CJ Hubbard, Editor Parkers Vans, @ir_427
Mazda 6 Saloon Review
The Mazda 6 is a large traditional saloon car, which aims to place itself in the same sort of market area as the accomplished Volkswagen Passat. This means it fits in a sort of middle ground between truly premium rivals such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS, and more workaday competition such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport. Largely the Mazda pulls off this positioning, thanks to its excellent interior quality, well considered technology and a good driving experience.
Unlike many of those rivals, the Mazda 6 really is a saloon – so there’s no large hatchback opening to help with loading into the boot. And while the saloon is actually longer than the equivalent Mazda 6 Tourer estate, the boot size is not especially impressive at 480 litres. But then, if practicality is your major concern at this price point, you’re best opting for the enormous Skoda Superb, and at least rear-seat passengers have more space in the Mazda 6 saloon than the estate.
The engine range is slightly unusual, in that the petrols on offer eschew modern turbocharging in favour of large capacity displacement and clever engineering. Mazda believes this approach delivers better fuel economy in real world driving than the smaller, more highly stressed turbos that rival brands offer. Shame then that Mazda’s petrol engines feel less immediately muscular than others’, which can in turn make the whole car seem sluggish. As such, the diesels are perhaps the more rounded choice.
Equipment levels are fair-to-generous across the range, and Mazda’s simple but effective infotainment system is easy to use and works very well. Handling is impressive, but ride comfort is on the firm side, especially on larger alloy wheels. Safety and convenience technology are among the best in the class, and the 6 is certainly good value.
Part of the attraction of the Mazda 6 is undoubtedly in being something different to the obvious choices in this sector of the market – but that doesn’t mean it needs to make any excuses. It’s a good looking, well-built car, with appealing interior design and plenty of available technology. It’s not the most comfortably choice, but it drives well and the engines are characterful even if they aren’t as instantly responsive as others in this class. In other words, the Mazda 6 is a sound choice, and one that signals that you are prepared to think out of the box without compromising on standards or quality.Find Out More
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