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Used test: Mazda 6 vs Skoda Superb: interiors
Buy either of these smart and spacious executive cars at four years old and you'll save yourself a handsome sum, but which one makes the better buy? We have the answer...
Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality
Although these models both come from the lower end of their respective ranges, they still provide plenty of adjustment in their driving positions, including for seat height and lumbar support. In the Mazda 6 you have to manually move your seat. However, the 6’s seats provide good side support, helping to keep your rear and shoulders better in place and free from aches and pains.
But the Skoda Superb wins here, due to fully electric seat adjustment with a memory function for the driver. That said, while its seats are most definitely comfortable when you’re going straight, even after a few hours, they aren’t particularly supportive through bends.
You get the clearest view out of the Superb, thanks to its relatively thin pillars and big windows, plus front and rear parking sensors come as standard. The 6 comes close, but its more upswept side windows and smaller rear screen impinge on side and rearward visibility, although you again get sensors at both ends.
Both cars come with leather steering wheels and gearknobs, but there are some key differences with regards to quality. The Superb scores for its solid simplicity, with just enough use of soft plastics to give a plush feel, yet upgrades to the 6’s interior over the years have made it even more impressive. Everything feels well constructed, and there’s attractive padded leather-effect trim on the doors and dashboard that further boosts the ambience.
At 8.0in, the 6’s infotainment screen might seem a little small, but it’s easy to read thanks to its high placement. It’s controlled by touch or a rotary dial between the seats, making it simple to use while you’re driving. A DAB radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player and sat-nav are standard from new. It isn't perfect, though: it doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring and the graphics are a bit fuzzy.
Opt for SE L Executive trim and you get Skoda’s biggest (9.2in) infotainment system. It’s responsive, it has pin-sharp graphics and its menus are the most logically laid out. But while we applaud this and the standard sat-nav, we actually prefer the 8.0in system in cheaper Superbs, because this upgraded system replaces physical shortcut buttons with more awkward touch-sensitive icons.
Both cars major on space. The 6 has plenty of leg room, although head room is a little compromised by that sloping roof. There are no such issues in the Superb, with the kind of leg and head room you’d usually expect from a luxury limousine. It also leads the way for front head room, even if its driver’s seat doesn’t slide back quite as far as the 6’s.
Despite looking like a saloon in profile, the Superb is a hatchback. That makes loading its cavernous boot easy, even if there is a large lip to heave things over. Able to swallow 10 carry-on suitcases, it beats the saloon 6 by two.
At least you get rear seatback release levers in the boot in the 6, although you still have to push the seatbacks forwards to get them to fold flat. The 6 has a relatively flat extended load bay when the rear seats are down, whereas there’s a sizeable step in the Superb’s. Each rear bench splits in a 60/40 configuration.
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