This large family saloon combines good looks, efficient engines and an engaging drive to make it one of the best options on the market
The Mazda 6 is available in two guises, saloon and Tourer (estate). Both come with the choice of one petrol and one diesel option with two varying power outputs. The petrol option is the 2.0 litre SKYACTIV-G with 145bhp and is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox only. The 2.2 SKYACTIV-D comes with a choice of 150 or 175bhp and is available with the option of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 2.2 175bhp diesel makes the 6 feel really nimble and delivers power impressively.
When you sit into the Mazda 6, you feel a lot lower down than you expect in a family saloon. Combine this low slung position with a short throw manual gearbox, sharp direct steering, real agility, and you arguably have the most fun saloon car to drive on the market today. It’s Skyactiv lightweight construction mean it’s stiffer and lighter than before and it changes direction with reassuring pace. Ride is not too compromised by this sporty setup however, with the Mazda 6 absorbing lumps and bumps well at all times. Avoid the 19 inch wheels for optimum comfort.
The Mazda 6 styling, like each other model in the range, benefits from the KODO design ethos giving the car the sporty appearance to match its drive. Inside, the quality theme continues with the same smart design and superior finish. The Mazda 6 comes with a choice of two trim levels. These are Executive SE and platinum. The standard level of equipment is very generous with every model getting a 7 inch touch screen infotainment system, multi-function steering, cruise control and keyless start.
Like the rest of the latest Mazda range, there is no questioning the build quality or standard of materials used throughout the cabin. The 6 features quite a large cabin with sweeping dashboard that follows a single design line from one side the other. While the dash is treated to the same attention to details with stitched leather and metal insert style finish, it doesn’t quite have the same impact as it does in the smaller models. However, it is still beautifully finished and to a standard you would be quite content with in a premium marque.
The Mazda 6 scores top marks with five stars in Euro NCAP safety crash testing. It also packs some impressive safety tech as standard that includes six airbags, electronic stability control and emergency braking system in higher spec models. There is also some additional tech available on the options list that includes lane departure warning, auto dipping headlights and rear vehicle monitoring should danger be imminent behind you.
The Mazda 6 comes in saloon or the more practical and versatile Tourer. Both are roomy in terms of space for passengers, but legroom in the rear is not as good as rivals like the Skoda Superb or Ford Mondeo. There is good storage throughout the cabin with large door pockets and cubby under the centre armrest. Boot space stands at 483 litres which again is tighter than the above named rivals. This can be increased however to a hefty 1632 litre by dropping the back seats into a completely flat position.