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Mazda6 manual 2010 review

The first generation Mazda 6 was launched in 2002, the second in 2008 and it is due for a third generation about 2012, so the current update is basically a tart-up to maintain buyer interest.

Appearance and equipment

Outside it gets larger Pikachu-style headlights, matching “eyes” underneath for the foglamps and brake cooling duct, a larger Mazda “M” on the grille and some models get new wheel designs and LEDs in the rear taillights. Inside, there is piano-black gloss finish, a sunglasses holder, a host of chrome plating, more features such as Bluetooth connectivity for phone and iPod in some models, and a new vinyl trim.

Mazda Australian national marketing manager Alistair Doak says the vinyl trim has “more dimples, but they’re shallower” to give the car a more upmarket feel. Under the skin there are steering and suspension adjustments that improve ride, handling, noise and vibration.

Drivetrains

The 2.5-litre petrol is also quieter thanks to a more rigid block. Power, economy and emissions are unchanged. The updated diesel arrives next month with a smaller turbo that sacrifices 4kW of top-end power for a quicker response and more midrange power. It also has marginally better fuel economy and emissions.

However, Mazda still doesn’t have an automatic transmission for the diesel models. Doak believes an automatic diesel model will not be available until the next generation.

Sales and market

He expects to sell 680 Mazda6 models a month with the hatch representing half of those sales, the sedan 30 per cent and the wagon 20 per cent.  Prices have been reduced as much as $935 on the base model manual ($27,310).

“And that’s on top of the import duty savings we passed on from late last year,” Doak says. “And remember, Mazda doesn’t charge extra for mica or metallic paint, even though metallic white is painfully expensive.”

Mazda6 has been the second-top seller to Toyota Camry in the medium car segment until recently when it was overtaken by the new Subaru Liberty. “We have been running down supply pending the new model and they have just launched a new model,” he explains. “But among private buyers, Mazda6 is still the top seller. We don’t chase fleet sales.”

Two new safety features for the Mazda6 are adaptive headlights that swivel with the steering to illuminate a corner and hill launch assist to prevent the vehicle rolling back on hill starts.

Mazda also now offers a factory fit satellite navigation system on some models. It costs a whopping $2800, but Doak says it includes touch screen and voice activation. It comes in a choice of eight body colours with mica and metallic paint offered at no extra cost.

Driving

The improved level of features brings the updated Mazda6 up to par with the Liberty, while the improved engineering refinements lift the ride comfort and cabin noise closer to Camry levels. The exterior certainly looks smarter and sexier, while the interior trim updates give it a more prestigious feel.

It features a new centre LCD display that contains a host of information such as ambient temperature, fuel economy, time and climate air readouts that you can toggle through via a button on the steering wheel.

The display is a bit crowded and confusing and the red-on-black letters and numbers can be a little difficult to see in broad daylight. The steering now feels more natural with less sensitive twitch at high speeds, the brakes still feel a little spongy while the clutch and gearshift are light and buttery, yet precise.

Pricing Guides

$10,990
Based on 105 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,990
Highest Price
$16,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Classic 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $6,990 – 13,990 2010 Mazda 6 2010 Classic Pricing and Specs
Luxury 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $8,999 – 16,990 2010 Mazda 6 2010 Luxury Pricing and Specs
Luxury Sports 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,990 – 13,990 2010 Mazda 6 2010 Luxury Sports Pricing and Specs
Sport Diesel 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $7,599 – 7,990 2010 Mazda 6 2010 Sport Diesel Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$6,688

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

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