The Mazda6 - Redefining The Family Car Market | Part Two

The large boot volume is partly the result of the patented Mazda E-type multi-link rear axle. Its compact design not only saves space – in combination with the double A-arm front axle design – but also provides Mazda6 models with excellent roadholding qualities. A wide track width and low centre of gravity ensure sporty handling, while precise steering provides excellent road feedback on the motorway and winding country roads. Powerful and efficient brakes enhance handling characteristics and place them among the best cars in their class for braking deceleration.

In addition to the three aluminium alloy four-cylinder petrol engines, which have been available since the launch of the Mazda6, there are now are two modern diesel drive-trains available with all three body styles. Both are 2.0 litre second-generation common-rail direct injection engines – one with a power output of 121 hp and the other delivering 136 hp. Both have four values per cylinder and combine the classic strengths of a diesel engine (low fuel consumption, high torque at low engine speeds) with characteristics normally associated with petrol engines (lively driving performance, driving comfort, operating smoothness, low emissions). Both diesel engines achieve Euro Stage III emissions ratings.

The double overhead cam petrol engines have four valves per cylinder and come in three displacements: the 1.8 litre produces 120 hp, the 2.0 litre delivers 141 hp, and the 2.3 litre develops 166 hp. Like the Mazda6 saloon and hatch the estate models are available with an optional four-speed automatic transmission in the 2.0 litre petrol version.

Crash protection is provided by an extremely rigid passenger cell with an ingenious structural design for the distribution and absorption of impact energy; while passive safety features include dual-stage front airbags, side airbags in the front, and head and shoulder airbags to protect driver and passengers in case of side impact.

Published 20 November 2002 Melanie Carter

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