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Mazda6 Touring sedan 2012 review

The Mazda6 is still at the front of the pack four years after it was launched.
EXPERT RATING
8

Growing old gracefully is rarely a trait of mass-production cars. The Mazda6 is the exception that proves the rule; the mid-sized pacesetter is still at the front of the pack four years after it was launched. To keep it relevant, the base model Australian versions recently earned leather seat trim and powered front seats to go with the best chassis in the class.

Value

Price trims of $300-$3370 were included in the spec upgrade last October and the base Classic is now known as the Touring. The 6 has something for everyone - it is sold as a sedan, hatch and wagon from $31,450, $32,450 and $34,750 respectively. Add $2000 for the automatic in the sedan and hatch (the auto is standard on the wagon).

Technology

Lack of a colour screen is the only interior feature that truly dates the 6. The red centre strip display is as modern as my first calculator. The functionality's there, it just doesn't have the hi-res look its more recent rivals have embraced.

The auto is a five-speed unit that is a cog down on some in the class. Matched to the 125kW/226Nm from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder it still delivers 8.7 litres/100km on regular petrol. And yes, you can get a 132kW/400Nm 2.2-litre diesel.

Styling

This is the sportiest looking car in the pack, especially from the front. The curved roof gives it a coupe-like look and the bulging rear bumper adds a touch of aggression. Only the Honda Accord Euro and Kia Optima come close.

The interior layout is still on the money and uses logical and easy-to-operate rotary dials for the dual-zone airconditioning, while the sound system is best operated using the steering wheel-mounted switches.

Safety

Six airbags are standard on the Mazda6 and are backed by seat belt reminders for the front occupants. On the software front the ABS brakes are booked by electronic brake distribution, emergency brake assist and stability control.  ANCAP rates it a five-star car.

Driving

This is the mid-sized car to own if you appreciate driving dynamics. The chassis sits flat in the turns, the steering is direct with plenty of feedback and the 2.5-litre petrol engine propels the car at a reasonably quick rate. Go for the manual if you're an enthusiast - the extra gear translates into quicker acceleration off the line and in mid-rev overtaking. On the practical front the boot is big - though not as cavernous as a Ford Mondeo - and the back seat passengers aren't chewing on their own legs.

Verdict

The drivers' choice in the mid-sized front-wheel drive field and it should be high on buyers' shopping lists. I'd cross-shop it against the Accord Euro and hound both camps for the best deal.

Pricing guides

$13,888
Based on 127 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,500
Highest Price
$18,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Luxury Sports 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $9,990 – 16,500 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Luxury Sports Pricing and Specs
Sport Diesel 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $11,200 – 16,500 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Sport Diesel Pricing and Specs
Touring 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $5,500 – 9,990 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Touring Pricing and Specs
Atenza 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $13,995 – 18,990 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Atenza Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$10,600

Lowest price, based on 9 car listings in the last 6 months

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