Lighter, cleaner and greener we find out if the new Mazda 6 lives up to its trademark zoom-zoom
What is it? Sales of MPV’s and SUVs may have threatened the survival of the large traditional family car but the arrival of cars such as the new Mazda6, in both saloon and estate version, should cause families to rethink.
Who is it aimed at? Mazda is pitching this car at those who want something more from the family car segment. With style, comfort and performance the new 6 will suit those swapping from a large SUV to those tempted for a bigger family car. With bags of room and super fuel economy the German premium sector should also be worried.
Under the Bonnet: Our test car was powered by a 2.2 raspy diesel that dashes from 0 – 60mph in a respectable 9 seconds. Other options include a pair of 2.0 litre petrol options and a second 2.2. litre diesel with more power. An auto gear box is also available with the diesel options.
Styling: Easily one of the best looking cars in its class, the new Mazda6 does not stray too far from the striking Shinari and Takeri concept cars that Mazda teased us with at so many motor shows. The styling of the 6 follows Mazda’s new design philosophy known as Kodo “Soul of Motion” and the result is the 6 is certainly distinctive.
What’s it like inside? The stylish looks of the Mazda6 has not compromised practicality and the interior is impressively spacious with plenty of room throughout. Whether just for you and the kids, or five adults, nobody will be left wanting. Inside there’s a multitude of cubby holes in which to store your make-up and money but few are actually a decent size. That said inside the Mazda6 is so much better than the previous version and the cabin is light and airy with some nice classy touches.
What’s it like to drive? The Mazda6 is a big car but on the road it feels light and agile. Our 2.2 litre diesel is powerful and punchy; it accelerates smoothly and very little noise intrudes to disturb you. The ride is firm but more in a sporty than an uncomfortable way and on any surface the 6 is reassuringly planted and handles beautifully. It may be most at home on the motorway and while it won’t disappoint on the school run, tackle a twisty back road and you’ll see just how good it gets.
And Safety? Safety is a priority and the Mazda6 uses a host of very clever crash avoidance systems to warn you of dangers on the road including a radar-based Rear Vehicle Monitoring, Smart City Brake Support (SCSB) and Lane Departure Warning System.
Options?Prices for the petrol models start at £19,595 for the 2.0-litre 145ps Saloon SE, rising to £24,865 for the 2.0-litre 165ps Tourer Sport Nav. Diesel variants start at £21,795 for the 2.2-litre 150ps Saloon SE through to £28,045 for the 2.2-litre 175ps Tourer Sport Nav Auto.
What about Fuel Economy? Our diesel test car is one of the greenest family cars on sale thanks to Mazda’s Skyactiv technology. This system which debuted on the CX-5 allows more power and better fuel economy. The results are impressive; with CO2 emissions of just 108g/km. Around the city it consumes a frugal 55.4mpg and on a mix of urban and motorway driving an excellent mpg of 67.
Okay so the Verdict? Mazda has blended core family saloon must haves such as space, comfort and fuel efficiency with their zoom zoom DNA to create a family car that’s not only ideal for the daily commute but is the best driving family car currently on the market.
Why you’ll buy one? Excellent interior space; fuel economy; it won’t let you down
Why you won’t? Pricey
Volkswagen Passat from £20,005
Vauxhall Insignia from £21, 415
Ford Mondeo from £15,995
Mazda6, Saloon, 2.2l 150ps Diesel Manual
Engine: 2,191cc diesel engine putting out 150bhp and 380Nm at 2,000 rpm
Max speed: 131mph
0-100 kph: 9 seconds
Emissions: 108 g/km
Model price range: £19,595 – £26,695
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 67mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 489 Litre
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Service interval (miles): 12500
Warranty (years): 3
Warranty (miles): 60000
31st May, 2013