What is it?

This is the facelifted 2010 Mazda 6 estate. The Japanese maker claims it has made 400 changes to its popular Mondeo-rival, and subtle as they may appear the updates have brought about a big improvement.

No small achievement given that this was one of the most competent cars in its sector even before the Japanese maker decided to give it some style tweaks and a range of new engines.

We’re testing the Mazda 6 estate fitted with the 177bhp, 2.2-litre diesel engine, which is the most powerful unit in the range and is only available with a six-speed manual ‘box.

The most significant change to this engine is the new, smaller turbocharger. Replacing the old car’s bigger blower has resulted in a power drop of 5bhp but torque remains the same substantial 295lb ft. It also now manages an impressive 52.3mpg and 143g/km.

See pics of the Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

What’s it like?

Other than the lower running costs the practical benefits come mostly from the much-improved engine refinement and response. As with the pre-facelifted turbodiesel, there is ample amounts of power and torque to make this a very usable family car and a rewarding drive.

Engine grumble is now significantly reduced – particularly from cold – and there is less lag and better response when you want it in the mid-range.

Another noteable improvement is in the suspension. Revised dampers and bushes are claimed to aid better stability and more pliant ride quality, and in practice the improvement really pays off. Suspension thump is better suppressed and the car holds the road well without any significant jarring, whilst body roll is well restrained.

The steering receives new software, thought there is little noticeable change in the well-weighted steering other than a touch more response off the dead-ahead. The six-speed gearbox remains unchanged so the 6 still benefits from its solid, precise gearshift. Small changes to the interior have also added a little more class to the cabin.

Should I buy one?

Absolutely. This high-powered diesel engine is only available in range-topping Sport trim, which puts the list price up significantly. But with part-leather interior, heated seats, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry and parking sensors as standard the Mazda 6 Sport isn’t only practical, rapid family transport it is also easy and comfortable to live with.

The front seats could offer more support and there are rivals that offer more rear passenger space, but even so there is very little that the Mazda doesn’t do extremely well.

Victoria Parrott

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Comments
33

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 12 weeks ago

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 12 weeks ago

well if was seeking this sort of car i would go for this absolutely

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 12 weeks ago

So much better looking than the Mondeo and a good diesel engine as well.

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 12 weeks ago

Hmmm I am getting old.

"The steering receives updated software".

Blimey !

Heres me thinking steering was still mechanical. Ok electro hydraulic then but computer controlled ?

Makes me wonder what else is computer controlled now.... er thinking about it pretty much everything.

Actually that begs the question what is just mechanical now ?

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 12 weeks ago

mazda like ford provide f. all choice for people who want an automatic - this day and age, in a country that's mostly traffic, and in a family estate in which you'll spend most of the time leaning round to shout at your kids, it's unforgiveable.

presumably now the morons at ford have realised they're missing a trick in offering a perfunctory auto choice for each model (usually paired with the least desirable petrol engine, as is the case in the S-Max and Galaxy, as is the case with this 6), the news that a significant number of buyers want auto may filter down to the morons at mazda!

look at ANY german rival and if sir wants it in an automatic sir merely has to tick the box. and manufs. like mazda wonder why they're not selling more... honestly.

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 11 weeks ago

Trouble is Hedge, put an auto box in it then the list price goes up to German premium money.

Nobody will shell out £28K+ for a Mazda - no matter how good it looks.

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 11 weeks ago

hedgecreep wrote:

mazda like ford provide f. all choice for people who want an automatic - this day and age, in a country that's mostly traffic, and in a family estate in which you'll spend most of the time leaning round to shout at your kids, it's unforgiveable.

presumably now the morons at ford have realised they're missing a trick in offering a perfunctory auto choice for each model (usually paired with the least desirable petrol engine, as is the case in the S-Max and Galaxy, as is the case with this 6), the news that a significant number of buyers want auto may filter down to the morons at mazda!

look at ANY german rival and if sir wants it in an automatic sir merely has to tick the box. and manufs. like mazda wonder why they're not selling more... honestly.

Nobody WANTS a slushmatic in a car like this. There's a reason why manuals still dominate: it's because they're much, much nicer.

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 11 weeks ago

Rover P6 3500S wrote:

Nobody WANTS a slushmatic in a car like this. There's a reason why manuals still dominate: it's because they're much, much nicer.

what old fashioned bunk. one quarter of all new Golfs are dsg and VW claim the trend is ever upward:

``Since the DSG dual-clutch gearbox was first launched, more than a million units have been sold, resulting in a new boom in automatic transmissions at Volkswagen. The proportion of new vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions has risen dramatically, from 5 to 10 percent with conventional transmissions to as much as 30 percent with the DSG.``

as is the case with most forward-looking tech, Ford's like VW's latest auto box improves economy and emissions over the equivalent manual and the company claims it will soon offer it on ALL models. but perhaps the attitude of modern buyers is best summed up with Porsche's claim that an overwhelming majority of 911 owners now choose the PDK dual-clutch auto (which, incidentally, makes the car quicker than when stirring a lever).

so, manuals are in a lot of cars in the same way that cathode ray tubes are in a lot of front rooms - older, less savvy buyers are conditioned to stick (no pun intended) with what they know. in any case, my point was not that we should ditch manual transmission but that auto would be nice to have as an option. this is why the Germans attract more customers because they offer their customers more choice.

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 11 weeks ago

hedgecreep wrote:

Rover P6 3500S wrote:

Nobody WANTS a slushmatic in a car like this. There's a reason why manuals still dominate: it's because they're much, much nicer.

what old fashioned bunk. one quarter of all new Golfs are dsg and VW claim the trend is ever upward:

``Since the DSG dual-clutch gearbox was first launched, more than a million units have been sold, resulting in a new boom in automatic transmissions at Volkswagen. The proportion of new vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions has risen dramatically, from 5 to 10 percent with conventional transmissions to as much as 30 percent with the DSG.``

as is the case with most forward-looking tech, Ford's like VW's latest auto box improves economy and emissions over the equivalent manual and the company claims it will soon offer it on ALL models. but perhaps the attitude of modern buyers is best summed up with Porsche's claim that an overwhelming majority of 911 owners now choose the PDK dual-clutch auto (which, incidentally, makes the car quicker than when stirring a lever).

so, manuals are in a lot of cars in the same way that cathode ray tubes are in a lot of front rooms - older, less savvy buyers are conditioned to stick (no pun intended) with what they know. in any case, my point was not that we should ditch manual transmission but that auto would be nice to have as an option. this is why the Germans attract more customers because they offer their customers more choice.

So, one quarter of all new Golfs are DSG. That means that three manual Golfs are sold for every DSG Golf. It's not just older, less savvy buyers who still want a manual: a good manual is still more satisfying to use than any auto or paddle-shift thing. I'm not dismissing auto gearboxes, but manuals still dominate sales.

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Estate

4 years 11 weeks ago

hedgecreep wrote:
so, manuals are in a lot of cars in the same way that cathode ray tubes are in a lot of front rooms - older, less savvy buyers are conditioned to stick (no pun intended) with what they know
While I agree with you that Mazda should offer a decent automatic option (would the "powershift" they use in the Ford S-Max 2.0Sti thing cope with the even higher diesel torque?) which would cover maybe 30% of buyers maximum in this sector (luxury is 99% auto) I disagree that older and less savvy buyers want a manual. I want a manual because I'm a control freak, I want the car to do exactly what I tell it to, gear, clutch, revs etc. I also enjoy a manual. The thing is, I agree with you and it drives me mad the Rover P6 constantly comes pretty close to insulting anyone who doesn't agree with his "everything should be a straight six with a manual, independent suspension and be manufactured by a long dead company that died because they made crap, unreliable cars", but to associate manual boxes with age and intelligence is, in my opinion not the case.

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Our Verdict

The Mazda 6 is a Ford Mondeo rival with rakish styling and lightweight, low-emissions tech

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