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.