The saloon and hatch were the first versions of the Mazda6 range launched in the UK in July which instantly appealed to drivers with its dynamic design, sporty handling characteristics and generous spaciousness. The Mazda6 estate and diesel variants followed in September, a month that saw the Mazda6 become a favourite with UK consumers with 2,442 cars sold in the month, placing Mazda fourth in the retail C/D segment. Completing the range is the new Mazda6 Sport4 AWD estate which goes on sale in November with a price tag of £19,995 and a class leading insurance group of 13E.

The Mazda6 Sport4 AWD Sport Estate makes its UK debut at Birmingham to become the top of the range model of the Mazda6 line-up. With its powerful but smooth 2.3-litre engine producing 162 hp, the AWD Estate has been designed for customers who are seeking to combine sporty driving performance with superior traction and enhanced active safety features. The permanent all-wheel drive system has an electronic-controlled double clutch at the rear axle that guarantees optimal torque distribution in all driving situations and results in increased driving stability.

All body styles have the familiar Mazda face, with an expressive five-point grille, striking air intake openings in the front bumper spoiler and thin headlamps with clear glass. The acute angle of the rear window of the Mazda6 hatch and the elegant profile of the C-pillar give the car a dynamic look, and make for a lower and sportier appearance. The Mazda6 estate symbolises sportiness in another form, with a relatively acute rear window line and blackened B-pillars giving the car an elegant yet sporty appearance, despite its spacious dimensions. The rear of both models is dominated by the lamp assembly of clear glass, which is similar to the front headlamps and wraps around into the side panels to provide a fluid visual link between the boot trim and the rear fender.

The interiors are also designed in typical Mazda6 style. The passenger and luggage compartments are larger than their sporty exteriors seem to indicate. Their use of tastefully chosen, high-quality materials, the aesthetic yet functional styling of the instruments, the firm, comfortable and lavishly constructed seats form the basis for an interior ambience that allows driver and passengers stress-free driving on long trips.

The luggage compartments are large, with outstanding capacities of 492 litres for Mazda6 hatch and 505 litres for the estate. Both hatch and estate versions are fitted with the unique 'Karakuri' rear seat system, which easily converts the rear seats into a level load floor. A lever on the side of the luggage compartment releases the backrests, the seats drop down and the backrests fold over them, without having to remove the headrests.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 20/11/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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