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A HIGHER LEVEL OF SIX EDUCATION (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Couch
The revised third generation Mazda6 gets a flagship 2.5-litre petrol engine that looks to create a very complete package. Good enough to out-point top medium range 'D'-segment rivals and even tempt some premium brand buyers? Jonathan Crouch decides.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 77
In this improved form, the third generation Mazda6 offers a revitalised challenge in the market's 'D'-segment medium range 'Mondeo' sector. A raft of small but significant engineering updates cement its position as the most enjoyable car in the class to drive and beneath the bonnet, there's the option of the fresh flagship 2.5-litre petrol unit we're going to look at here. Plus you get more sophisticated safety and connectivity, along with a much smarter cabin than before.
Backgroundword count: 172
The ultimate brief for a contender in the volume part of the market's 'D'-segment for medium range models is to combine the sharp handling of a Mondeo with the class and cabin quality of a Volkswagen Passat. Mazda reckons that the much improved saloon and Tourer estate versions of its third generation Mazda6 model nail that brief precisely. How? Well there's a new 'G-Vectoring Control' system that develops torque vectoring technology to the next level and is even more effective at maximising traction at speed through the corners. All the main engines in the range have been updated and an all-new 2.5-litre petrol powerplant - the unit we're going to test here - has been added to the line-up. All derivatives get a much more up-market cabin. As you'd expect, safety and media provision is also much improved. And as before, you get one of the sharpest-handling cars in the class, plus there are all the efficiency advantages of Mazda's clever 'SYYACTIV' technology. Sounds promising. Let's put this car to the test.
Driving Experienceword count: 278
The 2.5-litre four cylinder SKYACTIV-G engine is a unit that Mazda has borrowed for this car from the huge CX-9 luxury SUV it sells in other markets. This more potent variant doesn't rev quite as sweetly as the lesser 2.0-litre petrol powerplant; and its auto-only format denies you access to the brilliantly tactile manual gearbox that features elsewhere in the range. Still, it puts out 194PS with 258Nm of torque and is aimed at those browsing at the plush end of the Mazda6 range who want all the revving about that comes with the brand's normally aspirated engineering to yield a little more in terms of ultimate performance; 62mph is here dispatched in 8.1s on the way to 138mph. Which means you can exercise a little more of the capability of that excellent chassis. For Mazda, the feeling of connectedness between car and driver - they call it 'Jinba ittai' - is paramount in any model design and they've applied it with renewed emphasis in developing this revised third generation Mazda6. The sporty demeanour that's always characterised this car has been further enhanced by a more rigid chassis, sharper steering and the adoption of what the company calls 'G-Vectoring Control'. This is a more sophisticated breed of torque vectoring system that takes steering angle as well as throttle input into account in maximising cornering traction and turn-in accuracy at speed. At the same time, the engineers have also striven to improve ride quality, with changes to the damping and the anti-roll bars. Over poor surfaces, you'll still find more comfort-orientated contenders in this class, but they can't hold a candle to the way this car goes round corners.
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Category: Spacious Family Cars
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