Subaru Liberty Premium 2013 Review
It's one thing writing about new technology. It's another thing all together when you see it in...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Mazda makes a habit of building excellent medium size sedans and wagons. It was the case even before the advent of the Mazda 6 more than a decade and three generations back. But they've never really cracked it in terms of big sales volumes, a problem exacerbated by the super popular, smaller Mazda 3.
If you are shopping in the medium size passenger car market or for a medium SUV, the latest Mazda 6 in sedan and wagon variants should be top of the list.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
The direct injection engine is good for 138kW/250Nm output sipping regular unleaded at a combined 6.6-litres/100km and clocking a 0-100kmh sprint in 8.2 seconds.
It's fairly conventional except for the fact that it runs at a high 13:1 compression ratio and has what's called i-Eloop -- a regenerative energy system hooked up to it for improved fuel economy. The system harvests electrical energy from braking feeding it through a capacitor to the engine thereby momentarily reducing power demands from the engine.
It has stop/start too - with a twist. The restart system fires almost instantaneously to reduce starter motor "cranking" time to milliseconds. The six-speed automatic transmission is optimised for efficiency with a locking mode on all ratios and the overall size of the transmission unit is reduced and friction modified. There's more of this sort of thinking throughout the car.
Our drive Mazda 6 sedan was one up from the base sedan called the Touring. It's a well specified five-seater for the $37,500 ask with leather, Bose audio, cruise, forward obstruction warning, Tom Tom satnav, dual climate control, reverse camera, multiple wheel controls, Bluetooth audio and phone and a 5.8-inch info' screen among its standard equipment.
It rolls on 17-inch alloys and features a number of driver assist functions including forward obstruction warning, auto wipers and headlights, collision avoidance and plenty of other stuff.
Apart from being arguably one of the best looking mainstream four door sedans going around, the level of smart technology contained within its sexy sheetmetal is definitely worth pursuing. SkyActiv as it's called in Mazda-speak is relatively simple technology optimised for peak efficiency and driveability.
We like the coupe-like styling and the Maserati-esque nose. The interior with driver cockpit is similarly arresting in terms of modern design and function. We clocked about 1000km in this our third drive of the new 6 and it served to underline just how good this car is. It has good performance and makes hardly any noise. We saw fuel consumption drop into the 5.0s and found it easy to drive long distances without fatigue.
There's plenty of room inside, even in the rear seats area and the boot is big. It has a sporty, controlled drive feel with a similar sporty feel to the steering and strong brakes. The paddle shift is handy to have but unnecessary.
|Atenza||2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$13,400 – 19,360||2014 Mazda 6 2014 Atenza Pricing and Specs|
|GT||2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$14,800 – 20,900||2014 Mazda 6 2014 GT Pricing and Specs|
|Sport||2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$10,100 – 15,180||2014 Mazda 6 2014 Sport Pricing and Specs|
|Touring||2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$11,600 – 17,050||2014 Mazda 6 2014 Touring Pricing and Specs|