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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The 6 is well made, affordable and roomy. It's also sweet to drive and good-looking

Against The ride is often too firm in town and the car can be noisy on the motorway

Verdict It does most things well and almost nothing badly, so it's an excellent second-hand buy

Go for… 1.8 TS

Avoid… 2.3 MPS

Mazda 6 Hatchback
  • 1. S trim is at the bottom of the range, but still has plenty of kit, including air-con and a CD player
  • 2. A few owners have reported clutch failure on both diesels and petrols with fewer than 30,000 miles on the clock
  • 3. The view out of the back is limited by the high bootline, making reversing tricky
  • 4. The boot is a good size and the seats drop quickly at the touch of single button if you need to extend the space
  • 5. Rear-seat accommodation is comfortable; three will fit across
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Mazda 6 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

This is a good-looking family hatch that delivers on all fronts, and it should stay bullet-proof provided you service it properly - and the previous owner did the same.

Older Mazdas may have had dull bodies and cabins, but this is one handsome beast. Inside, too, the quality of the materials is impressive and the workmanship among the best.

It’s also nicely set up to drive – the steering is direct and the handling tidy. The ride’s generally comfortable, too - although it's a bit firm at low speeds, it settles nicely when you pick up the pace. And, refinement isn't too bad, either: the cabin is hushed, even on the motorway, although - with any engine - some engine noise intrudes when you work it hard.

The driver’s seat suits all shapes and sizes, while forward vision is good. The view out of the back, however, is nipped by the high bootline, making reversing tricky.

Space is generous for the passengers, and the seats drop quickly and simply if you need to extend the already sizeable boot.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Handling is sharp and engines are good. 1.8 petrol is most common. Good fuel economy

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

This is one car where cheap can be cheerful. Equipment levels are high on the most basic models, and even the smallest engine, the 1.8 petrol, does the job pretty well.

There are no poor performers, so the entry-level 1.8 S is an excellent buy. And, handily, there are quite a few for sale, partly because a lot of new car buyers were tempted into it because its list price undercut its main rival's, the Ford Mondeo, substantially. But the Ford loses value from new faster than the Mazda, so prices at a year old for the two are similar.

If you need some extra power, you're best off with the 2.0 petrol or either of the 2.0 diesels, with 119bhp or, preferably 140bhp. A 2.3 petrol tops the range, but its running costs will be higher, so give it a miss.

TS is the top-selling trim and includes everything you’d want, so it's the one we'd recommend, but you may also find plusher TS2 and Sport models. Whichever you choose, go for this hatchback - it’s much more practical than the four-door saloon.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Popular, 1.8 TS around in numbers while 2.3 Sport easy to retail

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Mazda dealers charge plenty for servicing and repairs, but most, at least, will treat you politely and fairly. During the car’s early years, it's probably worth staying with a main dealer just to get a set of Mazda stamps on the service records.

Because Mazdas are so dependable, you shouldn’t see many unexpected bills until well into the 6’s life. Switching to an independent garage should cut your bills, although this may not be as easy to do as it is for Ford and Vauxhall owners, simply because there are fewer Mazda specialists out there.

Insurance groups are low for a big car: group 7 for the 1.8 and the 119bhp 2.0 diesel, group 9 for the 2.0 petrol and 140bhp 2.0 diesel, and group 13 for the 2.3.

As you’d guess, the diesels travel furthest per gallon, the 140bhp returning up to 47mpg overall and the 119bhp 43mpg. The 1.8 manages 36mpg, the 2.0 35mpg and the 2.3 28mpg.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Handling is sharp and engines are good. 1.8 petrol is most common. Good fuel economy

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Mazdas have a reputation for being sound bits of kit, but clutches on the 6 have been a weak spot. A vibrating clutch has been a problem on diesels, but this is easily cured by a visit to a dealer, who will fit a modified part, usually free of charge.

A fair number of owners (of diesel and petrol cars) have also reported total - and premature - clutch failure with fewer than 30,000 miles on the clock. However, when this has happened in the past, dealers have picked up the bill for a replacement.

There have been several recalls for the Mazda, most affecting cars built during 2003 and 2004. The most serious is to fix possible fuel leaks, but others cover a stalling problem, a duff brake warning light, an oil seal and a loose foglamp.

Otherwise, Mazdas rate well in the What Car? Reliability Index and also in JD Power customer satisfaction surveys, so you shouldn’t experience many problems provided you keep that service book stamped - and the previous owner did the same.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Popular, 1.8 TS around in numbers while 2.3 Sport easy to retail

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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