End Appointments

Opening the door of the 2014 Mazda6 provides a view of the car's simple, elegant interior. Unlike the overwrought dashboard of some competitor cabins, the Mazda6 is all business inside, with a refreshingly clean presentation of information that borrows heavily from German cars. Carpets, dash and door trim are all black, while the cobra-wing-style sport seats can be upholstered in black or a contrasting black-and-tan treatment. One surprising item on Touring and GT models is the console-mounted dial-type controller for the infotainment/navigation screen, much like high-end Mercedes-Benz and BMW models.

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Steve Siler is a freelance automotive journalist and presenter based in Los Angeles, California. Known for his ability to make automotive subjects accessible to both enthusiast and non-enthusiast audiences, Siler has contributed to dozens of lifestyle and enthusiast publications, including The Robb Report, Automobile Magazine, and Car and Driver Magazine.

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