Business-focused 6 gets lower VED band and competitive price and equipment.

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

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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Engelbert 21 December 2011

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Business Line

Don't under-rate the Mazda 6. It does most things well - and looks good, to my eye. E

BriMarsh 18 December 2011

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Business Line

What a miserable existence, choosing between a diesel Mondeo, a diesel Passat or a diesel Mazda 6. I don't envy company car drivers at all.

TegTypeR 14 December 2011

Re: Mazda 6 2.2D Business Line

There is a certain degree of I would have one because it is not a Passat or Mondeo but aside from that this is not a bad car by any means. Indeed, it even says in the report it has an honest mechanical quality to it and personally this is what I think any self respecting car enthusiast will be choosing over damped cup holders!

Clearly pitched at the "eco" opposition, this is a new way of getting business users in to manufacturers vehicles and one I would suspect we may see other manufacturers follow suit with.

No, it's not the quickest model out there but in the same way as all the bluegreenlinemotion vehicles out there, it does a job and what appears to be at least as successfully as it's competition.