Price £19,795 - £27,995
- Powerful and efficient engines
- Sporty driving experience
- Well equipped
- Interior design not the best
- Big wheels mean firm ride
- Some reliability issues
At a glance
"Choose the Mazda6 and you'll get a big family car with class-leading CO2 emissions, fun handling and a great sense of style. It's a great alternative to the norm."
The Mazda6 is a front-runner in the family-car class thanks to its sleek design, powerful yet efficient engines, generous kit and sporty handling. This combination of talents isn't something you'll get from rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat or Skoda Superb.
There's a limited choice of engines, but that's no bad thing, as the 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel both strike an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy. Our pick of the range is the 2.2-litre diesel in SE-L trim. This is the less powerful version, but it still performs well and has low CO2 emissions. SE-L specification is also well equipped for the price.
If you want the latest safety technology, then you must choose the top-spec Sport Nav model and add the optional Safety Pack. That'll get you a very well equipped car with plenty of performance, especially if you choose the more powerful 2.2-litre diesel.
At the other end of the range, SE trim is reasonably equipped, although if you want options, you have to move up to a higher spec, as there aren’t many extras that you can add.
Interior space is very good, with room for three across the back seat and plenty of room and storage areas up front. While the Mazda feels well built and hard-wearing, its plastics aren't as high-quality as what you'll find in some rivals. The saloon body means the boot isn't quite as accessible as a Mondeo or Insignia hatchback, but the boot does go back a long way.
Mazda doesn't sell a huge amount of cars in the UK, so we've only had around 60 user reviews of the Mazda6. Still, buyers seem generally very impressed with its performance and dependability, with only minor niggles reported. We're aware of brake alignment problems with some early cars, but these will have been rectified on the production line and shouldn't be a recurring issue.
Running costs and fuel economy are pretty good considering the performance on offer – the 2.2-litre diesel can return economy on a par with a regular 1.6-litre engine if you're gentle.
One negative is the Mazda's slightly firm ride, although it's not hugely uncomfortable, and if you prefer sporty handling over comfort, you'll find the compromise isn’t bad at all.
The Mazda6 is a big car, but it’s efficient for its size and those with an eye on tax bills will welcome its low CO2 emissions
The Mazda6 is very enjoyable to drive, thanks to punchy performance and sharp handling that doesn't compromise comfort
Smart-looking cabin marks the Mazda6 out, while the saloon is spacious and well equipped
The Mazda6 brings a dash of style to the family-car class, but it’s not as practical as its predecessor – largely due to those looks
A five-star rating puts the Mazda6 saloon on a par with rivals, but some cutting-edge technology is only optional on top-spec cars