Mazda 6 2.2D 150 SE-L
Week ending October 11
Driven this week 295
Read the full Mazda 6 review
A report I wrote in the November issue of What Car? on my regular runabout - the Honda Civic - hit a nerve with readers. It concerned the lack of a spare wheel. So I’ve been lifting the boot carpets in as many of our long-termers as possible to see the state of play.
The Mazda 6 is in the same boat as the Civic. A bottle of ‘gunk’ and a compressor are all you’ll find beneath the floor. They sit in a removable polystyrene tray. Lift this out and there’s a spare wheel-shaped well, so I imagine the 6 does come with a spare in certain countries. In the UK you’ll have to request a space-saver from your dealer.
Colleague Stephen Hopkins - the 6’s custodian - has actually experienced a puncture in the Mazda. The damage was to the tyre was so bad it rendered the repair kit useless, and he had to call out a breakdown truck to tow him to a tyre dealer.
With a spare wheel in the boot, Steve would have been back on the road within around 20 minutes. Instead, it took him three hours.
By Rob Keenan
Week ending October 4
Driven this week 725 miles
It’s been a few months since I last drove the Mazda. It’s not easy to keep tabs on such a large fleet of cars - when I got into the 6 the other night I couldn’t remember whether it ran on petrol or diesel.
It’s diesel, of course, and most cars’ diesel engines give the game away as soon as you start them. However, the Mazda’s is so refined it took me a few minutes of driving to work it out. ‘This is either a slightly gruff petrol or an incredible diesel,’ went my thoughts.
It really is an amazing engine, and not just because it’s so quiet. It’s very free-revving and much more responsive than your average four-cylinder diesel.
Along with the Mazda’s fuel preference, I’d also forgotten where the engine start button was. It’s not immediately obvious - in fact it’s hidden by the rim of the steering wheel and the indicator stalk, which required a bit neck craning to solve.
By Rob Keenan