Mazda6 saloon - Practicality & boot space
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
The last Mazda6 was a hatchback, but the latest car is a four-door saloon and practicality suffers as a result. The Mazda doesn't lead the class when it comes to overall space inside – rather, it's a reasonably practical car that prioritises style and agility over vast luggage and passenger room.
Mazda6 interior space & storage
The cabin is spacious and there are plenty of storage bins and cubbies. The door pockets are shaped so you can carry a large drinks bottle without any trouble. Visibility is good – the large windows mean you rarely have to crane your neck to see when pulling out of a junction or joining the motorway. The Mazda6 is a very big car, though: you'll notice this when parking or threading in and out of traffic.
Yet despite its considerable size and length, the saloon isn't especially roomy in the back, with the sloping roofline eating into available headroom, and the central tunnel robbing occupants of foot space.Tall adults will struggle to get comfortable without sinking lower down into their seats. This is another area where the Skoda Superb is superior – it offers limousine-like rear legroom to stretch out in. In fairness, legroom in the Mazda6 is pretty good and most people in the back shouldn't have too much trouble getting settled.
While the old Mazda6 had a 500-litre boot, the latest car has a narrower opening and can carry 480 litres behind the rear seats. That makes its standard boot smaller than those in the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat and miles behind the Skoda Superb's, which can pack in over 100 litres more.
However, practicality is not just about how much you can carry. The Mazda is easy to live with, thanks to useful features such as a pair of handles in the boot for popping the rear seats down and a totally flat boot floor, which is essential for loading longer items. Once the back seats are lowered, the Mazda can carry a very useful 1,632 litres of luggage – a figure that's much more competitive with the best in class. There’s also a useful wiper de-icer function on most versions.
Those looking for a really versatile family car that can be used to tackle continental holidays are likely to choose the Mazda6 Tourer estate, but even the saloon has excellent towing ability. The 2.0-litre petrol is limited to hauling a 1,300kg trailer, with the 163bhp version able to lug 1,500kg. Fitted with the punchy 2.2-litre diesel, though, the Mazda6 will pull anything up to 1,600kg – not a bad figure for a front-wheel-drive car.