Hidden talents of revised Mazda 6 thanks to host of hi-tech tweaks
PUBLISHED: 11:12 12 January 2017
Mazda has given its popular 6 saloon and Tourer estate range a facelift. Laura Thomson finds out what’s new.
At first glance, apart from a few styling tweaks, the Mazda6 appears near identical to its predecessor. And it’s little wonder. First introduced for the 2014 model year, before being updated for 2016, you might wonder why Mazda has again modified the 6.
However, it is very much a case of what’s inside that counts. Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC) – the manufacturer’s own torque distribution kit – makes a debut on the D-segment model, promising to smooth corners and improve driving satisfaction. Meanwhile, new systems within the pre-existing Skyactiv-D powertrains deliver added responsiveness, while reducing engine noise.
Looks and image
Following an image revamp in 2015, little remained to be updated on the 6. From the outside, it is an eye-pleasing model, with flowing lines joining together in Mazda’s signature grille, which is flanked by a sharp LED lighting signature.
In the cabin, several enhancements are seen, including a redesigned steering wheel, fresh instrument dials and chrome highlights.
One enhancement likely to go unnoticed, but showing Mazda’s appreciation of customer feedback, is better quality front seat back pockets to prevent wear. The cabin’s premium feel belies its reasonable price.
Space and practicality
Space is plentiful for front and rear passengers to sit in comfort, and while the estate’s 522-litre boot may not be able to compete with other models in its class, it is, nonetheless, adequate.
A host of technology as standard makes the 6 not only comfortable to drive, but safe and practical as well. This includes automatic braking if the driver does not react and a system to monitor the driver’s behaviour at speeds above 40mph, and alerts them to take a rest if it detects a change.
Behind the wheel
The first thing you will notice in the updated Mazda 6 is the reduced cabin noise thanks to the natural sound smoother, a small damper in the hollow part of each piston pin to reduce diesel engine noise. It certainly makes a difference with the 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D sounding like a new engine.
The GVC system gives the 6 a smoother, more stable drive and Mazda also claims it improves passenger comfort at high speeds with fewer steering corrections needed to keep on course. The 6 does feel noticeably well-planted which, combined with the comfortable ride, makes it an ideal long-distance wagon.
Value for money
On looks alone, the 2017 Mazda 6 would not be worth the premium over any previous guise. However, when the extensive engine technology is taken into consideration, the model becomes one of the most technologically equipped in its price range.
Who would buy one?
With a host of standard equipment, especially in SE-L Nav trim, the Mazda6 provides an eye-catching alternative to the much more commonplace models and that will also tempt buyers.
Price: Mazda 6 Tourer SE-L Nav £25,195 (saloon from £19,995, Tourer estate from £22,825)
Engine: 2.2-litre, 150PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel
Transmission: Six-speed manual driving front wheels
Performance: 0-62mph 9.2 seconds; top speed 130mph
MPG: 67.3 combined
CO2 emissions: 110g/km
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