Price £19,595 - £27,495
- Bold exterior design
- Comfortable, quiet interior
- Efficient yet powerful engines
- Boot space smaller than old model
- Noisy diesel engine
- Equipment levels raise entry price
At a glance
“The Mazda6 sets the benchmark as a value-for-money, stylish and sporty saloon.”
The new Mazda6 is an excellent family car that could well steal sales from premium models from BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
The car has a good-looking exterior that gives it the look of an executive saloon, while the interior also has a classy feel, although the new model's saloon body shape means the boot is smaller than the one in the old hatchback version.
The Mazda6 engines feature the company's SkyActiv technology, which gives the car the ability to mix excellent economy with decent performance, thanks to features such stop-start technology, which turns the engine off when the car is stationary.
The Mazda6 comes in five levels of trim SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav. Nav versions get an integrated Tom Tom sat-nav system, but even the basic model gets equipment like cruise control, all-round electric windows, air-con, and Mazda's multimedia system.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Class-leading efficiency across the range
Excellent economy figures are a real strong point of the Mazda6 and the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol returns 51.4mpg, while emitting 129g/km of CO2 for road tax of £110 annually. The more powerful 2.0-litre petrol offers better performance but is only slightly more costly to run, with economy of 47.9mpg and emissions of 135g/km. The means road tax of £130.
Despite the petrol cars’ decent economy, it’s the diesels that really impress. The entry-level 2.2-litre mixes strong performance with economy of 72.4mpg and emissions low enough for road tax of just £20 a year. The more powerful diesel offers excellent performance for a family saloon but economy does drop to 62.8mpg and 119g/km of CO2, meaning annual road tax of £30.
Interior & comfort
The design is focused on driver and passenger enjoyment
The Mazda6 has comfortable suspension that does a decent job of ironing out most bumps on the road, although the ride is noticeably firmer in Sport models that come fitted as with large 19-inch alloy wheels as standard.
All engines are refined, so the interior is quiet even at speed, but Mazda has also tuned its engines to sound appealing when you’re in the mood to drive briskly on twisty roads.
The driver’s seat also has a good range of adjustment that should mean getting comfy is easy, while the dashboard is uncluttered and easy to use.
Practicality & boot space
More space inside but a slightly smaller boot than the old car
The Mazda6 is the longest car in its class, which means its interior has plenty of space for both front and rear passengers, with decent amounts of shoulder room, too.
While the old car came as a hatchback, the new model is a saloon, which swaps a more attractive body shape for 24 litres of boot capacity, which drops to 483 litres. Fortunately, it’s still bigger than a Honda Accord’s and only very slightly smaller than a Ford Mondeo’s. And, if that’s not enough space, the Mazda6 Tourer has a larger boot that extends to an impressive 1,648 litres with the back seats folded down.
The Mazda also offers lots of cubbyholes including map pockets, cup holders, and door bins.
Reliability & safety
Builds on Mazda’s solid reputation for reliability
Mazda took fourth place in our 2013 Driver Power Survey – well ahead of mainstream rivals such as Ford and Vauxhall, and also in front of premium brands such as Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.
Safety, meanwhile, is strong and the Mazda6 was awarded the full five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. All models get knee, side, front, and curtain airbags. Clever kit such as a lane departure warning system, autonomous braking (which senses an imminent collision and brakes the car independently) and a blind-spot-warning system are also available.
Engines, drive & performance
Entertaining and easy to drive - both in town and on the motorway
The Mazda6 weighs significantly less than the old model, which is one of the reasons it returns such impressive economy, so it feels more nimble to drive. Although the car’s suspension can feel firm at times, you’re rewarded in the corners where the same setup reduces body lean and the steering is light but precise.
Petrol Mazda6s come in two different power outputs– 145bhp or 165bhp – and both offer solid performance, as well as sounding pleasingly sporty.
The performance of the 175bhp 2.2-litre diesel feels particularly strong on the motorway, but in reality the 150bhp diesel does a perfectly good job of pushing the Mazda along.
The Mazda6 can be had with a precise six-speed manual, or an automatic gearbox that also allows the driver to shift gears manually via some Formula 1 style paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
Price, value for money & options
Higher price than predecessor, but loads more features
The Mazda6 may not be the cheapest car in its class, but the quality of its construction, along with its generous levels of standard equipment, mean it still seems like good value. Basic SE models get bright LED daytime running lights, smart 17-inch alloy wheels, and air conditioning, while NAV models add an integrated Tom Tom sat-nav system. SE-L models gets autonomous braking, climate control and parking sensors, while Sport trim brings a leather interior, BOSE sound system, keyless entry and powerful Xenon headlights.
What the others say
“The Mazda 6 injects some style into the family car market, but its talents are more than skin deep. The 6 handles well for its size, and strikes a great balance between performance and fuel efficiency. This is a car you’ll buy with your heart and your head.”
"The new 6 is a considerable step forward over its predecessor. It now has the cabin space and CO2 figures to really make Mondeo buyers think twice – and it drives well too.”