Now With Two More MPG City and Highway: The 2015 Mazda 6 I Grand Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Mazda 6
The 2015 Mazda 6.
Regular TireKicker readers know of our love for the Mazda 6. We fairly raved about the 2014, and promptly put it on our list of TireKicker's Best Cars.

The 2015 is in dealer showrooms now and while there are no visible changes, there's a nice one you'll see at the gas pumps.

Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Mazda 6
2015 Mazda 6.
Through the use of regenerative engine braking (part of our test vehicle's GT Technology package, a $2,080 option) the engineering crew at Mazda was been able to squeeze a bit more efficiency out of the already-exemplary 2.5-liter four.  Making the same 184 horsepower as before, and still mated to the same six-speed automatic transmission, the tech boosts EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon city to 28 and its 38 miles per gallon highway to 40.

Regenerative braking has been common in hybrids, helping to recharge the batteries.  Here, Mazda uses it to supply power to electronic components, meaning the alternator can often be switched off, taking a burden off the engine and improving fuel economy.

40 miles per gallon.  In a car that looks and handles like that.  Sure, two miles per gallon isn't a huge leap in practical terms, but getting to 40 cracks a serious psychological barrier.

Interior view of 2015 Mazda 6
2015 Mazda 6 interior.
The GT Technology Package also features Mazda Radar Cruise Control, one of the best distance-keeping units we've tested, forward obstruction and lane departure warning, high beam control and another trick usually found on hybrids, active grille shutters, which improves aerodynamics.

In addition to that package, our Mazda 6 I Grand Touring tester also had clear film rear paint protection ($75), a cargo mat ($75) and door sill trim plates ($125).  With $795 for delivery, processing and handling, the bottom line rings in at $33,045.

The car that already beat the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord as our pick for a family sedan widens its lead....using less gas than before.