Mazda reinvents family saloon
By Bruce Booth
WHILE it’s got the looks that makes it stand out from the crowd, there’s much more to the new Mazda6 than just what’s pleasing to the eye.
For the Japanese marque has all but reinvented the family saloon sector with the third generation of their five-seater saloon which goes on sale in the UK in January.
While over the years the outgoing model made plenty of friends with its great looks and sporty, dynamic driving capability, Mazda has upped the ante for the new model by a big margin.
Flexing its muscles against rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, Peugeot 508 and Renault Megane, the new Mazda6 is set to make a serious impact on the marketplace from day one.
With its highly-competitive list price and low CO2 emissions figure of 129g/km, they don’t come much better than the entry-level two-litre SE 142bhp petrol model, which has the lowest monthly benefit-in-kind tax figure of the range.
Priced from £19,595 the newcomer is powered by Mazda’s latest award-winning, fuel-saving SKYACTIV petrol engine which can return up to 51.4mpg on the combined cycle.
Overall, when compared with the outgoing model, it offers a 22 per cent increase in fuel economy, a 17 per cent reduction in CO2, yet a 21 per cent increase in power and 27 per cent increase in torque.
Coupled to its latest powertrain, the car’s advanced chassis and body technology lead to the new Mazda6 offering an engaging and rewarding drive, delivering refined handling while also offering segment-leading safety features throughout.
Chassis and body structures are stiffer, thanks to the use of high and ultra-high tensile steels, while an array of advanced active and passive safety technologies combine together to reduce the severity to occupants, pedestrians and the vehicle itself, should any accident happen.
Inside, the cockpit has been designed to make driving as enjoyably and engaging as possible. Soft-touch plastics give an upmarket feel while the quality of the fabrics, switchgear and fittings add to the car’s overall premium-quality ambiance.
From the driver’s perspective, everything has been positioned exactly where it should be while the windscreen pillars have been designed in such a way as to minimise blind spots and enhance the driver’s overall field of view.
Passengers will also appreciate the relaxing atmosphere inside the cabin, which gives segment-leading space, accompanied by the latest in infotainment technology.
No fewer than 36 saloon and estate models will be available initially in SE, SE Nav, SE-L and SE-L Nav trim, with the choice of two two-litre petrol and two 2.2-litre diesel engines coupled to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
There’s little doubt the all-new Mazda6 will quickly become a formidable challenger in this highly-competitive class and while diesel power will dominate fleet sales, the efficient petrol models with their diesel-like economy, are also set to build up a significant following in their own right.