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Mazda6 Luxury Sports hatch 2012 review

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?

What is it?

The most luxurious Mazda6 that you can get. These days it's even more luxurious with the addition of a satnav featuring a large 7-inch full-colour touch screen at no extra cost. Previously, this was a $2800 option.

How much?

The manual is $41,115 and the auto $43,115, both figures before on-road costs.

What are competitors?

You name it. Camry, Accord and Liberty, not to mention Optima and the i45. There's a lot of competition in this segment, so look out for a deal.

What's under the bonnet?

The 2.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine delivers 125kW at 6000 revs and 226Nm of torque at 4000 revs. It's hooked up to either a six-speed manual or five-speed auto. Our test vehicle was the manual.

How does it go?

Well enough. Manual change easy to use. The big four offers a good compromise between power and economy. Interestingly you can get a diesel hatch but not with an auto. It actually produces more power and torque (way more torque) if you think the 2.5 is in some way lacking?

Is it economical?

Manual is rated at 8.5 litres/100km. We recorded 8.3 litres/100km in just over 400km of testing.

Is it green?

Gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from the Green Vehicle Guide, with CO2 emissons of 201g/km.

Is it safe?

The hatch scores five stars for safety, and has a full array of safety gear including six airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes.

Is it comfortable?

Very nice. Seats are large and accommodating. Controls big and easy to use. Compliant suspension provides a cushy ride.

What's it like to drive?

The manual change brings the car to life. Watch it or you can spin the front wheels if you're not careful. I've got to say though that all three of the Mazdas I've tested in recent times have had different satellite navigation systems. Only one of them the new CX-5  provides speed camera warnings. Nothing like consistency?

Is it value for money?

Leather, sunroof, dual zone climate, power adjust front seats, front and rear parking sensors. Adaptive bi-xenon headlights. Bluetooth hands free system. Fitted with Premium Bose 240 watt 8-speaker audio system but the 6-stacker CD player is a bit of overkill these days.

Would we buy one?

The Mazda6 hatch looks and feels sporty while offering all the practical attributes of a family car. Shame it doesn't get five stars. Definitely no cringe here.

Pricing guides

Based on 113 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Luxury Sports 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $11,000 – 16,060 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Luxury Sports Pricing and Specs
Sport Diesel 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $10,800 – 15,840 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Sport Diesel Pricing and Specs
Touring 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $7,800 – 12,100 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Touring Pricing and Specs
Atenza 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $11,200 – 16,390 2012 Mazda 6 2012 Atenza Pricing and Specs