Mazda gets its message across loud and clear
The good news for the Japanese firm is that the Mazda 6 is an incredibly sleek and stylish car
The Mazda 6 is impressively nimble for its size
Fuel:Petrol and diesel
Date Reviewed:June 19, 2013
The new Mazda 6 also features a rather ingenious system that converts braking power into an electrical charge, stores it and then uses it when needed on the car’s electronics. Christened with the indecipherable monicker of i-Eloop, it can cut fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent, claims Mazda.
Engine choices in Ireland are limited to a four-cylinder 145bhp 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel engine in 150bhp with manual transmission or 175bhp with automatic. Again, these feature the new SkyActiv engineering touch, which means impressive compression ratios for both in the order of 14:1 – impressively high for the petrol engine and low for the diesel. Understandably, most owners won’t know what that means, but suffice to say the end result is greater efficiency in both, with a fuel economy figure for the 150bhp diesel of 4.1 l/100km (67mpg), emissions of 108g/km and a 0-100km/h time of just nine seconds.
Fiddly onscreen buttons
Like its underpinnings, a lot of the cabin features have come from the recently launched CX-5. That means nice, soft-touch plastics but also a touchscreen system that drove me demented, with small onscreen buttons that are fiddly to use. Thankfully, most of the important changes can be done from the steering wheel controls, and the fantastic sound quality from the Bose stereo on the Sport SE version eased fraying tempers.
In terms of specification, there is an entry-level petrol version, but it’s unlikely to sell in large numbers. The 2.2-litre diesel, on the other hand, only comes in the higher grades, which means that for most buyers the starting price is €31,795.
The equipment on this diesel entry-level version is relatively impressive, but if you can make the leap to Sport SE for another €4,100, then you get all the treats such as heated leather seats and arguably the most important aesthetic add-on: 19-inch alloys. You also get the Bose stereo system thrown into the mix – the sound quality of the system rivals anything we’ve tried in luxury cars at three times the price.
If you don’t want to spend the extra money on the Sport SE version, then at least consider getting the 19-inch alloys. They complete the look of the car – it would be a sin to let it out of the showroom shod in anything else. They don’t compromise on the ride, either, with just a slight rumble over badly surfaced roads; but that’s more than compensated by the look.
Pricing is not the Mazda 6’s strongest suit. Ignoring the special entry-level petrol version, the range really starts with the 2.2-litre diesel Sport at €31,795. Given the equipment level and the power output, it’s not really designed to match big-name rivals who all have lower-powered, less-equipped diesel variants on sale at lower prices. That means Mazda is pitching this new 6 at the upper end of the family saloon market.