Lifestyle

Latest Mazda6 on road test

The new range-topping Mazda6 Atenza sedan.
The new range-topping Mazda6 Atenza sedan.

PASSENGER cars from Mazda do not come much better than the Japanese carmaker's latest release.

The all-new Mazda6 has been redesigned from the ground up and the result is an outstanding package.

It arrives in showrooms with arresting good looks and fun driving dynamics, with base models starting at $33,460 (plus on-roads) while the book-end is a diesel wagon that retails for just under $52 grand.

The entry-level price represents a $2000 rise on the previous '6 but buyers will be happy with a longer features list and the standard automatic transmission.

Officially launched in Adelaide this week, the new Mazda6 has a choice of two engines - a 2.2-litre diesel and a 2.5-litre petrol - and four trims.

Comfort

While we didn't get a look at base models this week, the up-spec derivatives have raised the bar with styling and finishes.

Hard plastics have been used sparingly and the stylish new layout provides crisp designs along with gauges which are easier to read.

A central dial, similar to what we have seen from BMW, controls the sat nav and audio. There are two cup holders in the centre console, along with bottle holders in the doors, and there is also a good spot for phones and keys in front of the gear shifter.

The leather-trimmed pews offer good support, although we found the seat bases a little short.

Dual zone climate control is standard, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel which feels great in your hands.

Design changes have resulted in the A-pillar being moved and that has delivered greater visibility.

On the road

The Mazda6 can walk the walk. Dynamic good looks are matched once you hit the start button.

Quiet and smooth around town, the Mazda6 is equally adept once you find twisty terrain.

The chassis is lighter and stronger than the outgoing model - rigidity has improved 30% in the sedan and 45% in the wagon - while suspension changes have delivered more grip as well as a great balance between performance and refinement.

Testing tight corners through the Adelaide Hills saw the Mazda6 come up trumps.

Direct and responsive steering inspired unwavering confidence. You can push both engines high in the rev range, with the diesel's greater torque providing more mid-range punch. Not that the petrol lags far behind - most drivers will find it more than capable.

Paddle shifters to take manual-style control of the six-speed automatic transmission are handy when you really want to push the sporting envelope, but mostly the self-shifter can look after things well.

Other options

The giant in this category is the Toyota Camry (from $30,490), while

there is also the Hyundai i40 (from $29,990), Volkswagen Passat (from $38,990), Ford Mondeo (from $31,490), Honda Accord Euro (from $30,340) and the Subaru Liberty (from $32,990).

What do you get?

Standard kit across the range includes push button start, dual zone air con, sat nav, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, CD stereo with AUX and USB inputs, cruise control, alloys and five-star safety credentials which includes the likes of stability control and anti-lock brakes.

Get into the Touring and it adds leather trim, parking sensors front and rear as well as a Bose sound system and an automatic tailgate on the wagons. On top of that, the GT has larger 19-inch alloys, LED rear lights, keyless entry and heated front seats.

The new range-topping Atenza gets the lot, along with the full suite of the latest safety equipment that we've primarily seen on European models with double the price-tag, including blind spot warning, radar cruise control and automatic brakes which can slow the vehicle if it detects and accident is close or avoid an impact altogether.

A special "Soul Red" paint job costs an additional $200 which is designed to feature significant changes in the hue between illuminated and shaded areas to better show off the Mazda6 lines.

Running costs

Both the diesel and petrol won't drain your bank balance at the pump. The petrol runs on 91 unleaded, and averages under seven litres for every 100km. During our test with some liberal use of the accelerator we achieved about 8.4.

You pay $2250 more for the diesel variants, but they sips less with a combined average of 5.5L/100km.

There is also a "capacitor" system called i-Eloop which uses braking energy to help power the electronics that also helps cut fuel use.

Insurance and servicing should be reasonable.

Practicality

Boot space in the wagon has been reduced slightly compared to the old model, while the full-size spare impedes on the sedan trunk.

Child seat anchorage points are simple to access, while the 60-40 back seats fold easily by a pull of handles in the back.

Funky factor

Smooth and alluring, the new Mazda6 is well proportioned and wonderfully sculpted. The sedan is the beauty pageant winner up against the wagon, and the entire mid-size segment.

From the back quarter there is a hint of Jaguar…which is a fine achievement given what the big cat is turning out nowadays.

No hatch is available - but considering the sedan's good looks that shouldn't matter.

The writer was Mazda's guest in Adelaide.

VITAL STATISTICS

Model: Mazda6.

Details: Four-door sedan or five-door wagon.

Engine: 2.5-litre in-line four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 138kW @ 5700rpm and peak torque of 250Nm @ 3250rpm; 2.2-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo-diesel generating maximum power of 129kW @ 4500rpm and peak torque of 420Nm @ 2000rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed automatic.

Consumption: 6.6 litres/100km; 5.4L/100km.

Bottom line: Sedan Sport petrol $33,460; Sedan Touring diesel $40,350; Wagon Sport petrol $34,760; Wagon Touring diesel $41,650.

What matters most

The good stuff: Modern styling and cabin finishes, strong engines, upmarket feel, awesome handing characteristics.

What we'd like to see: Longer seat bases, more rear space in wagon variants.

Warranty and servicing: Three-year 100,000km warranty with servicing every 10,000km.

Topics:  mazda6 motoring review road test



Plenty of likes for 'Sliding Home'

'Sliding Home'

Here is this week's Facebook cover image as chosen by you.

Bikie killer sentenced for bashing child sex offender

Shane Michael Oulds, faced Rockhampton District Court charged with grievous bodily harm over an assault at the Capricornia Correctional Centre last year.

In a vigilante move, this murderer committed a 'violent attack'

Milford does St Peter Claver College proud

WELCOME: Debutant Anthony Milford is interviewed at the Maroons media session ahead of the Origin 1 at Suncorp Stadium on May 31.

Origin call-up deserved as Ipswich league school gets first Maroon

Local Partners

Show legend returns to post after being run over by float

FOR absolute total dedication to the Ipswich Show look no further than 85-year-old Kalbar farmer Syd Haag.


Paddinton Bear is coming to Ipswich

IN TOWN: Annette Kitching plays the part of Paddington Bear in The Cute Little Bear From Peru at the Incinerator Theatre.

FAVOURITE children's character set to delight in new show

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

IPSWICH SHOW: What's on at the showgrounds today

Ipswich Show 2017. Sasha Bondzulic and Kirra Peel.

THE show fun continues today with plenty of rides, games and stunts

Concert death toll revised up to 22

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!