Mazda6 2.0

Mazda6 2.0 RM165,215.60

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

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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