The new Mazda6 was launched at the end of 2007 and an estate model joined the range in February 2008. When we tested the old model in both the hatchback and estate guise, we had a fondness for Mazda6 range. Although the new car is based on the underpinnings of the old car it has moved forward since we last drove a Mazda6 in 2005.
Mazda’s sales target for the new '6' is actually similar to the previous car, in the region of 13,000 to 14,000 cars during 2008 and beyond, explained Mark Cameron, Mazda UK Marketing Director. The New Mazda6 will spearhead an increased focus by Mazda on fleet buyers. The previous model achieved a fleet/retail sales split of 65/35 per cent. Mazda is expecting the new model to be especially attractive to fleet customers, particularly to those user-choosers looking for something different.
Currently there are 25 models in the Mazda6 range - there are three body styles to choose from a booted 4-door, a 5-door hatchback and a 5-door estate. Five equipment levels starting with the entry-level S followed by the TS, TS2, Sport and a new luxury SL (Sports Luxury). The engine line starts with a 1.8 litre petrol engine, two 2.0 litre engines (petrol and diesel) and a new 2.5 litre petrol engine. The 1.8 litre petrol has a 5-speed manual gearbox; the rest of the range is equipped with a 6-speed box. There is a 5-speed automatic option for the 2.0 litre petrol engine.
We drove the Mazda6 Sport Estate, with the new MZR 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder 2448 cc 16v petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox with an on the road price of £20,340. The 2.5 litre engine produces a healthy 170ps @ 6000 rpm (168 bhp) and delivers 166 lb/ft of torque at 4000 rpm and on the emissions front outputs 193 g/km of CO2. The 2.5 litre estate takes 8.3 seconds from rest to reach 62 mph and will go onto a top speed of 135 mph.
The new 2.5 litre engine is based on the old 2.3 litre power plant with some major modifications which despite being a larger capacity engine the fuel consumption returns a 6.9% improvement on the combined fuel cycle. Engine noise is well suppressed to the point of wondering if the engine was still running at low speed. You have to be exact with the 6-speed manual gearbox, it is far too easy to select 4th instead of 6th gear and as the engine is so quiet you may stay in it for a short period.
Whilst touring we achieved around 25 mpg which increased on a relaxed Motorway cruise to a little over 40 mpg.
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