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
"The Mazda6 is a big family car with impressively low CO2 emissions, fun handling and a great sense of style. It's a tempting alternative to the norm."
Fashion dictates that family car buyers go for crossovers or out-and-out SUVs but there are still some people who prefer traditional big saloons for transporting their nearest and dearest.
If you’re one of those people, you should consider the Mazda6, as it's arguably the best all-round large saloon currently on the market. The car looks good, is surprisingly fun to drive and is available with powerful and economical engines. The latest Skoda Superb makes the strongest case for the competition, and some buyers will prefer the Volkswagen Passat, but the Mazda6 remains one of the best cars in its class. We’d certainly recommend it over the Ford Mondeo or the Vauxhall Insignia.
The selection of engines on offer isn’t huge but the 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines both come with two different power outputs. If you’re considering buying a Mazda6, we’d recommend looking at the 2.2-litre diesel model in SE-L trim, which is one up from the basic SE-spec car. While you can only have the less powerful of the two diesel variants if you go for an SE-L model, the car is still a very good performer and it's cheaper to buy and to run than the more powerful diesel.
If having all the latest safety kit is particularly important to you, you’ll need to pay a bit more for the range-topping Sport Nav model with the optional Safety Pack. This model is available with the more powerful diesel engine too.
The Mazda6 is spacious inside, with all three rear seats perfectly comfortable for adults. Storage space around the cabin is also impressive, which helps to make up for the somewhat functional design and finish of the interior. Despite the lack of luxury relative to Audi and BMW models, the Mazda6 is well built and should prove up to the test when it comes to everyday family use. The Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia have the slight edge over the Mazda purely in practicality terms but there is an estate version if you need extra space.
Our only major criticism of the Mazda6 is its slightly firm ride but many people will be happy to sacrifice a little comfort on particularly bumpy roads for the gains made in performance on twisty open roads.
Also available is the Mazda6 estate, which we've reviewed separately.
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