The Mazda 6 has an established reputation for quality that’s backed up by attractive exterior design and an interior that balances elegant styling with practicality. The range-topping Atenza features a plush Nappa leather interior and plenty of technology including a head up display and advanced driver assistance package featuring active cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking.
It’s powered by a choice of 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel and 2.5-litre petrol four, both coupled to 6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission.
We tested the diesel version with premium Soul Red premium paint, which has a manufacturer’s list price of $48,240.
- Looks are subjective, but it’s hard to deny the Mazda 6 sedan is a very attractive car with eye-pleasing dimensions. The wagon looks even better.
- The interior is beautifully put together and the white Nappa leather makes it feel like it has an additional digit on its price tag.
- It’s quiet. That’s not something you can say about every Mazda, but the 6 is well insulated from road and wind noise and absorbs sound well. The diesel engine is a little loud on start up, but hushes up once you start driving.
- It has a host of advanced active safety features including blind spot monitoring, radar cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking up to 160km/h.
- The head-up display projects the car’s speed and sat-nav instructions as well as the speed limit using Mazda’s Traffic Sign Recognition.
- The turbo diesel engine is a little sluggish when you put the foot down but otherwise performs nicely with the six-speed automatic transmission, particularly in Sport driving mode.
- This is one car you’ll be happy to be a passenger in. The luxurious rear seat sits three adults comfortably and leg and head room is excellent for a mid-sized car.
- Rear passengers also get their own air-conditioning vents.
- The normal driving mode feels sluggish which prompts you to activate Sport mode in all but heavy traffic, which feels much better but takes fuel economy a couple notches above the claimed combined rating of 5.4L/100kms.
- The Atenza’s 19-inch alloys with low profile tyres look good but don’t provide as smooth a ride as the 17-inch alloys on lower spec models, which is a shame in a car that otherwise excels in the comfort stakes.