Mazda has released an approximate price of its fully redesigned 2014 Mazda6. According to Mazda’s website, the midsize sedan will start at about $21,000 plus a $795 destination charge. At this price, the Mazda6 is about $700 to $1,400 more affordable than several of its key rivals, including the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. All but the Camry are fully redesigned for 2013, with the Camry last getting redone for the 2012 model year.

The 2014 Mazda6 is powered by a new 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower. Power is routed to the front wheels through either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. In scrapping its V6 engine option, Mazda is following in the footsteps of Ford, Chevrolet and Hyundai, who no longer offer a V6 in their midsize sedans. However, a 2.2-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-D diesel engine will be available in the Mazda6. While Mazda hasn’t given any output specs for the diesel engine, Motor Trend says that the European version of this engine produce 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The only other affordable midsize sedan available with a diesel engine is the Volkswagen Passat.

Many rivals offer a hybrid model, and although Mazda has no plans to offer a hybrid Mazda6, the automaker says that it will offer a regenerative braking system to capture braking energy. The EPA has yet to conduct any fuel economy tests on the 2014 Mazda6.

The 2014 Mazda6 is available with a low-speed collision-avoidance system, which uses sensors and lasers to detect and predict front-end collisions, and if the driver does not hit the brakes, the system will slow the car automatically. USB and auxiliary inputs are standard, and a backup camera, Bluetooth, voice-command text messaging, HD Radio and Pandora Internet radio are standard on all trims except base models equipped with a manual transmission. On many of the Mazda6’s rivals, the voice command capability and Internet-based radios are available, but not standard.

The 2014 Mazda6 will go on sale in January, and Mazda says the diesel variant will go on sale in the second half of the year.

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