It’s a sporty, family-friendly car that is not only the driver’s choice but now also comes with better handling and refinement than before.
- Improved handling. Thanks to Mazda’s trademarked G-Vectoring Control, which controls the amount of power delivered to each wheel while driving and turning, the Mazda 6 offers smooth steering and less body roll movement. You notice the difference on windy roads or when turning through a roundabout.
- Interior style. With three updates since it was launched in 2012, the Mazda 6’s interiors are sophisticated and good quality. Updated early in 2015, with some minor tweaks in its most recent September 2016 update, the Mazda 6 is attractively styled. Uniformity of the instrument updates adds a big plus.
- Spacious. Its interiors are more spacious than you’d expect. The only criticism in this area in tall passengers in the back may have an issue with the sloping roofline of the sedan, while legroom is sacrificed in the shorter wheelbase wagon.
- It’s packed with technology. A seven-inch colour touchscreen, digital radio, reversing camera, head-up display and internet radio integration (via apps such as Pandora) are all included as standard.
- There’s a newly designed steering wheel. The old one wore a bewildering array of buttons and toggles, but Mazda has cleaned them up to make them a lot simpler and easier to use.
- Safety has greatly advanced. Mazda’s camera-based Smart City Brake Support, which will automatically slam on the brakes if it senses you are about to have a low-speed crash, can also recognise pedestrians. On the range-topping model, the radar-based Smart Brake Support now works up to the highest legal speed limit and tries even harder to minimise the damage from a crash.
- The range offers plenty of flexibility. Optioned across four different specs; Sport, Touring, GT and Atenza; in wagon or sedan body styles, with petrol and diesel engines choices on all models except the petrol-only Sport, and eight colour choices (two at a $250 premium), there’s plenty of selection for the buyer.
- Prices haven’t changed despite all the improvements. They range from $32,490 for the petrol-engined Sport sedan up to $49,540 for the diesel-engined Atenza wagon.
- True to Mazda’s reputation, the 6 allows a bit of road and wind noise into the cabin. Despite sound deadening added to side glass and the roof the difference is marginally better, at best.
- The 2.5-litre petrol engine received an update last year and remains unchanged. While strong, lively and responsive, it does get a bit vocal in higher rev ranges but it’s never unpleasant.
- While the Mazda 6 appeals to the keen driver, there’s no manual option offered across the range.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
Rivals to consider include the Toyota Camry, Ford Mondeo, Hyundai i40 and the low end of the Mercedes C-Class range.