We drove the next generation refreshed looking Mazda6 saloon. Find out what we thought of the new updates.
Pros: Plush Interior, pleasant to drive, noise reduction, standard safety features
Cons: No hybrid option, boot space, tight squeeze for three passengers in the back
Originally launched six years ago, we have now been introduced to the third generation Mazda6 model. Falling into the executive saloon segment the Mazda6 has become increasingly popular over the years.
Still competing with the likes of the Volkswagen Passat, Opel Insignia and Ford Mondeo, the new Mazda6 starts to push slightly towards the more premium benchmark saloons such as the Audi A5 and BMW 5 Series.
Mazda has taken huge steps forward style wise with the latest update to their flagship model. The 2018 Mazda6 facelift features several impressive changes whilst keeping the core of the car that a lot of us have come to know and love. The new exterior shape seems to draw some inspiration from the Mazda Vision concept that was on display at the Tokyo Motor Show last year.
The first thing you will notice when you approach the front of car is the completely redesigned grille. If you think this design looks familiar you would be right, as it is the same ‘3D mesh’ look grille we saw introduced to the new Mazda CX-5 when it received an update last year. The grille is also complimented with new LED headlights which light up the road nicely at night time. The front bumper has also been redesigned and no longer hosts the fog lights, which are now located above the headlights. At the rear of the car you will notice new LED rear lights and a new boot shape.
The Mazda6 we tested was in the brand's iconic Soul Red Crystal metallic colour, which I have to say compliments this model really well. There are also several other colours to choose from including the popular Machine Grey which Mazda recently revealed.
Inside, the new Mazda6 has also received a well delivered refresh. The entire environment has been decluttered. For starters the seatbelt lights have been moved from the dash to above the rear-view mirror and the air conditioning controls have been redesigned to take up less space on the dash.
The interior of the Mazda6 we tested was finished in Stone Leather which really makes the cabin feel more spacious and minimalistic whilst providing a high level of comfort particularly for long journeys.
The Infotainment system is quite easy to use and connect to but does feel slightly limited at times. But there is good news, the new Mazda6 includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This takes the infotainment system to a whole new level as it means you can not only use Siri to make calls, send messages, play music and more but you can connect to Google Maps which I found to be the best feature as it is, excuse the pun ‘streets ahead’ of the built-in navigation in the Mazda6.
In the back of the car there is a reasonable amount of leg space but headroom for any passengers travelling that are over 6 foot may be a little tight. Although there are seatbelts for 3 passengers in the back, space would be very tight and most likely uncomfortable, especially for the passenger in the middle seat.
Like the previous model the new Mazda6 is a fun car to drive, but the most recent updates have made it even more so. Noise reduction has been significantly improved from the engine and tyres as well as updates to the suspension. Sharp steering allows you to take bends with ease.
There are two 2.0-litre petrol engines available and two 2.2-litre diesel engines. We drove the 2.0-litre 165ps 6 speed manual which I would highly recommend if you don’t regularly drive long distances. If you do however travel long distances daily, you might consider one of the 2.2 Diesel engines.
The new Mazda6 received a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and it is of no surprise to us. From the moment you start the engine the safety features begin to kick in.
Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert come as standard, which make both changing lanes on a motorway and backing out of a parking space a whole lot safer. The system detects incoming vehicles from both sides and the rear as well as displaying an alert on the wing mirrors to warn you not to change lane or back out of a space.
Active Driving (Head-Up) Display is now also standard in the Mazda6. This amazing feature projects driving and safety information directly onto the windscreen in full colour and in your sightline, so you never have to look away from the road. The Active Driving Display even displays turn by turn instructions if you are using the navigation and has traffic sign recognition that shows speed limits for your current location.
The new Mazda6 is a little more expensive than its rivals the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb. The 2.0 Petrol 165bps Platinum model we tested is currently priced at €38,595 with the Executive SE model starting at €31,945.
There are three different specifications available in the new Mazda6, Executive SE, Platinum and Platinum+. But even with the entry level Executive SE model there are number of really good features as standard including Active Driving Display, Keyless Entry, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane-Keep Assist and much more.
Carzone Verdict 4.5/5
The new Mazda6 is a refreshed, sporty looking executive saloon with a comfortable interior. The new facelift gives us a more premium look and feel. The Mazda6 is pleasant to drive with reduced noise, vibration and harshness. With a number of safety features and technology included as standard you are certainly getting a lot for the price.
Test Car Details
Mazda6 Starting Price: €31,945
Annual Road Tax: €390
Engine: 2.0 Petrol
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Body Style: Saloon
Boot Capacity: 480 litres