Mazda 6 Review logo

Mazda 6 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2013
      Body type
      Large family
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Smart, fun to drive saloon ”

Best bits

  • Good looks allied to an enjoyable driving experience
  • The 2.2-litre turbodiesel is an excellent engine 
  • Plentiful standard equipment, particularly safety kit

Not so great

  • Saloon-style boot limits outright practicality 
  • There’s no hybrid offering
  • Newer rivals are cheaper to tax

Read by

Mazda 6 front

Overall verdict

Mazda 6 interior cabin

On the inside

Mazda 6 cornering

Driving

Mazda 6 2018

How much does it cost to run

Mazda 6 rear

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Mazda 6

"The Mazda 6 is good enough to potentially tempt you away from one of those SUVs everyone else is buying. And if you like your family car with a bit of driving pleasure, the Mazda 6 has it covered, without any real compromises."

Mazda 6 front

It might now fight for a smaller pool of buyers, then, but there are still buyers who want a saloon car, and the Mazda 6 makes a fairly convincing case for itself against not just those premium saloon car rivals, and its core, mainstream saloon competition, but those SUVs, too. 


First up are the Mazda 6’s looks. It’s a handsome car, the curved and creased surfacing, slim lights and neat tailgate are particularly attractive, elevating the Mazda 6 above the humdrum looks of the Ford Mondeo or the understated Volkswagen Passat. Its relative rarity means it’ll turn more heads than any of its premium rivals – their ubiquity's their undoing – which makes the Mazda 6 even more appealing. 


It’s not just the Mazda 6’s style that marks it out as different, Mazda has traditionally done things its own way, bucking industry conventions, not to the point of compromise, but simply taking a different approach and engineering stance. 


That’s evident with the Mazda 6, which Mazda has engineered tirelessly to make as light as possible, while its petrol engines, too eschew the current trend for downsized turbocharged units, and instead rely on natural aspiration and larger capacities. 


Those two facets in the 6’s make up create a car that’s both agile and fun to drive, but it is also able to compete when it comes to fuel economy and drivability. The 6 is so enjoyable to drive it’s arguably knocked the long held Ford Mondeo champion for driver fun from its top position, the 6’s dynamics also meaning it’s as engaging as its premium competition. 


That’s impressive, given the 6 has been around now for a while, it was originally introduced in 2013, but having received a couple of overhauls mean it remains competitive. In the most recent 2018 facelift it benefitted from improvements to the engine line-up, as well as revised trim, specification and infotainment, ensuring the 6 remains a worthy, admirable even, choice in the saloon car market.

   

Is the Mazda 6 right for you?

If you’re even considering a saloon, then the Mazda 6 should certainly be on your shortlist, and arguably up near the top of it. That’s particularly true if you enjoy driving, thanks to its agile chassis and responsive engines. If you’re looking at a Mazda 6 there's a good chance you’ve owned Mazdas previously, perhaps graduating from a Mazda 3 hatchback or having an MX-5. 


If you want more practicality than those, and aren’t interested in the current trend for SUVs as family cars, the Mazda 6 is a fine choice, even if it’s not able to offer quite the classy interior of the Volkswagen Passat it closely rivals, or the snobbish badge appeal of something like a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. Indeed, that it’s not one of those oh-so-predictable German cars is part of its appeal, as is a comprehensive specification from the base model upwards.

What's the best Mazda 6 model/engine to choose?

The entire Mazda 6 range broadly falls into the same CO2 emissions bandings, or at least much the same BIK tax liability, so you really can pick on budget and specification. All come comprehensively  equipped but the SE-L Lux Nav+ has the best balance of all, with luxuries like a heated steering wheel and seats, both being leather covered. Sport Nav+ above it might appeal, too, adding some more body-coloured exterior trim and larger alloy wheels as standard, but that does impact slightly on the ride comfort. 


The engine choice is less complicated, as even though diesels have received a bad press of late, the 2.2-litre turbodiesel is a superb engine, with good economy and emissions allied to fine refinement and good driving characteristics. It’s down to which power output you want, that too dictating the trim, as with the 150PS model you can have that SE-L Lux Nav+ or Sport Nav+, picking the more powerful 184PS version limits you to the Sport Nav+. 


As for the transmission, we’d go with the slick manual, as the auto impacts on economy, robs the 6 of some of its driving appeal, and isn’t as good as its rivals’ twin-clutch automatics.  


What other cars are similar to the Mazda 6?

There’s the obvious premium contenders, but the 6’s most natural rivals are cars like the Volkswagen Passat, Peugeot 508 and Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb. If looks are your motivation, the underrated Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport should be on your radar, too. 


That said, you could also be considering posh saloons such as the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Volvo S60  and Jaguar XE

Learn more

Mazda 6 interior cabin

On the inside

Mazda 6 cornering

Driving

Mazda 6 2018

How much does it cost to run

Mazda 6 rear

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

What problems do Mazda 6 have?

The current Mazda 6 has been known to suffer from engine and gearbox failure.

Russ Campbell

Answered by

Russ Campbell

Is the Mazda 6 a luxury car?

We wouldn't say the Mazda 6 is a luxury car – like say a Mercedes or BMW – but it does reside in the middle ground, looking and feeling nicer inside than the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia or Kia Optima.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

Which is better the Honda Accord or Mazda 6?

If you want a new car then there's a clear winner – the Mazda 6, because the Honda Accord is no longer sold new in the UK. Even as secondhand option, we'd choose the Mazda because it's nicer inside and better to drive.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison