Striking to look at and great to drive – the new Mazda 6 is a good argument for the saloon in today’s SUV mad world

“Striking to look at and great to drive – the new Mazda 6 is a good argument for the saloon in today’s SUV mad world”

  • Beautifully designed inside and out

  • Refined and enjoyable to drive

  • Generous levels of equipment


Overall Rating

  • Boot is not the largest in the class

  • Touchscreen graphics could be better

  • Limited engine range

Overall Rating


The Mazda 6 has been given a facelift for 2018, and the results are similar to a carefully selected Instagram filter – subtle, but effective.

It’s always been a handsome machine and a few careful updates here and there have made it even more so. There’s some new chrome detailing, tweaking of the headlights and a wider space between the exhausts which gives it a bit more stance from behind. But is it worthy of a double tap as a package?

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Interior Gallery


Space & Practicality

It’s still as practical as it was before with an Audi A4 matching 480 litres of boot space. However it does fall short of the Volkswagen Passat’s 586 litres and the Skoda Superb’s massive 625 litres. It’s still a generous size and the rear seats can be folded flat to accommodate larger items. There’s also a Tourer version if you need more space or have any furry friends to carry around.

The rear seats are spacious with decent leg and head room, along with two sets of Isofix anchors for child seats. It’s all finished very nicely and we can’t imagine passengers back there having much reason to complain.

Equipment and Safety

The cabin has also been given a slight makeover with a wider dash, larger multimedia screen and head-up display that has lost the plastic screen and now projects directly on to the windscreen for a much more streamlined and premium effect.

The premium question is an interesting one with Mazda because it does sit in a unique area of the market. It’s certainly not budget, with a starting price of €32,000, yet it doesn’t quite reach the hefty asking prices of Audi or BMW.

And yet, the stunning design and upmarket interior does no doubt give it a premium feel in lots of ways. The high spec Platinum trim of our test car comes equipped with some very high end features including stone leather, electronically adjustable heated seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive front lighting, a reversing camera, keyless entry and an 11 speaker Bose sound system.

There’s also the ‘top-top’ spec Platinum Plus which, starting at €42,285 will add upgraded exterior and interior styling, a sunroof, adaptive LED Headlights, heated rear seats and a 360 degree around-view camera.

Even if you choose not to upgrade, standard features are very generous with dual zone climate control, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, radar assisted cruise control and an 8 inch multimedia system complete with SatNav all included on the entry Executive SE model.

This Mazda Connect system is as clever and simple as ever and while it still doesn’t quite live up to the graphics offered by some rivals, it is very easy to operate and the rotary dial control pad in the centre console adds further to that premium feel.

Also impressive are the safety features on offer and all models come equipped with some very handy driver aids like blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and road sign recognition.

Performance & Running Costs

Despite big changes in the market at the moment, Mazda are one of the few brands that have remained committed to petrol power and not just smaller turbo charged units in their hatchbacks. Powering our test car was the 2.0l skyActiv – G , a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine pushing out 165 ps, although there is a slightly lower powered 145 ps version available.

There are of course still very capable diesel options available in the 2.2l skyactiv D but it did feel good to be behind the wheel of a big, naturally aspirated petrol for a change.

It sounds great and although you do have to work the gear shift quite hard to get the performance that you want, it is a very enjoyable car to drive, with a nice solid stance around corners and a nice bit of feel from the steering. Without the help of a turbocharger it also claims to be able to get closer to its claimed fuel economy figure  of 6.4 l/100km. We didn’t quite manage that but got reasonably close with an average of 7.0l/100km.

One drawback to petrol however, are the higher CO2 emissions which in this case push it in to tax band C at €390 a year – more or less double what you’d pay for a diesel. Still though if you’re worried about the future of the black stuff, and what extra taxes might be coming down the line, this is a very tempting alternative.

Reliability & Residuals

As family cruisers go, the Mazda 6 is up there with the best in class. It’s stylish, spacious, comfortable, and incredibly well built. This update has put the finishing touches to a very impressive package.

It comes with the peace of mind and a three year warranty as standard, and has very few known issues with reliability. If your’e one of the few remaining D-segment fans out there, this is definitely one to put on the shopping list.

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