New Mazda6 builds on success
The third generation Mazda6 builds on the success of its predecessor with sharper styling, better attention to quality and some very economical engines. Factor in a lot of kit and accessible pricing and it looks a potential winner.
The line-up of SKYACTIV powerplants includes two petrol engines making their debut in the
Mazda6 and two diesels. Most are available with i-ELOOP, Mazda’s brake energy regeneration system, as well
as i-stop, an advanced idle-stop system. The petrol engines comprise 145 and 165PS versions of the 2.0-litre
SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder direct injection unit, with the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel engine available in either
150 or 175PS versions. All versions are front-wheel drive, feature 62-litre fuel tanks, and are mated to six-speed
manual gearboxes as standard with a six-speed auto as an option.
The chassis that underpins the Mazda6 is a development of that which first debuted on the CX-5 SUV. It’s
been lengthened for this application and optimised for the lower and lighter car. Keeping weight out of key
components has been one of the major design priorities and the Mk3 Mazda6 gets lighter yet stiffer front and
rear suspension systems. The brakes have been beefed up, helped by increased chassis stability, a shorter
brake pedal stroke and better brake disc cooling. The electric power assisted steering is quicker than the many
of the rather flabby-feeling installations on most family cars, with a rapid 2.57 turn lock-to-lock ratio. In short,
the Japanese engineers have done their best to bring the alertness of the first Mazda6 back to this bigger third
I make no apology for quoting directly from Mazda’s press material here because..... well, you’ll see. “Saloon or
estate, the new Mazda6 is the purest adaptation yet of the ‘KODO - Soul of Motion’ design theme, which was
inspired by the movements of animals in the wild and symbolises Mazda’s distinctive vitality and agility.” Now,
I’m looking at the Mazda6 right now and to me it doesn’t look like a bounding cheetah or a swooping peregrine.
Or even a roosting nuthatch. It looks like a family car. A good looking one albeit, with the front end boasting
a bolder interpretation of the Mazda family face, sweeping front wheel arches and a rear-set cabin with the
windscreen pillars moved back 100mm when compared to the outgoing car. It all makes it look, I concede, a bit
more muscular and athletic. The headlights incorporate LEDs and a halo ring light, which draws the eye onto
that flamboyant wheel arch feature.
The Mazda6 takes a great deal of the promise shown by the intriguing CX-5 Crossover model - and builds on it.
When the CX-5 was first presented, the underlying message seemed to be ‘this is good, but wait until you see
the MK3 Mazda6 for the full expression of the KODO design philosophy’. Well, it’s here now and any design
this bold that gets an almost universal thumbs-up is doing extremely well. True, the cabin could have been a
little bolder in its execution, especially with so many of the latest smaller cars offering so much interior style and
quality, but overall, it’s hard to grumble about either the ambience or the amount of kit on offer.
The economy of the engines is eye-catching too, as is the amount of space in both saloon and estate models.
Prices look reasonable as well. So, is this one set to be a winner? It certainly has all the key constituents.
Mazda is on a roll right now and the form line doesn’t look set to dip with this one.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Mazda6 range
PRICES: £19,595 - £26,845
INSURANCE GROUP: 16-20 [est]
CO2 EMISSIONS: 108-136g/km
PERFORMANCE: [165PS petrol] 0-62mph 9.1s Top Speed 134mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: [165PS petrol] 47.9 mpg (combined)
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ESP, TRC, hill holder, ABS with EBA, twin front,side and curtain airbags
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 4865/1840/1450
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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