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.
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.