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New Mazda6 review

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    Standout look of the all-new Mazda6 seems sure to attract buyers. Photo Gallery

Ewan Kennedy road tests and reviews the new Mazda6 with specs, fuel economy and verdict.

Mazda6 has grown ever larger with each new model and is now similar in size to Toyota Camry and its six-cylinder brother the Aurion. Indeed it’s not all that far short of Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon in its length, though the Mazda is noticeably narrower than the Aussie cars due to tax regulations in its home country.

VALUE

This time around the Mazda6 is only being sold as a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon, a hatchback is missing from the range. Prices start from $33,460 for the 2.5-litre petrol sedan.

TECHNOLOGY

Power is provided by Mazda’s SkyActiv petrol or diesel four-cylinder engines. The petrol has a capacity of 2.5 litres and produces 138 kilowatts of power and 250 Newton metres of torque. It has been slightly detuned so it can run on 91 octane petrol rather than the more energy efficient 95 octane petrol. However, it works pretty well and few will notice any loss in power.

The problem here is that oil companies seldom discount super unleaded so the lower fuel consumption it provides is more than cancelled out by the higher price. Oh for some common sense in the fuel industry, after all the less fuel we use the less CO2 is emitted.

The turbo-diesel is a 2-2-litre unit and its peak outputs are 129 kW and 420 Nm. We really love these Mazda SkyActiv diesels for their wide spread of strong torque. The fact that they rev to 5500 rpm instead of starting to fade at about 4200 revs, as is the way in conventional diesels, make these the first turbo-diesel units that will actually appeal to revhead drivers.

DESIGN

The big new Mazda6 has standout frontal styling, using Mazda’s so-called Kudo design theme with a huge grille that blends into the upper edges of the headlights in swooping curves. This is the first Mazda sold in Australian with Kudo design and full SkyActiv powertrains.

In keeping with the stunning looks of the body, the interior also has a futuristic style and has a quality look and feel that will appeal to buyers looking for an affordable upmarket car.

The growth has resulted in very good interior room, especially in the back seat of the sedan, which can cope with two large adults, making it a genuine family car by Australian standards. Three kids and their parents will find the Mazda6 providing stretch out room.

The only letdown is the use of a full-sized spare wheel in place of the space-saver for which the sedan’s boot floor has obviously been designed. Very few Australian drivers ever make huge country trips in their cars these days, so really don’t need a large spare. But a vocal minority has made a fuss and some car makers have bowed to the pressure.

A saving grace in the luggage space is the length of the boot and the fact that the backrests can be conveniently folded flat using levers that can be reached easily from the back of the car. The seatback’s 60/40 split means you can carry four people plus a fair amount of luggage, or three and even more cargo.

Oddly, the station wagon has less rear seat legroom as it has a shorter wheelbase and the passenger / luggage compromise leans in the direction of the latter. Japanese people tend to turn their noses up at station wagons, regarding them as load carriers with less social status than sedans.

SAFETY

New to the model is a range of crash avoidance technologies offered in the topline models. These include radar cruise control, forward obstruction warning, lane departure indication and rear danger warning.

Given Mazda Australia’s longterm focus on safety it’s pleasing to see this emphasis on primary safety. A full suite of secondary safety features ensures the Mazda6 gains top markets in crash tests.

VERDICT

Standout look of the all-new Mazda6 seems sure to attract buyers.

RANGE

The complete Mazda6 range is:
Sport 2.5-litre petrol four-door sedan: $33,460 (automatic)
Touring 2.5-litre petrol four-door sedan: $37,500 (automatic)
GT 2.5-litre petrol four-door sedan: $43,220 (automatic)
Atenza 2.5-litre petrol four-door sedan: $46,810 (automatic)
Touring 2.2-litre diesel four-door sedan: $40,350 (automatic)
GT 2.2-litre diesel four-door sedan: $46,070 (automatic)
Atenza 2.2-litre diesel four-door sedan: $49,660 (automatic)

Sport 2.5-litre petrol five-door wagon: $34,760 (automatic)
Touring 2.5-litre petrol five-door wagon: $38,800 (automatic)
GT 2.5-litre petrol five-door wagon: $44,520 (automatic)
Atenza 2.5-litre petrol five-door wagon: $48,110 (automatic)
Touring 2.2-litre diesel five-door wagon: $41,650 (automatic)
GT 2.2-litre diesel five-door wagon: $47,370 (automatic)
Atenza 2.2-litre diesel five-door wagon: $50,960 (automatic)

Mazda6

Price: from $33,460
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Resale: 54% (outgoing model, Source: Glass's Guide)
Service interval: 10,000km/6 months
Safety rating: five stars (outgoing model)
Spare: temporary
Engine: 138kW/250Nm 2.5-litre 16-valve DOHC 4-cyl; 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre 16-valve DOHC intercooled turbodiesel 4-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed auto; FWD
Body: 4.8m (L); 1.8m (w); 1.5m (h)
Weight: 1462-1593kg
Thirst: 5.4-6.6 1/100km, tank 62 litres; 155-141g/km CO2


RIVALS

imageToyota Camry
Price:
from $30,490
Engine: 2.5-litre, 4-cyl petrol, 133kW/231Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Thirst: 7.8l/100km, 91RON, CO2 183g/km




second opinion
Toyota Camry - see other Camry verdicts


 

imageFord Mondeo
Price: from $31,490
Engine: 149kW/300Nm 2-litre turbo direct-injection EcoBoost or 118kW/208Nm 2.3-litre petrol 4-cyl; 120kW/340Nm 2-litre 4-cyl direct-injection turbodiesel
Transmisison: 6-speed automatic or twin-clutch automated manual, front-wheel drive
Thirst: 5.9-9.5l/100km, CO2 157-227g/km



second opinion
Ford Mondeo - see other Mondeo verdicts




Honda Accord Euro
Price: from $30,340
Engine: 2.4-litre, 4-cyl petrol, 148kW/234Nm (auto 230Nm)
Transmission: 6-speed manual (5-speed automatic), front-wheel drive
Body: 4-door sedan
Thirst: 8.7 (auto 8.5l)/100km, 95RON, CO2 207 (auto 202) g/km


image
Honda Accord Euro - see other Accord Euro verdicts


 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 13 comments

  • I have driven my 2000 model 626 since near new and I am ready to purchase a new car. I wouldbbe happy to go with Mazda again, but I see there is no hatch.  I only have occasional use of the back seat for grandchildren, but I do have dogs and I have no desire to have dogs on the back seat. I have to admit to being disappointed as I have been waiting for the new model to come out.

    Carolyn Burch of Dural NSW Posted on 31 January 2013 5:46pm
  • I have driven an old 6 for 6 years now (bought it 3 yrs old).  It has 185k on the clock and has been an easy pleasure to drive.

    I don’t see myself as a Mazda loyalist but was in the market for a new car and couldn’t quite pull the trigger on a 75k euro.  This is easily the nicest looking of the Asian/Aussie mid markets, the interior is fantastic.  I bought the cheapest one with leather seats - the Touring which I think has the best value equation.  Jumping another 6k just to get a sunroof and 19inch alloys is crazy. 

    I’m still unsure about the skyactive thing too, but I trust that these guys know it’s the right thing. 

    very happy with the purchase.

    nick from sydney of avalon Posted on 17 January 2013 10:14am
  • I have driven an old 6 for 6 years now (bought it 3 yrs old).  It has 185k on the clock and has been an easy pleasure to drive.

    I don’t see myself as a Mazda loyalist but was in the market for a new car and couldn’t quite pull the trigger on a 75k euro.  This is easily the nicest looking of the Asian/Aussie mid markets, the interior is fantastic.  I bought the cheapest one with leather seats - the Touring which I think has the best value equation.  Jumping another 6k just to get a sunroof and 19inch alloys is crazy. 

    I’m still unsure about the skyactive thing too, but I trust that these guys know it’s the right thing. 

    very happy with the purchase.

    nick from sydney of avalon Posted on 17 January 2013 10:13am
  • Having owned Mazdas previously, the New Mazda 6 would interest me again as it appears to be an exciting vehicle with all the options required to enjoy motoring at our stage of life

    Peter of Wodonga Posted on 11 January 2013 9:54am
  • We test drove the new base sports model, the car looks awesome inside and out, The front looks a little Merc like and the rear looks a little Jag. The ride is smooth helped but the high profile tyres which looked a little off and not sporty. Did not like the skyactive at all! It is a little disconcerting to feel the motor shutdown when you stop at the lights only to splutter back into life at the touch of the accelerator and splutter it did! almost to the point of stalling but that’s how they get there 6. whatever per 100 on fuel. The 6 is now as big as a Falcon or Commadore but it is powered by a 2.5 litre petrol it felt under powered for such a big car. Maybe the diesel would be better with a little more torque but that’s more $$$$$

    Craig of Central coast Posted on 10 January 2013 10:16am
  • Love the Mazda product. However, the new 6 is somewhat over priced. I’ll wait 12 months until the market corrects the pricing.

    Chris of Melbourne Posted on 09 January 2013 12:03pm
  • 1, Agree with Glenn (14 December 2012 10:16am); this is the second Kodo design following the CX5.
    2. I am all for a full size spare. With the amount of driving I do I want a full size spare there should I need it. Space savers = cost savers for the company. I quite like how my Mazda6 Hatch has a spare alloy.
    3. I looked over the new Mazda 6 on Friday, it looks awesome. Nice drivers area, extra leg room in the back seat over my current 6; though no hatch. The sedan looks quite stunning. Great design IMO.

    KarlV of Canberra Posted on 30 December 2012 12:41pm
  • I think it looks great, the tech side sounds great too. Looks are always are a matter of opinion but that’s great so there isn’t too many of the same cars out there.

    Joe of Grebe Posted on 28 December 2012 3:50pm
  • Great design and technology, it’s always a matter of opinion with looks but that’s good so there is always a variety of cars on the road.

    Joe of Grebe Posted on 28 December 2012 3:47pm
  • Seriously ugly….
    Yet again mazda uglifies a good looking Ford.
    And the space saver is the only thing i hate about my Focus. Dont do it.

    Craig hazell of Western Sydney Posted on 24 December 2012 10:40am
  • Actually second vehicle. CX-5 was Kodo design with Skyactiv engines.

    Glenn Posted on 14 December 2012 11:16am
  • Just like with the 3, Mazda have stuufed up the styling. The older 6 looks much better and newer than this. THis is the problem of getting it right well in advance and then changing the style just to bring in an ‘All New’ Model.

    Cha Ratna of Melbiurne Victoria Posted on 13 December 2012 1:29pm
  • I’m not sure if you’re at all correct about a “Vocal Minority” regarding the use of a full size spare wheel.
    I’m in the automotive sales field and The amount of people I speak to that tell me that they wouldn’t own a car with a space saver or if they like a car that has a space saver, want to enquire about having a Full Size Spare installed are far from the minority.. I am in a slightly more regional area so the priorities may be slightly different here but Australia isn’t Europe or the US so I think that the fullsize will be desirable for alot of buyers for a long time to come… Looks like a nice new Mazda 6 btw…

    Salesperson of Newcastle Posted on 13 December 2012 12:19pm
Read all 13 comments

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