Mazda 6 Review The Mazda 6 has long been an Auto Express favourite, winning the Best Family Car category in 2013 and 2014.
The fact that it's still one of the best in its class four years after its launch shows just how good it is.The 6 is one of very few family saloons that are genuinely fun to drive, with sporty road manners and some impressive engines that do a fine job of combining strong performance and good fuel economy. Low CO2 emissions find favour with fleet drivers, too, as does the Mazda's keen pricing which makes rivals look a bit expensive.Although it's not available as a hatchback, both the saloon and Tourer estate provide plenty of room inside for five people, plus generous boot capacities. The crisp, sporty lines don't impact too much on space, although it's not the most practical in this class. A facelift in 2015 made this car even better, improving the plain dashboard design which had been one of its few weaknesses.The Mazda 6 is a well established rival to the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat. The original model was introduced back in 2002, with a second generation car following in 2007. But the Mk3 which arrived in 2013 is the best yet, using the very latest Mazda SkyActiv engine tech, a well sorted chassis and a sleek body.Technology took a step forward in the 2015 facelift and 2016 updates. Itmeans 6 is a thoroughly up to date large family car that offers a high level of sophistication and modernity. It certainly stands out alongside older rivals such as the Vauxhall Insignia and Toyota Avensis and as a result the Mazda feel a cut above some of its mainstream rivals.It's a closer run thing between the Mazda 6 and the Ford Mondeo, mind: this is where Mazda hopes its extra focus on sportiness, something that's been dialled back in the latest Ford, will pay dividends. The semi premium appeal of the Volkswagen Passat saloon is also something that Mazda aspires to; if the VW is an affordable Mercedes, the 6 is a price conscious BMW.The range is based around a front wheel drive chassis, with power coming either from 2.0 litre petrol engines (called SkyActiv G) or 2.2 litre diesels (called SkyActiv D). These serve up various outputs, but while the diesels are turbocharged, the petrol engines are not.Trim levels comprise SE, SE L and Sport Nav, with the latter getting sat nav, as the name suggests. For company car drivers whose policies may not allow the selection of individual options, Mazda also offers SE Nav and SE L Nav variants. The Sport Nav actually now looks slightly different to the SE and SE L; it benefited from a mild tweak to its front end in 2015 which the other versions didn't get, although you'll need a keen eye to spot it.As of 2016, Mazda tweaked parts of the interior, but also added a new system called G Vectoring aimed at improving handling stability. The changes are very minor and the driving experience feels barely altered from behind the wheel, so it doesn't alter the 6's class position.From the louis vuitton purses price range company that makes the marvellous MX 5 roadster, you'd hope the Mazda 6 would be sporty and satisfying car to drive. And you won't be disappointed. In giving it a driver focused character, Mazda has built something that feels more agile than any crossover of SUV although mindful of its market, this doesn't mean compromise elsewhere.A criticism of earlier examples of the Mazda 6 was that the ride was perhaps a bit too firm and sporting. But far reaching detail revisions in 2015 cured this for the mainstream versions: now, it's only the Sport Nav that has a taut ride, which means it can fidget around town over bumps and potholes, but does still smooth out at speed.The benefit of this sporty suspension is excellent handling across all versions of the 6. Turn in is sharp, there's plenty of grip (particularly with the Sport Nav's 19 inch wheels) and feedback through the steering is accomplished. The 6 is a great driver's car and owners seem to really rate its talents behind the wheel.Mazda 2016 update for the 6 included an innovative new system called 'G Vectoring'. Essentially, it subtly adjusts torque delivery according to steering angle with the aim of providing a more stable and comfortable driving experience different to more grip focused torque vectoring systems. While various graphs and videos by Mazda show it working, we were unable to really detect it from behind the wheel although it could benefit passenger comfort on long drives.The only omission in the Mazda 6 engine range is a truly sporty engine to make the most of this talented chassis. The most powerful version is actually the diesel; Mazda doesn't offer a higher power turbo petrol model as it believes sales would be meagre it's not the only manufacturer to think that way.All Mazda 6 models apart from the base SE come with Smart City Brake autonomous emergency braking as standard. Both are offered in two power outputs: the petrol with 143bhp or 162bhp, and the diesel with 148bhp or 173bhp. Both are in house Mazda designs not shared with any other car maker.The SkyActiv D engines are easily the most popular. They have an unusually low compression ratio for a diesel, which is good for efficiency and emissions: Mazda prefers this approach with a slightly larger capacity than the 2.0 litre engines of many rivals.The regular SkyActiv D 150 diesel produces 148bhp and 380Nm between 1,800rpm and 2,600rpm. It takes the car from 0 62mph in 9.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph, and is a very well rounded engine with a smooth nature, plenty of punch and linear power delivery. Hooked up with Mazda's short throw six speed manual gearbox, it's a satisfying choice.The SkyActiv D 175 offers more performance and pulling power, even if it's a bit peakier, with the 420Nm of torque plateauing at 2,000rpm. This car is noticeably faster, though, sprinting from 0 62mph in 7.9 seconds and hitting a top louis vuitton purses lubbock speed of 139mph. The extra power is satisfying and it's no less refined than the low power unit.Both diesel engines can be combined with Mazda's six speed automatic gearbox option. Performance does suffer a little, though; louis vuitton shoes size 6 the difference is greater in the SkyActiv D 150, suggesting the 173bhp engine has more in reserve to offset the auto's power sap.In contrast to the diesel, the 2.0 litre SkyActiv G petrol engine has an unusually high compression ratio, again for efficiency and power. Both versions produce their maximum power at a heady 6,000rpm, and don't deliver their identical peak torque of 210Nm until 4,000rpm. Good job the gearbox is as snappy as it is in the diesel; you need to work it.The two petrol cars serve up similar performance; it's only if you frequently use high revs that you'll feel the benefit of the extra power. Most drivers won't, because while the 162bhp version is a smooth and effervescent engine, it's rather vocal and prominent when revved hard. This is the sort of noise you wouldn't mind in an MX 5, but isn't really what you expect from this class of car.The low power petrol engine is offered with the six speed automatic option as well; it's the only version that can't cover 0 62mph in less than 10 seconds.Mazda's developed its SkyActiv engine range to achieve strong louis vuitton mens belt amazon fuel efficiency and low emissions. It's succeeded, particularly in the core unit of the range, the SkyActiv D 150 diesel.This engine claims excellent 68.9mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of just 107g/km, despite its well rounded performance. That's great news for company car drivers keen to find a stylish car with emissions below 110g/km. It comes as standard with engine stop/start, which Mazda refers to as i stop, and an energy regeneration system called i ELOOP.The SkyActiv D 175 engine isn't quite so efficient, but still averages 62.8mpg. CO2 emissions of 119g/km are competitive for an engine with such strong performance; coincidentally, both automatic versions of the diesel engine emit 127g/km of CO2 and claim 58.9mpg.Petrol versions of the Mazda 6 are efficient for their type, although nowhere near as good as the diesels.
The 143bhp engine has an official economy figure of 51.4mpg and the 163bhp unit promises 47.9mpg; CO2 emissions stand at 129g/km and 135g/km respectively.
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