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Mazda 6 2019 review: GT turbo petrol sedan

This stylish looking car is first in the range to feature a turbocharged petrol engine.

When it comes to the mid-sized sedan market, the European brands have long held favour with buyers over their Asian counterparts - particularly in the design department.

Manufacturers like Mazda, however, are looking to even the score. 

Enter the Mazda 6 2019 GT sedan. This stylish looking car represents the third in a four-tier line-up, and the first in the range to feature a turbocharged petrol engine.

  • This stylish looking car represents the third in a four-tier line-up. This stylish looking car represents the third in a four-tier line-up.
  • Priced at $43,990. Priced at $43,990.

It's priced at $43,990, but you do get a whole lot of standard kit, including 19-inch wheels, active LED headlights, power windows, electric seats, an 11-speaker Bose stereo, auto headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel and shifter, sat nav, keyless entry and start, and active cruise control.  

So, is the Mazda 6 a worthy consideration as a modern-day family hauler? My kids and I had the weekend to find out.

Featuring 19-inch alloys. Featuring 19-inch alloys.

 

Saturday

Our Mazda 6 was on a mix of shopping duties in the city in the morning, before being tasked with hauling us to the park and movies in the afternoon.

The GT sedan is a good looking one, and the Soul Red Crystal Metallic (extra $300 – worth every cent) ours came dressed in really makes it stand out. It’s a stunning colour that highlights the car’s styling, and it rightly turns the odd head or two.

The slim LED headlights and slightly hunkered-down front convey some athletic credentials, as does the muscular coupe-like side profile. Its design is a long way from the boring sedans of old. Classy and understated across the board.

The Mazda6 has a muscular coupe-like side profile. The Mazda6 has a muscular coupe-like side profile.

The cabin of our test car was awash with cream Nappa leather covering the seats, doors and a considerable amount of the dash. It’s in stark contrast to the exterior, but in a good way, and conveys a premium look and feel. That said, I did have some anxiety as to how it would cope after a few days with my three kids.

The instruments are well laid out, and there are numerous dials and buttons across the dash and steering wheel to help operate key features. Perched on top of the dash is an 8.0-inch touchscreen system which can also be operated via a console-mounted rotary dial. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be optioned for an extra $500. While the system was easy to use, it was a little slow responding to inputs.

  • The instruments are well laid out across the dash and steering wheel. The instruments are well laid out across the dash and steering wheel.
  • There is a reasonable amount of storage in the cabin. There is a reasonable amount of storage in the cabin.

There is a reasonable amount of storage in the cabin, with two cupholders, a smallish centre console and decent phone cubby under the climate controls up front. The kids in the back had a pair of cupholders in the centre armrest to make use of and a small lidded tray with a pair of USB ports. Boot space is 474 litres (VDA), which was more than enough space for our gear over the weekend.

The kids made good use of the heated rear seats (but more for entertainment's sake, as one child would secretly turn up the heat on the other's seat).

Head and legroom is ample for front and rear passengers. I could sit comfortably behind my driving position (I'm 180cm tall), with a hand-width of space between my knees and a couple of inches of clear air above my head.

Sunday

Our schedule today included a visit to the grandparents in the morning, followed by an afternoon taking advantage of the autumn sun and surf at the beach.

Interestingly, the GT's 2.5-litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine is the same used in the CX-9, producing 170kW and 420Nm and directing power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic.

It sounds like plenty, but the performance from this car is not enough to get the heart racing. Acceleration feels underdone, even in Sports mode. It was, however, incredibly comfortable and wonderfully quiet to drive around suburban streets.

Pot holes, speed humps and bumps were soaked up with minimal fuss, and it cornered more than competently, too. The transmission was smooth and easy going, completing a properly buttoned-down driving experience.

The performance from this car is not enough to get the heart racing. The performance from this car is not enough to get the heart racing.

The Mazda 6 was also incredibly easy to manoeuvre into tight spaces, with front and rear sensors and a reversing camera helping to make light work of parking challenges.  

The 6 gets a five-star ANCAP rating, as tested in 2018, arriving with six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, high beam control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward and reverse AEB, reverse cross-traffic alert and traffic-sign recognition.

For parents with small infants, there are two ISOFIX and three top-tether points.

Our weekend with the car in mostly urban and city driving resulted in a fuel consumption reading on the trip computer of 9.9L/100km. Mazda claims a combined consumption of 7.6L/100km, and advises that the 6 is content to drink 91RON unleaded.


The Wrap

The GT is a classy sedan that is able to propel its occupants in absolute comfort and style. It's an eye catching car inside and out, and while the engine could do with a little more punch, it’s a family hauler worthy of consideration. 

Likes

Good looking
Lots of standard kit
Premium cabin

Dislikes

Touchscreen slow to respond
Feels a tad underpowered

Scores

Dan:

3.9

The Kids:

3.8

$44,490

Based on new car retail price

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