Motoring-Matters-Logo

Brilliant to drive, strikingly mature and stunningly beautiful to look at, the new Mazda6 Saloon makes a stylish statement in town, on business trips and on long drives. Built inside and out with fine craftsmanship, next generation technology and highly refined KODO – Soul of Motion Design, the new Mazda6 Saloon redefines the meaning of quality and refinement. Occupants can simply sit back and relax in the breath-taking new human-centric interior.

With its dynamic new design and low profile, the car’s expression is pure elegance. Driving has never been more relaxed or enjoyable, thanks to Mazda’s latest i-ACTIVSENSE safety systems. Mazda’s aim with the new Mazda6 was to give the driver an exhilarating sensation of being in total control of the car in all conditions, adding a higher level of driving confidence. New advanced technologies have been introduced into the latest SKYACTIV engines that deliver a quicker, more accurate response to your true driving intentions as you press the accelerator.

Having earned an enviable reputation as being one of the best saloons to drive outside of the Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz premium benchmarks, the new Mazda6 is worthy of serious consideration by motorists looking for sporty, spacious and stylish family transport. Rivals to the new Mazda6 include the Ford Mondeo, VW Passat, Opel Insignia Grand Sport, new Peugeot 508, Honda Civic Saloon, Kia Optima and Hyundai i40.

Externally, the new Mazda6 gets a new front grille, which is deeper set and shinier than before with a new mesh, while updated headlights surrounded by a bit more chrome appear too. A few minor changes appear at the back in the form of a subtly redesigned rear bumper and boot lid, but the big news with the new Mazda6 is found in the cabin and under the bonnet – the interior has been tastefully refreshed, while the latest SKYACTIV-G 2.0 (petrol) and SKYACTIV-D 2.2 (diesel) engines deliver responsive power and a feeling of confidence that there is more in reserve if you need it. Press the accelerator and the new Mazda6 will pull away smoothly, matched to the pressure you apply, giving you exactly the power you desire.

The SKYACTIV-G petrol engine in the new Mazda6 is available in two states of tune – 145bhp and 165bhp, while the SKYACTIV-D diesel engine is available with either 150bhp or 184bhp. Gearbox choices consist of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, while all models are front wheel drive. Although the model I am reviewing is a four-door saloon, the new Mazda6 is also available in a cavernous Tourer (estate) body style. Four trim levels are available – Executive SE, Executive SE with Leather Pack, Platinum and, range-topping, Platinum +.

My test car was a new Mazda 6 ‘Platinum’ 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D (Diesel) 150bhp 6-speed manual, finished in stylish Machine Grey metallic paint. Standard specification across the entire Mazda6 range is impressive, with the Platinum model I drove equipped with features such as Bluetooth™ with Mazda MZD Connect, stone leather interior, electrically adjustable & heated front seats, dual zone climate control, adaptive front lighting system with high beam control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Smart Brake Control, signature LED daytime running lights, keyless entry & start, rear camera, front & rear parking sensors, alarm, immobilizer, leather multi-function steering wheel, heated auto-folding door mirrors, Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System, Lane Keep Assist, Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, BOSE™ sound system with 11 speakers, 19” alloy wheels with a machined surface, hill hold assist, rear privacy glass, auto lights, auto wipers, tyre pressure monitoring system, integrated satellite navigation, Windscreen-Projected Active Driving Display, traffic sign recognition and an electronic handbrake, along with many other comfort, safety and convenience features.

Mazda has revised the steering and suspension on the 6 Saloon in a bid to keep it at the front of the pack for driving fun. Accomplished, sharp steering makes driving the car around bends a joy, while there is a real fluency to the way the car travels down motorways and back roads too. Powerful brakes ensure that the new Mazda6 stops as effectively as it accelerates, while the cars overall driving dynamics are faultless. My test car returned fuel consumption as low as 5.6l/100km on a combined driving cycle, while annual road tax is just €200.

The cabin of the new Mazda6 is a very pleasant place to be. A redesign of the centre console layout results in a de-cluttered atmosphere. The use of high quality materials make the new Mazda6 feel premium-like, while solid build quality is evident throughout. All occupants will appreciate the ample leg, shoulder and head room on offer, while 480 litres of space in the boot is impressive. This space can be greatly, and easily, extended by dropping the split-folding rear seat rests. Thanks in no small part to an outstanding level of safety equipment, the new Mazda6 has achieved a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP rating for definitive peace of mind driving.

Pricing for the new Mazda6 starts at just €31,945 (ex-works), while my Platinum test car specification is priced from €40,595 (ex-works). A 3-year/100,000km warranty comes as standard, as does a 3-year European roadside assistance package. Overall, the new Mazda6 really does redefine expectations, and offers the ultimate in refinement. When you drive a Mazda, you never drive alone, as the car and driver are always in perfect harmony.

Fact Box

1)    KODO – Soul of Motion Design

2)    Cutting-Edge Engine Technology

3)    Four Trim Levels

4)    Manual or Automatic

5)    Priced From Just €31,945 (ex-works)