Mazda6 2.0 RM165,215.60
WE SAY: MAZDA HAS LIGHTLY REFRESHED ITS ENTRY-LEVEL 6 SALOON WITH ADDED REFINEMENT AND SOME NEW FEATURES, BUT IS IT ANY BETTER THAN ITS PEERS?
KIt’s no secret that we at TG – and perhaps a lot of other journos – love the Mazda6. For a D-segment sedan, it ticked all the right boxes by being adequately posh, well equipped and matched with both good looks and dynamic performance.
Of course, staying ahead of the competition isn’t easy. That is why Mazda keeps updating this model over the years and bringing us to this most recent facelift for 2018. Having spent an entire weekend piloting it recently, it seems Mazda has done justice to this D-segment fighter.
On the surface, it’s going to take a trained eye to spot the mildly restyled front bumper and grille combination, not forgetting its new 17-inch alloy wheels design too. What’s clear though are the sleek new full-LED headlights this 2.0-litre base model variant now boasts up front, adding both presence and driving clarity.
Get into the cabin and again, it will take a trained eye to see just how this refreshed model has a new widened dash design now. The MZD Connect touchscreen display panel has also grown in size to 8-inches and mounted lower for greater visibility. And there’s a new pair of wider seats, offering better comfort and support than before too. Giving this cabin the classy end game it deserves are the right mix of shiny brightworks, gloss black panels and surrounds plus off-black trim colourway. Overall, it appears as if Mazda took the ‘safe’ approach here, but there’s indeed more to the cabin’s improvements beyond its look and feel. More on this later.
This being the base model, it does lack a few things such as keyless entry to match the keyless ignition feature present. But where it really counts the most, this Mazda doesn’t fail as it is still primed with a reverse camera, smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth and USB, as well as the presence of a basic cruise control.
On the move, this refreshed entry-level offering drives just as well as before. It’s
peppy 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G four-cylinder petrol mill - which boasts both directinjection and high compression ratio – still delivers healthy outputs of 163hp and 213Nm to drive its front wheels through a slick six-speed automatic box.
Keep both your right foot light and the i-Stop engine idling stop-start system turned on and this sedan will sip as low as 6.5 litres/100km on average too. Do that and don’t be surprised to see yourself charting some serious miles with every full tank of 62 litres.
The same can be said with the handling dynamics, by which we mean it’s also relatively unchanged. You’ve probably heard us say this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: this Mazda’s taut yet balanced ride mirrors more closely to a rival European offering, making it a cut above the bulk of its Asian-made peers. There’s also the presence of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC) that helps make light of long trips too.
However, those familiar with current generation Mazdas will know this fact well enough, and we’re talking about their apparent lack in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction. More specifically, it’s the noticeable road and wind noise intrusion that plagues most current generation Mazda offerings, but not this.
Besides making the cabin slightly prettier and more posh, Mazda has finally taken the steps to make it quieter, hence the presence of new and thicker door panels, outer glass, headliner, and door seals. For once, the Mazda6, even in its most basic form, rides much quieter than before, making it a lot more pleasant to drive and be in over long periods.
Of course, some things don’t change, and this refreshed base model Mazda sedan is no exception. For instance, you still get a pretty large boot that makes light of any grocery runs. And there’s the full swing of standard safety features – 6 airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounts, ABS, stability control and hill launch assist – that make this base model variant a sound choice for many.
Then there are other aspects such as a premium price tag that will make this a stretch for many to own.
At RM165,215.6, this face-lifted Mazda6 2.0 base model offering is undeniably pricey over its key rivals like the Toyota Camry 2.0E and Honda Accord 2.0VTi-L. It’s also in the same price range as the Kia Optima GT and VW Passat 1.8 Trendline, both of which have the added boost of turbocharged performance plus a few added premium features.
Perhaps the saving grace to this pricey saloon is its almost unbeatable after-sales offer which includes a three-year or 60,000km free service package on top of its five-year or 100,000km warranty. You could say that’s where the premium is going into and, for some at least, that’s a worthy investment indeed.
Overall, if you liked how the Mazda6
2.0 was like before, you’ll definitely like this one knowing it now rides much quieter and more comfortably. THORIQ AZMI
There are some styling tweaks at the back too, but not as obvious as the front’s
Space remains unchanged, and the improved NVH suppression have made the cabin quieter
01 There’s plush leather in all the right places, steering wheel included. 02 The MZD Connect’s controls also remain unchanged, and is a breeze to master. 03 In this base model, the slick 6-speed box only lacks paddleshifters. 04 Not only enlarged, the infotainment display sits lower now for better visibility. 05 The front seats are new and wider than before, offering better comforts.
Kia Optima GTArguably better-specced for similar money, and there’s moreoomph…
Rear air-cond vents are a must in anyD-segment saloon
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