Our cars: Mazda 6 - March
Week ending March 27
Total mileage 4310
Driven this week 1330 miles
I had my first drive of the long-term Mazda 6 last week, when I borrowed it to get to a preview of the new Range Rover Sport at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire.
The 250-mile round trip was mostly spent on the motorway, where you’d expect a family saloon such as the 6 to feel at home. However, it actually lets in a lot of wind- and road noise at speed, while the ride is quite jittery – even on our car’s relatively small 17-inch wheels.
It’s a pity, because the supportive seats meant I suffered no aches and pains and the engine is probably the smoothest, most flexible four-cylinder diesel on sale today.
True, there was some judder through the clutch when pulling away, but I reckon this is a fault with our car rather than diesel 6s in general.
By Steve Huntingford
Mazda 6 2.2D 150 SE-L
Week ending: March 8
Driven this week 460
I've been driving the Mazda 6 for three weeks now and it has fitted into my lifestyle perfectly.
For example, I took it for a country drive last week through the lanes near my home, and was surprised how well it dealt with the twists and turns. My passengers didn't complain either, so the Mazda's body control is clearly good.
It was great in the local supermarket car park too; the turning circle is excellent, which makes parking easy, but I wish it had a reversing camera instead of just parking sensors because it feels like a long car and judging the back end is tricky.
It's proving pretty economical, to; I've averaged 48.0mpg in a week of motorway commutes.
Week ending March 1
Driven this week: 700 miles
Had my first long trip in the Mazda 6 this week: a 300 day trip to Bristol and back - and so a good opportunity to test the motorway credentials of our new saloon.
First impressions were favourable. I can't think of a car with a more refined four-cylinder diesel engine for a start. It's certainly far creamier than the BMW 320d that I normally do these sort of trips in. According to the trip computer it's not quite as economical as the 3 Series mind you, with 46 playing 49mpg.
Comfort is good, too. In total I spent around four and a half hours behind the wheel and ended up with nothing to complain about. I reckon the dash and controls is a good place with which to conduct business too.
I like the ride quality as well. Previous Mazda 6's I've driven have been on 19-inch alloys, but we had the good sense to spec our long termer with 17s and they make a huge difference to how many lumps and bumps creep into the cabin. I do wish Mazda had done a better job at isolating road and wind noise though - from my day trip - it appears it's the only thing that is really letting it down.