From £17,585
Talented Mondeo rival gets impressive new turbodiesel

Our Verdict

New Mazda 6 largely carries over the styling of the striking Takeri concept that previewed it

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

11 November 2008

What is it?

The Mazda 6 2.2D is the latest version of the Japanese Mondeo-rival, equipped with an all-new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. The new common-rail unit features a variable-vane turbocharger, an aluminium lower block and relatively high injector pressure, but a low compression ratio (16.3:1, if you’re interested).

The new motor is available in three guises: a 123bhp/ 229lb ft version, a mid-range 161bhp/ 265lb ft unit and a range-topper that’s tuned to 182bhp and 295lb ft. It’s the mid-range engine that we’re sampling here.

What’s it like?

On the road, the new motor feels smooth during relaxed driving, and Mazda’s claimed 0-62mph figure of 9.2sec is entirely plausible. Peak torque is available from 1800rpm (there’s quite a steep drop-off beneath that figure, mind) and the spread goes through to 3000rpm. By 4000rpm you’re wasting your time - which is just as well, because the engine becomes a bit more vocal when thrashed.

For the most part, though, Mazda has done a good job of noise supression, with only a distant thrum from the engine and minimal wind noise. The motor is far more accomplished than the old 2.0-litre unit.

It’s a decent steer, too; the 6’s steering still has that pleasing grainy linearity, and the chassis and body don’t mind rapid changes of direction. The six-speed manual gearbox feels solid and precise, providing you’re positive with every shift.

The 6’s cabin is comfortable, and while the dashboard is a pretty sombre affair, that may suit some buyers turned off by the ‘chrome plastic’ that’s plastered over some rivals. Mazda has tweaked the spec lists for the revised range, introducing blind-spot assist as an option and a new range-topping SL that includes full leather, a BOSE surround sound system, 18in alloys, front and rear parking sensors and bi-xenon headlamps.

Should I buy one?

The 6 is still not quite as accomplished as the Mondeo - the subtlety of the Ford’s damping sees to that - but it runs it pretty damn close, and the 6’s new engine makes a persuasive argument in other areas. The new 2.2-litre motor is a massive step forward for Mazda, and it’s good enough to put the 6 back into contention.

Join the debate


12 November 2008

I have owned three Mazda's in the US, all have been very reliable, currently drive 2002 Protege ES, the best handling Japanese front wheel drive car you can buy.

Wish we could buy this Mazda6 in the US with the diesel engine, instead we get a bigger Mazda6 with an underpowered 4 cylinder, or with a gas guzzling big 6 cylinder. Maybe if Mazda breaks completely with Ford we will get the diesel engines.

13 November 2008

No claimed MPG though? What was your average during the test?

14 November 2008

That sounds great, thank you very much!

15 November 2008

But does it have a spare wheel?

My petrol TS2 has neither spare wheel or space saver just some very expensive mousse.

Is this going to be the future for all cars on the pretext of fuel saving?

15 November 2008

[quote oldboy8]

But does it have a spare wheel?

My petrol TS2 has neither spare wheel or space saver just some very expensive mousse.

Is this going to be the future for all cars on the pretext of fuel saving?


Quite a lot of the manufuacturers have been doing this for many years. Before Rover went to the wall, a spare wheel and jack could be found on their option list.

Generally, the weight saving is quite significant and can impact (along with other weight reduction measures) in to making the car more efficient. It is inconvient though when you do get a puncture!



It's all about the twisties........

10 May 2009

Having bought my new Mazda 6 2.0 Sport Diesel back in January 2008.

I would like to bring to the attention of other Mazda 6 owners, no spare wheel just a useless tin of sealer nor a space saver.

Yet on New Zealand models a full size spare wheel is standard, whats this excuse re UK models saving weight for improved consumption utter rubbish.

Next no sunroof option offered unless you want the SL model and not on the hatchback version.

I like sunroofs so that I can have fresh air and use less fuel having my air con on.

Again standard fitment on all NZ models.

Another point useless zeon headlights unless you like bird watching high up in the trees at night. I have been told they are set correctly again rubbish.

Lastly dont touch a kerb with your 18" alloys the first point of contact is the alloy rim not the tyre, a bad design. Beware the front tyres do not last long and they are £185 each due the odd size fitted.

This was my third Mazda 6 and will be my last one!!!

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