Mazda6 just got even better

THE Mazda6 competes in one of the most competitive segments of the Irish car market, that of the family saloon or hatch. Rivals include the superb Ford Mondeo, excellent Opel Insignia, new VW Passat, the all new and very good Peugeot 508, to name but a few. So it needs to be good to compete with the likes of those rivals.

THE Mazda6 competes in one of the most competitive segments of the Irish car market, that of the family saloon or hatch. Rivals include the superb Ford Mondeo, excellent Opel Insignia, new VW Passat, the all new and very good Peugeot 508, to name but a few. So it needs to be good to compete with the likes of those rivals.

Road Tested by Hugh Maguire

The 6 is available in both saloon, 5-door hatch and Touring (estate) with petrol or diesel power. Mazda have recently introduced some engineering tweaks to the 2.2 turbo diesel model which have resulted in even lower emissions and more power than before and in this review we take a look at the improved Mazda6 in 5 door Sport SE spec and powered by this revised diesel unit.

First Impressions

Well it most certainly is one very sleek good-looking car. Many who commented on it said it looked distinctive and dynamic unlike many of its rather dull looking rivals. The sports kit on the Sport SE version on test includes a stylish rear spoiler and clear rear lens which look rather well.

So on the style side of things the Mazda6 diesel sport seems to be a hit. The Sport model adds 18 inch alloys and my test car was finished in a very attractive metallic which set off the lines of the car very well indeed.

Behind The Wheel

The cabin is just about perfect. It looks great, very modern and well designed while reflecting the dynamic curves and contours of the exterior.

The instrument cluster has sporty overtones with aluminium look surrounds, a theme that is carried over to the steering wheel face and centre console and it all looks very well. The fit and finish is beyond reproach with high quality materials evident throughout. It’s roomy too with ample room for up to five adults and a huge boot accessed via the large tailgate to swallow their luggage.

Standard equipment on the diesel Sport is impressive and includes the aforementioned 18 inch alloy wheels, front fogs, heated and folding door mirrors, DCS, (stability control) TCS,(traction control) ABS, EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and EBA (electronic brake assist), as well as twin airbags, side curtain airbags and day running lights. Owners will also appreciate the dual zone heating with auto climate control, cruise control, a lovely stereo CD system with MP3 compatibility, and multi function steering wheel.

Performance

The big change is under the bonnet. A new smaller turbo spools up more quickly upping power to 129 bhp yet emissions are just 138g/km meaning a road tax of just €156. This 2.2 litre turbo 6-speed diesel packs a real punch with huge reserves of mid range torque making this a quick car even in 6th gear. This revised 2.2 litre Mazda6 will soar past the motorway limit unnoticed and gobbles up rows of traffic with ease making for safe and rapid overtaking. The short change 6-speed gearbox is light and easy to use and takes rapid shifts easily adding to the sporting dynamics of the car. Probably the single most impressive action of this sweet sounding new diesel is the massive surge of acceleration it will deliver in a high gear. There is bags of torque available.

Finally it also proves more economical burning just 6.5 litres of diesel per 100km giving the new Mazda6 a range in excess of 950 km between refuels. This really is a very impressive diesel engine.

Road Behaviour

This car is a real cracker on a twisty country road. It has a perfect blend of comfortable ride, and yet quite sporting handling. Point the new 6 2.2 D Sport at a corner and it will track your chosen line as though on rails, while the nicely weighted steering lets you know what the front wheels are doing and the powerful all-round discs provide reassuring stopping power. All in all it’s a very well sorted car that proves really rewarding to drive. Noise levels are commendably low making the new Mazda6 2.2 D a comfortable, refined and quiet car to be in.

Verdict

Mazda can be justifiably proud of this revised diesel engine. The new Mazda6 2.2 D Sport is a car that I can honestly say I would want to own. It looks very well, is beautifully put together, proves a rewarding drive, and satisfies passenger’s needs admirably. Compared to its rivals it stands out as being a cut above the pack and that feels good. Pricing is good too. The new Mazda6 2.2 diesel SE Sport costs €30,395. In summary I would buy the new Mazda6 over almost all of its rivals, it’s that good!