Caroline drives the 2019 Mazda6!
The Mazda6 just keeps on evolving and towards the end of 2018 it was time for another update. Arguably the Mazda6 has always been a great example of a large saloon, but to a refined nose the gentle tweaks do keep the car current and fresh.
In 2012, the Mazda6 ushered in a new era with its striking KODO ‘Soul of Motion’ design philosophy. Over the years, Mazda have made some minor refinements but you would have to be eagle-eyed to spot any major styling changes in the Mazda6’s sensuous silhouette.
But we are reliably informed that there is a new ‘3D’ grille with mesh positioned deeper within the surround. The LED headlamps integrate new signature ‘wing tips’ from the grille surround. The lower bumper has also been redesigned for a sleeker profile and an aerodynamically efficient air intake.
At the rear, the 2019 Mazda6 Saloon has a remodelled boot lid, while both the Saloon and Tourer have cleaner rear bumper styling with more body coloured areas. Soul Red Crystal is available for the first time, a deeper and enhanced version of the signature Soul Red the car was launched with.
Inside the 2019 Mazda6
The cabin of the 2019 Mazda6 has also been reworked a little to include upgraded seats, instrument panel, door trim and materials. Can we pause for just a second to appreciate the refined sophistication of the cabin of the Mazda6? It just keeps getting better and better inside the Mazda6 – even more premium. This current iteration is a fine mix of upmarket materials and stylish, refined design. There is an 8” centre screen for infotainment and it’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There is space for five inside though the rear legroom does not appear as generous as in some rivals. At 480 litres, the boot comes in a little behind rivals also but by most standards that’s still a lot of space.
In Ireland the updated Mazda6 goes on sale from €31,945 with three equipment levels: Executive SE, Platinum and Platinum+. New features for the 2019 Mazda6 range include ventilated seats, projection active driving display and 360° parking display. The range of i-ACTIVSENSE safety systems now include Radar Cruise Control.
What are my engine options?
Engine options for Ireland include the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel with 150hp or 184hp and the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine with 165hp. Both petrol and diesel engines are available with either a manual or automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G has been enhanced with new intake ports, new pistons and revised fuel injection and cooling. In its highest output, the popular 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel now produces 184hp (up from 175hp).
My test car was a 2.2 diesel manual with 184hp in Platinum+ trim, retailing from €42,865. Active Driving Display with integrated Satellite Navigation, Adaptive LED Headlights and Blind Spot Monitoring come as standard. All models now feature Blind Spot Monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Advanced Smart City Brake Support.
Other features on my test car included leather interior, dual zone climate control, 19” alloys, keyless entry and Bose sound system.
What else is new in the 2019 Mazda6?
Under the skin, Mazda has made some adjustments including suspension fine tuning and component upgrades, designed to improve ride comfort while maintaining the Mazda6’s famed driver engagement. Bump stop characteristics have been revised, the front dampers have increased in diameter and rebound springs have been added, while a new urethane rear damper top mount has been fitted for smoother vehicle behaviour and improved ride quality. The steering knuckles have been lowered for more neutral steering characteristics and rigid mounts now attach the steering gear to the suspension cross-member for a more precise response to subtle steering wheel actions.
Mazda has also made some refinements to improve cabin insulation with thicker body panels, natural sound smoother technology and noise absorbing materials. New vibration absorbing material has also been added to the centre tunnel and the roof lining. A flatter underbody, plus new bumper and engine undercovers claim to streamline airflow under the car, while ducts introduced in place of the fog lights in the front bumper create a flow of air to the front wheels, improving aerodynamic performance. SKYACTIV-G models are also fitted with an active air shutter that closes when the engine does not need cooling to improve real-world efficiency.
So what does all this translate to on the road?
Well, it’s all good for the Mazda6. The diesel model tested is super smooth to drive, with a lovely spread of power and works effortlessly with the manual gearbox. The engine is not too noisy and the Mazda6 makes a refined and comfortable long-distance cruiser, with just a whisper of road noise. It’s economical too and over a week of driving my fuel consumption was 5.5/100km.
But the real marvel of the Mazda is just how much fun it is to drive for a large saloon – at times I was having so much fun I thought I might be driving an MX-5! The handling is superb with pleasant agility and steering that’s sharp and communicative.
Refinements to the new Mazda6 raise its profile even more as a segment leader in terms of driving dynamics and cabin ambience. This car is also a true alternative to premium rivals like a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Jaguar XE in my opinion.
The Mazda6 is the large executive car for all seasons: the one you will enjoy driving day in, day out.
Model tested: Mazda6 2.2 SKYACTIV-D Platinum
Price: €42,865 (Range from €31,945)
Engine: 2.2-litre turbo diesel
Power: 184 hp
Torque: 445 Nm
0-100km/h: 8.5 seconds
Top speed: 227 km/h
CO2 emissions: 124 g/km
Motor tax: €270 per year