- Class-leading handling
- Stylish aesthetics
- Generous equipment
- Firm ride
- Interior feels a little dated
- Limited engine options
Stylish practical large family saloon
Large family saloon cars achieve less of the market share than they once did, due to the increasing popularity of crossover SUVs. That’s not because of a lack of quality however, and the Mazda6, first introduced in its current guise in 2012, is one of the finest family saloons that money can buy. It’s stylish aesthetics, spacious interior, and generous equipment are enough to make the Mazda6 one of the class-leaders. It’s fun to drive, safe, and features some impressively efficient engines as well, so if you go for the Mazda6 as you’re next family saloon, you won’t be disappointed.
Solid interior quality and generous equipment
The interior of the Mazda6 features a practical, sensible design, that’s simple and easy to use, but it’s not as plush as some of its rivals. There’s more than enough space for most family needs however, and even entry-level models come loaded with kit.
The dashboard design of the Mazda6 feels a little bit dated compared to some of its more modern rivals, but it’s still attractive to look at, and it’s ergonomic design make it easy to use. Soft-touch materials adorn the majority of the 6’s cabin, but it doesn’t feel quite as plush as a Volkswagen Passat. Controls are well-laid out and easy to use as well, though they’re not as well-damped as in some rivals. All in all though, it’s a pretty impressive package.
Large family saloons should be spacious and practical, and the Mazda6 certainly lives up to expectations. The 483 litre boot capacity might not be quite as big as some rivals, but there’s still more than enough space for a big family shop, travel luggage, or a bulky pram. Inside there’s plenty of room as well, with ample room for five full-sized adults to travel comfortably, even on longer journeys.
Equipment levels in the Mazda6 are generous, no matter which trim level you choose to go for. The entry-level SE trim comes with more than enough kit for most buyers, with air-con, electric windows, electric door mirrors, keyless start, and daytime running lights all featuring. SE-L trim adds luxuries such as climate control, parking sensors, and automatic wipers, whilst Sport adds heated leather seats, sat-nav, xenon lights, and keyless entry.
All in all the inside of the Mazda6 is a hugely impressive package. It’s ergonomic design, spacious interior, and generous equipment make it one of the most practical family cars that money can buy.
Exceptional handling compromised by stiff suspension
The Mazda6 is one of the best handling cars in the large family saloon class. Only the Ford Mondeo can come close to the Mazda6, so if you’re looking for a car that’s as capable on the road as it is practical, then the Mazda6 is the car for you. The steering sharp and agile, there’s plenty of grip through the corners, and body roll is kept in check thanks to the stiff suspension setup. Sport models are better still, but you will have to compromise on ride refinement.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride comfort is one area in which the Mazda6 is a little bit disappointing. The excellent handling is a trade off for reduced ride refinement. It’s not an especially uncomfortable car to be in, but especially poor road surfaces can send shudders up into the cabin. The stiff suspension also affects motorway refinement, though road and wind noise are kept to a minimum, especially if you avoid models equipped with larger alloy wheels.
Gearbox options in the Mazda6 come in two guises. The most common in the range is a six-speed manual transmission that’s actually impressive, thanks to its short, sharp gearchange, and flexible gearing. A six-speed automatic is also available with most models, but it’s not the most impressive on offer in the class, as it doesn’t respond efficiently enough when you need a quick burst of acceleration, whilst it also reduces fuel efficiency.
Efficient diesel engines are the pick of the range
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Mazda6, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The diesels offer the best balance of pace, efficiency, and green credentials in the range, but the entry-level petrol is still decent enough.
If it’s power that you want from your Mazda6, the best engine on offer in the range is the 2.2d (175) model. This engine produces 175bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds. It’s not the quickest car available in this class, but its impressive fuel efficiency make it one of the best value. The lower-powered diesel is 1.2 seconds slower to 62mph, whilst the entry-level petrol engine will find itself 1.6 seconds behind in an outright sprint.
Eco-friendly buyers will be reasonably pleased with the engines on offer in the Mazda6 range. The stand-out option is the low-powered 2.2d diesel engine, which produces just 107g/km of CO2 emissions. It’s not green enough to be road tax exempt, nor is the best in the class, but it’s still pretty impressive. Money-savers will however be delighted with this offering, thanks to the hugely impressive 72.4mpg that’s on offer. It might cost you £20 to tax each year, but you’ll save yourself plenty of money at the fuel pumps each week.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Mazda6, you’re going to get an efficient, punchy engine, with enough flexibility for nearly all buyers needs. The diesels are undoubtedly the pick of the bunch though, so you should give these models serious consideration.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with good standard safety equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the Mazda6 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 92% in adult safety, 77% in child safety, and 66% in pedestrian safety, the Mazda6 isn’t quite up there with class leaders like the Toyota Avensis, but its scores are still pretty respectable. You’ll also get plenty of safety kit as standard, which will only add to the feeling of safety. Even entry-level models come with six airbags, electronic stability control, emergency braking assistance, and a tyre-pressure monitor. Range topping models adds city braking, whilst the optional Safety Pack includes lane assist, and rear collision assistance.
Superb value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Mazda6 represents excellent value for money for nearly all buyers. This does vary between model to model, but generally speaking fuel efficiency is impressive throughout the range (with no model achieving less than 48mpg), and emissions are relatively low for the class, so road tax shouldn’t be too expensive. The low-powered 2.2d diesel represents the best value for money for those who want to save themselves some serious money.
Insurance costs in the Mazda6 again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 16 for the 2.0 SE-L, and climb up towards group 23 if you’re tempted by the powerful range-topping 2.2d (175) Sport Nav Auto. Whichever model you decide upon, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Mazda6, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Mazda6 is one of the most impressive offerings in the hotly contested large family saloon market. It might not have the plushness of a Volkswagen Passat, or the engine range of a Ford Mondeo, but if you’re looking for a family car that’s stylish, practical, and great to drive, you should seriously consider the excellent Mazda6.
Buying a used Mazda online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mazda6 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Mazda6. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mazda online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Mazda? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Mazda6, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Mazda6, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Mazda to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.