The Mazda 6 is a popular choice for the mile munching sales rep as much as it is for being a great large family car and this latest offering from Mazda really is fantastic with plenty of class.
The current version of the Mazda 6 is available in two variants; an estate starting from £22,825 and the saloon version as tested starting from £19,995. In 2015 the Mazda 6 received a face-lift which included some aesthetic improvements inside and out along with bringing the infotainment into line with other brands.
Finished in a denim blue colour called ‘Blue Reflex Mica’ this Sport Nav model from Mazda UK is off to a good start as this choice is incredibly rich looking and accompanied with the 19 inch alloy wheels finished in a shadow chrome type colour adds a sports feel.
Dual exhaust pipes add to the sports look whilst around the rear a reverse camera is accompanied with parking sensors to aid in the abandoning of this rather large saloon. The nature of a saloon car generally results in slightly compromised rear visibility which is the case with the Mazda 6.
I was fortunate enough to have the car for a week over Christmas and even with the festive madness in Belfast’s car parks, the Mazda 6 made light work of an old multi story with spaces designed for Vauxhall Nova’s, mainly due to the assistance offered via the camera and sensors front and rear.
Rear privacy glass aids the looks and key-less entry adds a great convenience along with electrically folding mirrors on the side. Around the front of the 6 reveals the signature Mazda flat front and with LED daytime running lights and adaptive headlamps that turn with your steering wheel, visibility could not be safer.
Saloon cars can sometimes suffer from unpractical load space due to a restrictive boot entry, however this is not the case with the Mazda 6 as it offers a great usable space and with split/fold rear seating allows for flat pack items to be carried with ease.
I would imagine that a set of golf clubs wouldn’t be an issue or a couple of large suitcase, a folding buggy and a week’s shopping for a family as well as five kit bags for a run to a Saturday match of choice. A practical space that was a little surprising if the truth be told.
Regular readers of my articles will know that i am not much of a fan of light coloured interiors, though to my surprise the full perforated cream leather in this Mazda 6 tested works a treat in contrast with the black carpets and black trim around the doors and dash.
Around the doors, dash and centre console there is just enough leather in all the right places to make this 6 look and feel like a car worth a considerable amount more than it actually is, Mazda really have upped the game with providing quality and class inside their cars as not even a decade ago they were nothing more than utilitarian.
Dual climate control with vents in the rear are joined on this car with electric heated front seats as well as a very welcomed heated steering wheel, one difference with this wheel over others is that it only heats at the ’10 to 2′ position rather than the full wheel, i much prefer the full wheel being heated personally.
It took me a while to settle into a comfortable driving position, however once achieved, i found the Mazda 6 to be a very nice place to sit with stacks of room and an abundance of comfort and support from the seats along with fantastic room for rear passengers also.
On top of the dash was ahead up display which was a nice feature to easily display speed and navigation to avoid unnecessary distraction while all other controls were well laid out and within comfortable reach along with a plethora of controls on the steering wheel for phone, infotainment and cruise control.
Via the 7 inch screen the Mazda 6 offers DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB and Aux input as well as CD playback; this is a simple and effective system that works well and can be controlled via the steering wheel or the drive wheel and buttons on the centre console. This model has been fitted with the BOSE speaker upgrade which is a favourite of mine and offers huge quality sounds.
Engine wise this model tested is far from sluggish due to the 2.2 turbocharged diesel unit that produces 148bhp with a whopping 280lb/ft going to the front wheels via a six speed gearbox and will reach 62mph from zero in just over 9 seconds.
A fantastic and refined power-train that pulls great and feels very strong no matter what the terrain or conditions and one that i feel would be well equipped to towing. Mazda have a claimed economy of 70mpg, i found my real world economy to be just shy of 50mpg over a week of mixed driving.
I am quite fond of cars that are practically large and the Mazda 6 definitely falls into this category perfectly. Being well grounded and sure footed on the road the 6 drives lovely and offers a great alternative to the likes of VW’s Passat or the BMW 3 series.
Road mannerisms may be a little firm on this sport nav model for some people due to the large wheels but i found it to be a perfect blend that not only offers great mile munching comfort but also good stability when cornering in a hurry on meandering roads.
When choosing a car, reliability is something that should be considered highly and Mazda are well known for offering this with their cars and with a 3 year/60k mile warranty and annual or 12.5k mile service intervals the 6 should be seriously considered.
This model tested comes in at £27,555 with annual road tax at a mere £20/yr despite its large capacity engine and that big question now much be answered, would i own one?
Without a doubt the answer is a big YES, the only difference i would make on this spec and colour combo would be to change the saloon for the much more practical and nicer looking estate.
Words and Photos: Graham Curry