Mazda knocks it for six

14 March 2018

THE stylish new Mazda6 saloon and estate models will cost up to more than £33,000 to drive away from this summer, it is announced today.

The executive sector newcomers get a raft of important improvements and upgrades, including new engines plus significant safety enhancements.

There are also styling tweaks, a more upmarket interior, increased power for the diesel engine, and a new petrol engine with automatic cylinder deactivation.

In other words, part of the engine simply falls asleep when it is not needed in order to save fuel.

Prices range from £23,045 for the entry-level two-litre petrol saloon, rising to £32,795 for the range-topping Tourer, plus the cost of insurance.

Unveiled at this month’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.

There is also a power lift for the 2.2-litre diesel engine, with a new high of 185bhp.

In total there will be two dozen different versions of the saloon and estate ranges, encompassing four trim and equipment levels of SE-L Nav+, SE-L LUX Nav+, Sport Nav+ and GT Sport Nav+.

Cylinder deactivation is not a new concept, although it is to the Mazda6, with the 2.5-litre petrol engine automatically switching from four cylinder operation to just two when coasting or being driven sedately.

When more power is needed it reverts back to four cylinders instantly, thereby offering the best of both worlds in terms of power and economy.

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 and 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.

The order book opens today and Mazda says that first deliveries will be this summer.