Mazda Mazda6 2013: Launch Review

10 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda Mazda6 2013: Launch Review

Mazda Mazda6

2013: Review

There’s a new benchmark in the segment – and even the semi-prestige should be concerned

Mazda 2.2 and 2.5 sedan

Local Launch

Vale, South Australia

we liked:

Appealing looks

interior design

Blend of and driveability

Not so much:

Seats be better

Head room for taller passengers

Boot lacking in a car of this size

Third-gen ‘6’ is 50 per cent than second-gen model

has dropped the five-door liftback its third-generation Mazda6 range, but confident that the 35 per cent of who previously bought the hatch accept either of the sleekly alternatives – sedan or wagon.

latest model of Mazda’s mid-size family car has grown (see PACKAGING below), but it is leaner in its fuel consumption, also makes it kinder to the At 6.6L/100km for the petrol model and for the diesel, the SKYACTIV principles have bestowed on the new ‘6’ fuel efficiency.

Mazda has thrown everything but the kitchen at this new car. It’s more sophisticated for the 21st but remains an accessible, practical for the buying public. By that we not only that it’s but it’s a car that delivers fuel consumption without driveability or functionality.

And frankly, its semi-prestige build quality – to say of its looks, inspired by the Takeri car – it’s a car most drivers be proud to have residing in the If that reads more a conclusion than a preamble, more.

The previous model was not the success the first generation car This third-generation Mazda6 turn back history, the hopes. Following a surge launch, the new Mazda6 is forecast to 750 sales a month during the year – an increase of roughly 200 a month.

Of those, 35 per cent be wagons, 65 per cent sedans, split along similar 35 per cent will be diesels and 65 per will be petrol.


Affordable in lower grades, but Atenza is pricey

Mazda has prices at the entry level close to where they for the old car. With no more variants in the range, the cheapest is now the petrol-engined Sport sedan at — $10 dearer than its in the previous generation Mazda6 The pricing steps are $1300 for wagon over sedan and for diesel over petrol, a unique colour, Soul available as an option for $200 the basic price of each

Four levels of trim the model hierarchy for the new Mazda6, price increases in varying beginning with $4040 for the up from Sport to Touring. from Touring to GT level an extra $5720 and Atenza a further $3590. Mazda the base-grade Sport will for 30 per cent of sales, with dominant at 37 per cent, GT taking a 26 per slice and Atenza likely to just seven per cent of the

As the sole petrol-only grade, Sport comes with alloy wheels, dual-zone control, cruise control, mirrors/windows (one touch up and push-button (keyless) starting, trimmed steering wheel/gear lever, 60:40 split-folding seat, reach/rake adjustment for column, trip computer, six-speaker audio system MP3-compatible single-disc CD/steering controls/USB input and remote locking. Pricing for the Sport is $34,760.

Priced from the Mazda6 Touring’s standard list adds leather trim, eight-way electric seat adjustment with memory, four-way electric for front-passenger’s seat, Bose audio with 11 speakers and parking sensors. The petrol costs $38,800 and diesel the price to $40,350 for the sedan or for the wagon.

At $43,220, the Mazda6 GT on the Touring specification with alloy wheels (in place of the wheels fitted to the cheaper LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights, sunroof, entry, electrochromatic rear-view and front-seat heating. $44,520 put you in the petrol wagon and diesel the price again to $46,070 or $47,370 (wagon).

Positioned at for the petrol sedan, the Mazda6 is the Atenza – a name derived the Japanese domestic market Additional standard features to set it from the GT grade include the Adaptive Cruise Control, Obstruction Warning, High Control, Lane Departure Rear Cross Traffic and Smart Brake Support. The powered by the petrol engine set you back $48,110, with the sedan costing $49,660 and the wagon just breaking the $50K barrier, at $50,960.

A diesel for drivers

SKYACTIV is not just in its watered-down form as in the Mazda3 SP20, but the whole box and We’ve witnessed Mazda’s technology in the CX-5, but while the SUV has generally well received, the petrol engine is already to be overworked, which is why Mazda introduce a 2.5-litre version

No hint of that in the case of the new however. If ever there a car designed from the outset to how far technology can progress in just one generation – without selling the to do so – this is it.

Most of the background to the new is widely known, but briefly – no longer one car for them (North and one car for us (the rest of the world). the hatch too, as already And while Hiroshi Kajiyama’s are sealed, we can’t tell you there will ever be an MPS in the generation – and that seems the way likely you’ll ever be to buy a manual variant. Kajiyama-san is the Manager for the new car.

During his 25 with Mazda he has previously on Eunos models (including Millenia and the 500), as well as the MPV and – on secondment to Ford – the recently Fusion. He and his team began on the latest Mazda6 from which was the year the superseded car was in Australia.

While major components are shared with Mazda models, the Mazda6 has its own path in some areas. One of was the migration from double-wishbone end to MacPherson struts. What like a retrograde step is by the new car’s substantially improved strength and torsional rigidity, to Kajiyama-san.

The Mazda executive that his team has found a way to set up kingpin inclination for the strut end that places it on par with the double-wishbone setup, and take of the strut system’s lower – and particularly lower unsprung Unfortunately, it’s a closely secret he would not share us, lest Mazda’s competitors suit.

At the rear of the new car, the independent system shares no elements with the system in the model. Other underpinnings four-wheel discs (ventilated at the which recover energy is stored in the i-ELOOP capacitor. claims that 10 per cent of the spent running an internal-combustion goes to driving ancillaries con, audio system, etc.), but i-ELOOP can recover energy from braking.

means to save fuel and harm to the environment is the aerodynamically body (0.26Cd for sedan, for wagon), which is also and lighter, thanks to ultra-high steel throughout the car. claims a 100kg weight despite the larger dimensions and the interior. At 4865mm, the Mazda6 is actually longer than the (4800mm), but both styles are the width, 1840mm.

Not only is the wagon shorter it’s built on a smaller as well – 2830mm for the sedan 2750mm for the wagon. Despite the sedan offers the tighter circle, at 11.0m turning (11.2 for the wagon). Luggage measures 438 litres (sedan) and 451 (wagon).

Key to the fuel efficiency driveability) of the new Mazda6 are the two drivetrain Two SKYACTIV engines, the 2.5-litre four and the 2.2-litre diesel drive through the six-speed Drive’ automatic transmission to the wheels. The petrol engine 138kW/250Nm and the diesel is rated at

Based on 91 RON ULP testing for the petrol fuel consumption and CO2 emission are 6.6L/100km and 153g/km for the petrol (155g/km for the wagon) and 5.4L/100km and for the diesel (both sedan and

Both engines have tuned to deliver an optimal of driveability (performance) and fuel but by different strategies. While are direct-injected, the petrol engine has had its ratio lowered to 13.0:1 for the market, allowing owners to advantage of cheaper 91 RON petrol at the The turbo-diesel’s compression ratio is as low (14.0:1) as the petrol engine’s is

Such a low compression ratio for the allows Mazda to specify internal components that benefit fuel efficiency. In cases the automatic transmission’s lock-up (a damper clutch) at lower speeds and across a range of operating speeds has been the norm for conventional automatics. But Mazda has ensured the will provide drivers the right gear for emergencies, by a ‘kick-down switch’ in the accelerator


Great driving but minor shortcomings in other

Kajiyama-san advised that the new has been benchmarked against the BMW 3 Audi A4 and Volkswagen Passat. In the of the A4 and Passat in particular, the benchmarking has clearly yielded impressive

Based on our drive of a Mazda6 sedan, we can say that the new interior nice trim materials help lend the Mazda6 a Euro feel. And simple, elegant design also the KODO styling of the exterior. close with the gentlest and only the switchgear on the steering makes the interior look at all

There’s a clear view of the that represents a major on the superseded car. A rosewood-look strip across the dash is but stylish and there’s exactly the amount of brightwork to offset the colours used throughout the Most important for many, are where you expect them to be and any will be able to work out how to even some of those obscure functions (scrolling trip computer data for example), within about minutes – and without resorting to the

The driver’s position is excellent, in of useable legroom and the relationship to and wheel. It’s the personal of the writer that the seat isn’t in the same league as long-term Honda Accord while the seats are comfortable they’re not as well shaped or

Rear-seat legroom (in the sedan, we get a crack at the wagon) is commensurate the more commodious sedans in the market segment. Headroom in the is adequate for adults of average although one or two of the taller journalists on the complained about front in cars fitted with a

The boot, with a raised and bins either side, is and competitive, but no better in terms of its than that of the Accord The floor is raised to accommodate a steel spare that is for use only, when combined three other 17-inch (for Mazda6 Sport or models) or 19-inch alloys to the GT and Atenza variants.

Mazda has controls from the boot to the folding seats in the sedan, but the didn’t drop flat They remained upright and either pulling forward inside the cabin or – in a real context – would have a gentle nudge with the object to be loaded from the into the cabin.

In length, the has grown 130mm but the new wagon is 35mm longer than its and the wheelbase of the new sedan and wagon has by 105mm for the former, and 25mm for the The width of both body has expanded 45mm also.

Useful electronic safety restricted to Atenza

Safety fitted across the range as include: Dual front side curtain airbags, side-impact airbags (thorax), control, electronic stability anti-lock brakes with brake force distribution, brake assist, emergency brake lights, Hill Assist, Intrusion-minimising brake and reversing camera.

High-tech introduced in the new Mazda6, including Obstruction Warning, Lane Warning, Rear Cross Alert and Smart Brake are only available in the Atenza These features cannot be specified as options for the lesser

The new model is yet to be tested for an ANCAP rating, but the superseded car scored stars and the new model, stronger and with all the appropriate gear as should at least be as safe as the model.


Mazda has the running, but it’s game on

Australia has focused on the new 6’s in the medium car segment – and there are truly competent entries in the there – but the new Mazda has the footprint and to snatch sales from foes, among them the Accord (the American and Nissan’s new Altima, which the Maxima.

According to Mazda’s MD, Dickson, the new car’s footprint around nine square Based on the sedan’s length and it’s something like — versus 9.1m² for the Accord VTi. In respect of too, plus value and the Mazda should create for car companies marketing larger

But principally the 6 remains aimed at in the medium segment, which Ford Mondeo, Holden’s Malibu, Honda Accord Hyundai i40 and i45, Kia Optima, Kizashi and the Toyota Camry. In the Mazda is capable of tackling a of European brands – Volkswagen Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508.


Dynamically capable and a formidable machine

On a drive program Adelaide out through the McLaren wine growing region to the of the city, the Mazda6 impressed a range of criteria. It insulated the and occupants from noise well, with some noise penetrating – on a day when a cross wind was blowing Tyre noise was audible on country roads, but rarely.

the 2.5-litre petrol engine was its head it was sporty and refined, a rich note at higher It’s certainly more than most engines of capacity in the same market Torque was ample for holding gear on moderate hills, but the switch is what a lot of Australian want from their providing ready and immediate on tap.

Fuel consumption by the trip computer was 10.0L/100km in the case scenario and 7.9L/100km in the case.

A brief drive the city streets of Adelaide in the sedan resulted in a figure of according to the trip computer. The was as good as we recalled from the pre-production TPV at Sandown a little 18 months ago – and certainly much than that (pre-production This is an engine that jaw-dropping performance in a straight and the acceleration only began to off in the last 200 or 300 revs before – which is 5500rpm.

If you think you know diesels, one will prove you wrong. On from i-Stop mode stop-start), the engine fired up fast and with little You can beat other cars from the lights while fuel.

Unfortunately, the diesel was from cold starting – as was the engine, to a lesser extent – and the purred at idle, but it was obviously a after stepping out of the much petrol variants. That the noise from the diesel was by no a deal-breaker. It’s quiet by diesel standards.

You would to go to a V6 in a prestige sedan to find a car that’s quieter than one.

Ride comfort and control are both very If the new car’s steering response is a slower than we recall of the model’s, it improves with a bit load on the outside wheels. to a corner at higher speeds the car agile and lively, with a stance that’s very reminiscent of some European

There was simply no difficulty the car correctly on the road. So there is feedback through the wheel, the electrically-assisted steering system is not as communicative as the Accord Euro’s, but Mazda6 drivers are bound to it better than adequate for purposes. At lower speeds the is light, almost to a fault, but the of assistance declines steadily as the rises.

It’s generally a resolved system for the car and its target

That, in fact, could be for the whole car. We didn’t get to the wagon, unfortunately, and we suspect it’s the wagon that be the new model’s hatch equivalent for buyers. But the sedan has left us back on our heels.

It’s a car is so far ahead of the previous generation 6 – a decent car in its own right – that you be amazed, as the reviewer was.

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Published. Wednesday, 5 2012

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