First DriveMazda’s refreshed Mondeo rival is richer inside and softer-riding than before but loses its dynamic edge
First DriveThe new Mazda 6 is a good all-round package on this first acquaintance, but doesn’t feel quite as sporty as claimed
What is it?
How to say this without sounding harsher than I mean to? We like the Mazda 6. Very much. It’s just that somehow it lacks that compelling spark – of the deftest of chassis or classiest of interiors – that draws our attention and affection more strongly towards the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat.
What’s it like?
Nonetheless, it’s an appealing thing, the Mazda 6. It rides well, steers with fine accuracy and handles tidily. It’s not terribly interesting to look at or sit in, though. There’s little of what used to be called surprise and delight before everybody became good at it.
But if it fails to make much of an emotional connection, Mazda is attempting to build a financial one, hence this 6 2.2-litre diesel in Business Line trim, designed to set a fleet buyer’s cufflinks spinning with giddy excitement. Or something.
How so? Firstly, it’s only £18,300 – unless they’re discounted, you can’t get a diesel Mondeo for that, nor any flavour of Passat. And the 6 Business Line gets everything a ‘rep is assumed to need: Bluetooth phone connection, sat nav, cruise and dual-zone climate controls, alloys and metallic paint. That’s good value, and the 6 doesn’t emit much CO2 either, at 133g/km.
It drives as well as we’ve come to expect. There’s an honesty to the 6: its controls want some effort so it feels like you’re making a mechanical interaction with it, and it’s none the worse for that.
Should I buy one?
The 2.2-litre diesel makes what is, by today’s standards, an extremely modest 127bhp. Is that enough? Just about, though it occasionally feels like the wheels are travelling in treacle. But its diesel’s delivery is refined, smooth and linear. It’s a pleasant car in a good spec. In short, there are worse ways to spend three years covering six-figure motorway miles.
Mazda 6 2.2 Business Line
Price: £18,300; Top speed: 121mph; 0-62mph: 10.9sec; Economy: 55.4mpg; CO2: 133g/km; Kerbweight: 1555kg; Engine: 4cyls, 2184cc, turbodiesel; Power: 127bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 251lb ft at 1800rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual