PREMIUM STATUS HAS ARRIVED
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.