Mazda6 Side View
Mazda Mazda6

It was the low-powered engine that was under the bonnet of the Mazda6 TS test car and is also available in S trim. In this instance, it produces 125PS at 3,500rpm and a useful 310Nm of torque between 1,800- and 2,600rpm. The top speed is 121mph after the 0-62mph sprint, which takes 10.9 seconds and, like all the rest of the 2.2 diesel range, it is mated to a notchy, 6-speed manual gearbox. So, they are all very similar and it's a matter of horses for courses.

Although the Mazda6 test car's figures seem a little off the pace on paper, it is a different matter on the road. Once the inertia has been overcome and you're approaching the peak-torque band, it feels like a different car - not outrightly sporty but getting there.

The ride is supple but on uneven surfaces, the bumps can be clearly felt. That said, the Mazda6 is more likely to spend most of its time on major roads and motorways. Either way, it is a very easy car to drive. At motorway speeds there's plenty in 5th gear for overtaking and in 6th it takes a little longer but is by no means sluggish. The engine is surprisingly quiet, which makes it all the more relaxing and at times, the tyre noise is louder.

When it comes to safety, the Mazda6 comes with Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control Systems along with ABS with EBD and Emergency Brake Assist. Both the driver and front passenger have front and side airbags and pre-tensioned seatbelts with load limiters and active head restraints. Full-length curtain airbags protect the heads of those in the rear and ISOFIX child seat anchors are fitted to the outer rear seats.

Apart from the new engine and the addition of RVMS, the Mazda6 remains largely unchanged since its renewal in November 2007. However, it doesn't look dated; it's more that the sporty, classic lines are always in fashion. Neat shut-lines exude an air of quality. On the other hand, although the doors shut with a satisfying clunk, weight-saving measures become evident with a 'ting' on the outer skin, which spoils the effect somewhat.

Mazda6 Road Test | Part Three
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