The EPA has rated Mazda6 models equipped with i-ELOOP -- which stands for "Intelligent Energy Loop" - at 28mpg in the city and 40mpg on the highway, netting a combined average of 32mpg. All three figures represent a 2mpg boost over the standard Mazda6, which is already an economy leader in the segment.
"Mazda is again changing the game of automotive engineering, this time making fuel efficiency not seem as a compromise but a true complementary feature as part of the complete vehicle package," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North America. "With the addition of i-ELOOP, the 2014 Mazda6 will achieve the best mileage for a non-hybrid midsize sedan. But fuel economy isn't the sole focus of our engineering and design teams, as being a leader in dynamics, design and safety create a win-win for the company and consumers."
The i-ELOOP system works by storing kinetic energy recovered during braking in a capacitor. That energy is then used to power the car's on-board electric systems - such as headlights, climate control and audio system - thereby reducing the alternator's drag on the engine, which can diminish economy.
The i-ELOOP system can be had as part of the $2,080 GT Technology Package (which also includes Lane Departure Warning System, High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Forward Obstruction Warning) on the top-spec Grand Touring model, which carries a base MSRP of $29,695.
Photo by Andrew Ganz.