Mazda6 Takami

The Mazda6 has flour­ished through gen­er­a­tional changes and nearly 20 years after its first re­lease, and a mar­ket shift to choos­ing an SUV over a sedan, it is still a pop­u­lar choice for the fleet buyer.

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In­ter­est­ingly, Mazda in­tro­duced the re­vised Mazda6 at the launch of the all-new CX-8 and re­vamped CX-5 SUVS, and the su­per­cool Takami ver­sion of the Mazda6 was served up merely as a taster. Well, the taster turned into a full three-course meal a few weeks later when the Takami ar­rived for a Mon­dayto-mon­day re­view. OK, I’m com­pelled to write about the Nappa leather of the in­te­rior trim, com­ple­mented by the Sen wood trim and spec­tac­u­lar ar­ray of elec­tronic safety what­sits and wa­hoos – in­clud­ing that very ca­pa­ble (and best yet) ex­am­ple of road sign speed read­ing tech­nol­ogy, which com­bines in­put from cam­eras cross-ref­er­enced to the GPS of the car’s satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem. I could bang on about the var­i­ous ‘firsts’ in the Mazda6: the eight-inch com­mand touch­screen, the cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion sys­tem for im­proved econ­omy and the 360-de­gree view mon­i­tor that shows you ev­ery­thing around the car via four cam­eras. And it would be re­miss to not men­tion the I-ac­tivsense safety equip­ment um­brella which in­te­grates Mazda’s pro­pri­etary Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brak­ing-ad­vanced Smart City Brake Sup­port-for­ward ASCBS-F). Blind Spot Mon­i­tor­ing (BSM), Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert (RTCA), Mazda Radar Cruise Con­trol (MRCC) with Stop and Go func­tion­al­ity. But I what I re­ally want to tell you about is how driv­ing this car will change your life. There have been some cars that have man­aged to do this in the past, but none has quite struck the chord that the Mazda6 has, quite prob­a­bly be­cause no other car has Mazda’s SKY­AC­TIV tech where at­ten­tion is paid to the chas­sis, the trans­mis­sion and the en­gine – a 2.5-litre tur­bocharged petrol in this case – to cre­ate the sense that the car and the driver are one, this, Mazda calls Jitta In­bai. I’m con­fess I took Jitta In­bai a step fur­ther. I work ap­prox­i­mately 15 min­utes from my in-auck­land home and yet, my com­mute in the Mazda6 in­vari­ably took longer than 45 min­utes. Why? In a phrase coined by Su­per­tramp “I’d take the long way home.” Life chang­ing? Yep. I didn’t just do this go­ing to and from work, I did it ev­ery­where. I don’t think I man­aged to keep an ap­pointed time ar­rival the en­tire week I had the Mazda6, and the best part? I didn’t care, be­cause the car was so darned good to drive. Eco­nom­i­cal too. De­spite all the fun I had at lights, lis­ten­ing to the beau­ti­ful sound of the 2.5-litre tur­bocharged en­gine as it threw down 140kw and 252Nm of torque and the Mazda rock­eted into hy­per­space, or mak­ing the most of my mileage in the Mazda for a week, the posted 7.6 litres per 100km was not only achiev­able, I seemed to spend a lot of time be­low that, which meant after seven days of day-to-day driv­ing, there was plenty left in the tank on the Mazda’s re­turn. I think Mazda is fac­ing its big­gest chal­lenge yet: keep the in­ter­est level of the SUV buyer up with the all-new CX-8, but don’t let the Mazda6 park up in the layby. And I think the buyer of Mazda prod­uct has an even big­ger chal­lenge, de­cid­ing which Mazda to choose. Tough call. Me, I’d buy both the game-changer and the life changer.

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