Driving

Mazda 6 review

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Review continues below...
26 Sep 2016 13:41 | Last updated: 18 Sep 2018 16:45

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The best engine in the range is the 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel. It pulls strongly once you get it up to around 2000rpm, giving you plenty of oomph in the mid-range to make good progress in a relaxed fashion. It’s happy to rev freely and it’s smooth, too, without the usual clatter you associate with diesel engines.

There’s now a 181bhp option, too, with a bit more poke. The previous version of that engine, which had 173bhp, produced more boom in the process and so, combined with higher CO2 emissions, meant it wasn’t really worth the extra cash. We expect this to be the same for this new version.

The 2.0-litre petrol also comes in two states of tune – 143bhp and 163bhp – but, with less shove than the diesels, it needs to be worked harder to make progress. We’d stick with the diesels as a result.

The new 2.5-litre petrol has 191bhp but still doesn’t have the low-down pulling power of the diesels, so it can feel a bit gutless off the mark and the engine is very boomy when you work it hard. If you want petrol power, we’d opt for one of the lower-powered versions.

Every model – except the 2.5 petrol – comes with a slick six-speed manual gearbox as standard that’s great to use, thanks to a nicely weighted throw. There’s the option of a six-speed automatic on all but the 163bhp 2.0 petrol (and standard on the 2.5 petrol), but it isn’t very impressive, hanging onto gears for uncomfortably long and dawdling between shifts. It feels a bit old hat compared with rival gearboxes; we’d stick with the manual.

Every 6 gets something called G-Vectoring Control (or GVC). It's designed to make cornering easier and more stable by easing off the engine very slightly on turning in to a bend. To be honest, you'd be hard-pushed to notice this system in operation.

Ultimately, the 6 is a pleasant and fun car to drive, with light but predictable steering, but push it hard and the front wheels start to run wide before rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb in tight bends.

The ride can get a bit choppy over scraggy town roads, especially with the larger wheel options – something we’d recommend avoiding – but it settles down at motorway speeds. This helps to make the 6 a decent cruiser with little road noise to disturb your peace, but you do have to put up with a flutter of wind noise from the door mirrors.

 

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There are 4 trims available for the 6 saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
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SE-L Nav+
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