WASHINGTON, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The all-new 2014 Mazda6 today earned a "Top Safety Pick+" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Mazda6 is the first Mazda vehicle to earn this new, more demanding designation by receiving a rating of "Good" on frontal moderate overlap, side, roof, and head restraint tests, and "Acceptable" on the new small overlap test.
"Receiving a 'Top Safety Pick+' ranking from IIHS demonstrates Mazda's continued dedication to creating products that offer the highest levels of occupant crash protection combined with being fun to drive," said Mazda President and CEO Jim O'Sullivan.
IIHS introduced the small overlap test in 2012 to further improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a car's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.
The 2014 Mazda6 is equipped with Mazda's all-new suite of SKYACTIV® technologies – engine, transmission, body and chassis – all working together to deliver outstanding driving performance and fuel efficiency. The SKYACTIV-Body and SKYACTIV-Chassis ensure that the vehicle structure is not only reinforced and quiet but also rigid and able to absorb impact. The SKYACTIV-Body is comprised of 61 percent high-tensile steel, creating a lighter, stronger body with superior handling while the SKYACTIV-Chassis weighs less than current Mazda platforms and includes a front strut suspension and a multi-link rear format along with an assortment of design changes.
Standard safety features for all 2014 Mazda6 models include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), whiplash-reducing front headrests, power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), hill launch assist, a fold-away brake pedal assembly, a trunk entrapment release system, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
2014 Mazda6 Touring models feature a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) as standard equipment with the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system available as an option. Grand Touring models feature BSM and SCBS systems as standard equipment as well as RCTA and an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and High Beam Control (HBC) also are available as part of an optional package.
Priced competitively, the 2014 Mazda6 starts at $20,880 MSRP, offering an attractive, more affordable starting point for consumers than the best-selling vehicles in the segment. Equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine and SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual, entry-level Sport models offer high-level features starting with the largest standard wheels amongst its competitors with 17-inch aluminum alloys, power side view mirrors, automatic headlight shutoff as well as exterior body-color cues in the shark-fin antenna, door handles, outside mirrors and front and rear bumpers. The 2014 Mazda6 also gets best-in-class highway fuel economy of 38 MPG.
Additionally, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 and 2013 Mazda3 have earned "Top Safety Pick" designations from IIHS but were tested before implementation of the new small overlap test.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).
 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). MSRP does not include $795 destination charge (Alaska $840), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
SOURCE Mazda North American Operations