What is it?
Yet another facelift for the third-generation Mazda 6. If it feels like there’s been quite a few of those, you’d be right; this is the third range update the Volkswagen Passat rival has benefitted from since it was launched a full six years ago.
Such frequent revisions are necessary because six years is an awfully long time in the car business. Almost every rival has moved on a generation since the 6 first graced the motor show stands.
Often, no amount of nip-and-tuck can really revitalise a design of such vintage, but we reckon Mazda’s saloon remains among the more visually appealing shapes in the class. The changes for 2018 are subtle, including a deeper, CX-5-aping grille, new LED headlights and a chrome grille surround extended underneath them. Nothing too drastic, thankfully.
Clearly, what customers were crying out for more loudly was a more powerful petrol engine, hence the introduction of the new 191bhp 2.5-litre unit, which we tried last month. It’s timed perfectly with the wide-ranging consumer shift from diesel to petrol. At the same time, Mazda has tweaked the existing 2.0-litre petrol with new intake ports, upgraded pistons and revised fuel injection and cooling systems.
Significant revisions to the 6's suspension layout and steering are aimed at improving ride comfort, precision and stability, while additional noise insulation boosts refinement. All petrol engines also now get an active shutter for the front grille to improve aerodynamics.
Finally, the interior been worked on, with new materials, comfier seats, an altered centre stack and a technology upgrade including, as is fashionable, a more comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems.