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Used test: Mazda 6 vs Skoda Superb

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...

Mazda 6 vs Skoda Superb

The contenders

Mazda 6 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L Nav+

List price when new £25,795
Price today £10,000* 
Available from 2018-present

It's a well-rounded and appealing executive car, but how does the 6 fare against its capacious rival?

Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE L Executive

List price when new £27,450
Price today £12,000*
Available from 2015-present

It's a go-to model for passenger space, and while you'll pay slightly more for one, it still looks good value

*Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

While the automotive landscape is always undergoing natural selection, it's been particularly harsh to some executive cars in recent years. Those without a posh badge are struggling to survive, let alone thrive. But while the Mazda 6 and Skoda Superb hold up a shrinking fort, in doing so the pair demonstrate that they still have much to offer. 

Perhaps obviously, there's a cost advantage. The lack of a three-pointed star or an alternative premium badge means they're often more affordable to both buy and run. Additionally, choose a four-year-old example of either and you'll be saving around £15,000 off new. 

Mazda 6 front corner

Don't go thinking these are bargain-bin cars, though. A used 6 or Superb can certainly swoon, thanks in part to sharp looks and classy interiors. Which four-door do we adore more? Read on to find out. 


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

Here, we’ve picked both cars in super-sensible diesel guise. The 6 and Superb both produce 148bhp from their respective 2.2-litre and 2.0-litre engines and have six-speed manual gearboxes with short, sweet throws.

But while the Superb is fractionally quicker than the 6 when you’re accelerating up through the gears and revving the engine, the 6 actually proves more muscular when you accelerate from mid revs in the higher gears.

Good performance is important, but an uncomfortable car can become really irritating on a long journey. Changes to the Mazda 6's suspension on cars built from 2018 mean it does a much better job of smoothing over rough roads than older versions, although it’s still firmer and less comfortable than the Superb.

Skoda Superb

Not all is calm in the Superb, though. It has the grumblier engine, lets in plenty of road noise and generates the most wind noise, making it the loudest cruising companion at 30mph and 70mph. At all speeds, the 6’s smooth engine and well-insulated interior make it quieter by some margin.

Should you find yourself on an entertaining stretch of country road, you’ll discover the Skoda Superb handles predictably, finds plenty of grip and has well-weighted, precise steering. Even so, its soft suspension means plenty of body lean during enthusiastic cornering and slightly loose vertical body control over undulations.

By contrast, the Mazda 6 stays much more upright in corners. Its steering is better, and its handling is tidy and enjoyable at normal speeds, although the rear end can become a bit light and twitchy when you’re pushing hard.

Next: What are they like inside? >>

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