Australia’s top-selling imported medium car, the Mazda6, now offers more value, more features and a revised model line-up, and with a new model just around the corner you will get even more bang for your buck. The Mazda6 sedan, hatch and wagon range is now available in Sports, Classic Sports and Diesel variants. The 190kW turbocharged, all-wheel drive Mazda6 MPS range continues unchanged.
On first sight, our 2.3L Sports hatch test car looked impressive, finished in a striking metallic blue, the car’s chrome-trimmed grille and lights instantly catching our eye. Inside, the quality of the cabin finish proved equally good, coming close to matching or surpassing those at the top class when it comes to a choice from other Japanese or even for that matter European makers.
The Sports comes standard with climate control air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, trip computer, six-CD stack, wheel-mounted audio and cruise control switches, remote central locking with deadlock function, power windows and mirrors, driver’s seat height adjustment and telescopic and height-adjustable steering.
There is a lot of room front and rear, with the Mazda6 offering a massive 500 litres, give or take a few kilos, of boot space across the whole range. The five-door not only has this vast cargo area, but also an innovative rear seat system folding flat to the floor which Mazda calls Karakuri. Yet the amount of space on offer is not the only nod to luxury made by the Mazda6. There’s a Bose stereo system fitted as standard in the Sports Classic hatch and MPS leather pack editions of the range.
Heading out on to the open road, the 2.3L 4-cylinder engine propelled the 6 effortlessly towards cruising speed. Driven quickly, Mazda claims the car will sprint from 0 to 100mph in 8.9 seconds.
On the open road, wind and road noise is low, thanks to the generous levels of soundproofing, although the four-cylinder engine can be clearly heard at cruising speeds.
The Mazda’s pace is undoubtedly helped by the slick-shifting six-speed gearbox, which strikes a balance between sprinting ability and cruising comfort. A five-speed automatic option is also available. On twisty lanes, the 6 is quite a performer – there’s plenty of grip and steering is precise.
The suspension works well, offering both comfort and impressive body control on uneven roads, but the steering feel could be improved. Although the electro-hydraulic system is reassuringly weighty, there’s little feedback.
Much more impressive is the new traction control system, which is spurred into action on slippery roads by a series of wheel-mounted sensors. The set-up reacts smoothly and quickly to bring the car under control, its intervention going almost unnoticed.
Safety concerns are evident inside with all Mazda6 models standard with six airbags and ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
Mazda has worked hard to ensure the 6 is a well rounded performer, and it’s clear they’ve done a great job. Now with the introduction of a diesel variant for under $40,000 in both the hatch and wagon, Mazda has all its bases covered with the Mazda6.
Price: $28,990-$54,645
Engine: 2.3L and 2.3L turbo petrol, 2.0L turbo diesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Power: 122kW, 190kW, 105kW, 207Nm, 380Nm, 360Nm
Fuel: 8.9, 10.5, 5.9L/100km

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