Used test: Mazda 6 vs Skoda Superb
Buy either of these smart and spacious executive cars at two years old and you'll save yourself a handsome sum, but which one makes the better buy? We have the answer.....
Mazda 6 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 SE-L Nav+
List price when new £25,795
Price today £16,000*
Available from 2018-present
It’s always been a well-rounded and appealing family car, but how does the 6 fare against the capacious Superb?
Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE L Executive
List price when new £27,450
Price today £18,000*
Available from 2015-present
The go-to executive car when it comes to passenger space, the Superb looks good value used
*Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
Traditionally, a new executive car is often bought by a company for one of its employees to ply his trade on the country’s motorways, but it must also cut a dash in the office car park and double as nifty weekend and family transport.
The beauty of buying a used executive car is that, as long as you shop carefully, you’ll be getting a car that can cover all these angles with great competence but at a price that’s a lot less than you’d be paying new.
Here, we’ve brought together two of the best. The capacious Skoda Superb has been one of our favourites for years and a regular winner in our new and used car awards. The Mazda 6, meanwhile, has been steadily refined over the years into a very fine car indeed.
But which one makes most sense when bought at two years old?
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. While neither is unpleasant, ride comfort has never been a strength of the 6, but, over the years, changes to its suspension mean it now does a much better job of smoothing over rough roads – although it’s still firmer and less comfortable than the 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 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 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.
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