The 2014 Mazda6 has a whole brand new look - inside and out - and it's already making waves in the US market that are washing away the bland sedan looks of previous models.DETROIT, Michigan – The new 2014 Mazda6 has been given a brand new look - inside and out – sending the bland sedan looks of previous models out the window.Mazda says its rival for the Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata not only looks better outside but has soft-touch plastic all around and 2.5cm more rear legroom than its predecessor inside. Front seats now have anti-whiplash head-restraints and push-button start is standard on all models, along with 17" alloy rims.MORE ECONOMICALThanks to a more fuel-efficient petrol engine, the new car uses 10.9 litres/100km when driving in the city and 7.4 on the highway when driving the six-speed automatic model. When equipped with the energy-reclaiming system, fuel consumption figures are claimed to be 10.1 litres / 7.1.Though the car looks better and is more economical, the price for the 2014 US model is not much more expensive than the outgoing one. The base front-wheel drive Sport derivative with a 137kW four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission costs the equivalent of R221 000 compared to the R219 504 of 2012. The six-speed auto version will cost about R240 000 (prices in the US). The price gap in the base auto model is thanks to standard goodies such as rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, 15cm colour display monitor, voice command for audio and Pandora Internet radio compatibility.Under the bonnet is a standard 137kW 2.5 engine, up from 127kW in the 2012 version. A turbocharged diesel four is due later in 2014. This will make Mazda the first Japan-based automaker to offer a diesel unit in a US car.REGENERATIVE BRAKINGThe range-topper Grand Touring will be cost the equivalent of about R306 000 because it includes perforated leather seats, 19" rims, rear spoiler, eight-way power to the driver’s seat, fog lights, bi-xenon headlights, Bose 11-speaker sound and a power sunroof. Mazda says its i-eLOOP system uses regenerating brakes like those on a petrol-electric hybrid to capture kinetic energy during braking. In the Mazda6, a variable voltage alternator, a converter and a high-capacity, double-layer capacitor work to capture and store this energy that would otherwise be lost during deceleration.This stored electricity is later tapped to run accessories such as the radio and means the car’s engine doesn’t have to.Mazda SA says there are no plans yet for the car to reach SA. Ford SA announced in late August 2013 it has cut ties with Mazda, with the official split taking place round about August 2014.