Mazda’s 6 of the best

25 July 2018

MAZDA’S flagship range of executive saloon and estate models arrive here today, with prices rising to more than £33,000.

Imaginatively named Mazda6 Saloon and Tourer, they get a new look, revised interior, higher levels of advanced technology and new engines.

They herald the arrival of so-called cylinder deactivation for the 2.5-litre petrol engine, which as the name suggests means that two of the four cylinders shut down when not needed.

This has been a fuel-saving feature of several rivals, including Audi for some time and is likely to extend to all mainstream manufacturers in due course.

There is also an updated 2.2-litre diesel engine with power increased to 181bhp.

In total there are 25 different versions of the newcomers, encompassing four trim and equipment levels of SE-L Nav+, SE-L LUX Nav+, Sport Nav+ and GT Sport Nav+.

Saloon prices range from £23,195 for the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol-powered version to £28,235 for the 181bhp 2.2-litre diesel model.

Tourer prices start at £23,835 for the 2.0-litre petrol model, rising to £33,015 for the range-topping 2.2-litre diesel automatic.

Unveiled at this year’s Geneva motor show, the new Mazda6 ranges will cater for the steadily diminishing number of motorists who shun SUVs in favour of conventional cars.

Fortunately for Mazda, the company boasts a strong line-up of impressive SUVs as well, with the saloon and estate models being almost an indulgence.

In their latest guise they get exterior styling changes, an upgraded interior, enhanced technology and the arrival of the new 2.5-litre petrol engine that will be offered with luxurious GT Sport Nav+ trim and equipment.

To make the new vehicles visually different from the current car there is a new grille, revised LED headlamps, fog lights now incorporated into the headlight cluster, a redesigned lower bumper plus an aerodynamically efficient air intake. At the rear, the Saloon has a remodelled boot lid, while both the Saloon and Tourer get cleaner rear bumper styling with more body-coloured areas.

There are also new alloy wheel designs and the introduction of Mazda’s so-called crystal paint that increases brightness by 20 per cent and depth by 50 per cent compared to conventional metallics.

Interior highlights across the range include a larger eight-inch display screen, plus a seven-inch TFT LCD positioned in the driver’s instrument binnacle and the adoption of a full colour windscreen projecting Active Driving Display.

The dashboard and door trims are redesigned, seat comfort is improved and the flagship GT Sport Nav+ features Mazda’s high-end interior finishes including Sen wood trim, brown Nappa leather and suede.

There are a host of mechanical improvements beneath the skin, including changes to the suspension for better ride and handling, a smoother underbody to enhance aerodynamics, and additional soundproofing.

Safety is upgraded too, including blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control, lane keep assist and advanced smart city break support.