Mazda 6 2.2D 150 SE-L
Week ending November 29
Driven this week 1100
The last few days I've spent a lot of time in our Mazda 6. I've driven all over London and also out to Essex for a variety of events including an interview for a Personal Shopper feature and two Reader Test Teams.
The Mazda has been a comfortable place to be and I've been grateful for the built-in sat-nav. There have been a few hiccups, though.
Unfortunately the sat-nav has a tendency to lose satellite signal which meant that on a couple of occasions I missed turnings and had to take a longer route than I anticipated. When it worked, it was great and the traffic information was remarkably accurate. If it could just hang onto the satellite signal, there would be no complaints.
By Matthew Burrow
Week ending November 15
Driven this week 320
I borrowed Art Editor, Stephen Hopkins’ long term Mazda 6 for a week away in Suffolk. My main reasons for doing so were firstly that I needed something with a rather large boot, and secondly that I wanted to reassess the car’s ride over longer, motorway trips.
The first time I drove our Mazda 6 was on my favourite A- and B-road route that bypasses an unpredictable stretch of the M25. I remember that the engine and gearbox impressed me, but also that I found the ride to be more comfortable than our review of the car suggests.
However, sticking a few hundred miles on the car on both smooth and patchy motorways has changed that opinion. While the firm edge to the ride on rural roads still doesn’t bother me too much, when you’re crusing at 70mph there’s a constant feeling of tautness that means it doesn’t feel as relaxed as rivals.
Does that mean I wouldn’t recommend it? Well, if you do a considerable number of motorway miles, then I’m afraid it does. The Mazda 6 is still good to drive, though. In fact, the one thought that struck me as I was enjoying the smooth, responsive engine and slick gearbox was: ‘What would a hot version of the Mazda 6 be like?’. There’s been no suggestion from the company that one is on the way, but I would love to find out.
Ed Callow - Ed.Callow@whatcar.com
Week ending November 1
Driven this week 250
Read the full Mazda 6 review
Our Mazda 6 long term test car appears enormous from the outside, but the tapered design means it's not quite as spacious inside as the slightly shorter Ford Mondeo.
That said, there's still bags of space in the rear for most passengers (as long as they're not too tall). In fact, the only slight criticism I have of the Mazda's capacity is about the boot - it's 45 litres smaller than the Ford's, and the saloon opening makes it less practical than a hatch.
The 6's dimensions might also be intimidating for people who often park in narrow bays - but if you go for SE-L rather than SE trim (as we did), you get front and rear parking sensors as standard.
That's not all, though. SE-L also adds automatic wipers, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and 17-inch alloys. It's only an £800 step up from SE, which seems like a no-brainer to me.
By Ed Callow