Mazda’s 6 plus 2 add up to great new mod­els...

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

WITH great styling (shades of Lexus and Jaguar) one of the best-look­ing medi­um­sized mo­tors to come out in 2015 is this week’s first test car – the Mazda 6.

It went on sale in Fe­bru­ary and I pre­dict we will be see­ing a lot on our roads as the 6 of­fers a lot of style and equip­ment from just £19,795 on-the-road.

Fea­tur­ing im­proved stan­dard spec through­out the range, top of the list of new at­trac­tions for 2015 are DAB ra­dio, a seven-inch colour touch-screen ‘Mul­ti­me­dia Com­man­der’ with in­te­grated nav­i­ga­tion plus new tech­no­log­i­cal­lyen­hanced fea­tures in­clud­ing adap­tive LED head­lights, lane as­sist and driver at­ten­tion alert, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing with rear cross-traf­fic alert and ‘Smart City Brake Sup­port’.

Mazda say stan­dard equip­ment lev­els across the en­tire range have been im­proved plus there’s ‘en­hanced’ in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­sign, im­proved func­tion­al­ity and bet­ter ride, com­fort and quiet­ness.

There are now five grades - SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav – with a choice of nine diesel and seven petrol saloon vari­ants and nine diesel and three petrol tourer ver­sions, equipped with ei­ther six-speed man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sions. Eight body colours are avail­able.

All mod­els now in­clude Mazda’s first elec­tronic park­ing brake, that new seven-inch, full-colour cen­tral touch-screen with DAB ra­dio – another first for Mazda – and MZD Con­nect which, paired with a smart­phone, makes for eas­ier in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity and ac­cess to so­cial net­work­ing ser­vices.

Top-of-the-range Sport Nav mod­els (our test car) ben­e­fit from new ex­te­rior fea­tures in­clud­ing a re-styled front – new grille and sig­na­ture wing de­sign in­cor­po­rat­ing pow­er­ful LED head­lights amd day­time run­ning lights, LED front fog lights and new 19-inch bright al­loy wheels.

On board, a six-way power ad­justable front pas­sen­ger seat, a new head-up dis­play (which projects speed and sat-nav in­for­ma­tion onto a small glass screen which rises up ahead of the driver as you start up) a rear re­vers­ing cam­era and an ‘In­te­grated Nav­i­ga­tion’ sys­tem com­plete the Sport Nav model’s en­hanced stan­dard equip­ment spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

All mod­els get a new dash­board lay­out and there’s key­less en­try and start.

Our test car was the 2.2 diesel with a su­perb six-speed auto box (Mazda do great au­to­mat­ics) and it proved idea for the task of get­ting me to Heathrow Air­port in a re­laxed mood and in time to catch a long-haul flight to test Jeep Chero­kees in the Utah desert.

Par­tic­u­larly so as the 6’s 2.2D has 175bhp on tap, which means a 0-62 time of 8.4 sec­onds and 134mph top speed – not that I needed it. Also handy was the fact that mpg fig­ures for the 6 diesel are al­most 60 on the com­bined cy­cle – which meant no stop­ping for fuel and the 62-litre tank was still a quar­ter full af­ter the 400-mile plus round trip

Other ticks in the box for the 6 saloon are a huge boot and loads of rear legroom... and our test car came with par­tic­u­larly classy two-tone cream and black leather uphol­stery.

The only neg­a­tive I could find was that, as with a num­ber of Ja­panese-made cars, the sat nav is still not com­pletely post­code friendly – but that is just a mi­nor nig­gle in an oth­er­wise to­tally ex­cel­lent long-dis­tance cruiser.

I have al­ways thought pre­vi­ous Mazda 6 mod­els were un­der­rated, but I sus­pect that will not be the case with this latest ver­sion.

The range starts at £19,795 for the 2.0-litre petrol SE up to £27,995 for our top-of-the-range 2.2D 175ps Sport Nav Auto test car, which also had op­tional pearles­cent paint and up­graded leather trim tak­ing the to­tal on-the-road cost to £28,735.

More in­for­ma­tion at www.mazda.co.uk

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