PRE­MIUM STA­TUS HAS AR­RIVED

Style Magazine - - Motoring -

The Ja­panese car maker has upped the ante with its lat­est Mazda6 sedan and wagon.

Se­ri­ously im­pres­sive to look at and touch, the ar­ti­fi­cial suede in­serts on the dash and door trims are an ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple of Mazda look­ing to lift the feel of the cabin.

The seats have been re­designed to im­prove cush­ion­ing and the top-spec Atenza now has seat ven­ti­la­tion.

A new nose that does away with the sep­a­rate fog lights in the bumper makes it easy to spot the facelift.

The 2.5-litre turbo will be fit­ted to the GT and Atenza ver­sions. The Sport and Tour­ing vari­ants con­tinue with the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 2.5 (140kw/252nm), which now has cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion to save fuel. With a re­spectable boost in power, the 2.2-litre turbo diesel (140kw/450nm) can be or­dered in the Tour­ing, GT and Atenza ver­sions of the sedan or wagon.

The head-up dis­play now projects di­rectly on to the wind­screen in place of the pop-up plas­tic panel on pre­vi­ous ver­sions.

The steer­ing is as pre­cise as ever, it changes di­rec­tion with poise and the 6 wasn’t at all both­ered by bat­tered back roads around Bal­larat. The ba­sic bal­ance shone through on a quick stint on gravel that also high­lighted the im­proved un­der­body noise damp­en­ing. The body has been stiff­ened and the sus­pen­sion mounts re­in­forced to im­prove its abil­ity to roll over ruts and pot­holes.

The six-speed auto – there’s no man­ual gear­box on any ver­sion – does its job with­out be­ing no­ticed, the hall­mark of a well-cal­i­brated trans­mis­sion. Pad­dle-shifters are there if you’re so in­clined but in most sit­u­a­tions you’re bet­ter off let­ting the auto do its thing. Put it into sport mode to hold revs longer or slip it into eco and it will shift gears early and of­ten.

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