MORE SIX EDUCATION (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 70
Back in 2013, the third generation Mazda6 was designed to shake up the market's 'D'-segment medium range Mondeo sector. By class standards back then, it was affordable to run, plus was arguably the most enjoyable contender to drive and the best to look at. For all that, it's still far from an obvious used car choice from this era in this sector. But on paper, perhaps it ought to be.
Modelsword count: 11
4-door saloon / 5-door Tourer estate [2.0 petrol / 2.2 diesel]
Historyword count: 279
The third generation Mazda6 needed to be a game-changer - nothing more, nothing less. Vanilla virtues simply weren't going to cut it in a medium range Mondeo segment that until the launch of this car early in 2013, was largely ignoring this Japanese brand. As it was back in 2002 prior to the launch of the very first Mazda6. This was the time before 'zoom zoom', before this Hiroshima-based maker was seen as sporty and forward thinking. Instead, it was known merely for bringing us family cars that were reliable, well equipped - and rather dull. Now it would be overstating the case to say that the very first MK1 version of this Mondeo-sized medium range model changed that perception overnight - but not by much. Sharky-looking and good to drive, all it really lacked was a little refinement and polish. The second generation Mazda6 of 2007 added that, but at the expense of the characterful, dynamic approach of its predecessor. Hence the need for a MK3 model that would be in every way memorable - to look at, to drive and to own. Like this car? Well, it'll certainly stood out in the kind of company carpark in which vehicles of this sort tend to spend most of their time. It grabbed attention on the balance sheet too, where Mazda's clever 'SYYACTIV' technology delivered running costs able to embarrass those of some potential rivals. There was sharp handling too, across a range of smartly-styled saloon and Tourer estate variants. The original version of this MK3 design was lightly updated in 2016, then more heavily improved in mid-2018. It's the 2013-2018 versions of this car we look at here.
What You Getword count: 493
Was this the best-looking Mazda6 ever? Many will think so. From the front, where the headlamps incorporate smart LEDs and neat halo ring lights, you might well guess the brand without the badges. But at the same time find yourself admiring the swooping front wings and the low, rear-leaning coupe-style cabin, with a sweeping line that slides over the C-pillar onto the short, powerful rear deck of the saloon, a body style that, rather strangely, is longer than that of the alternative Tourer estate. In fact, at nearly 5m, this was one of the biggest cars in its class in its 2013-2018 era, which makes it a little odd that the boot, which offers 483-litres, is one of the smaller trunks available in the segment from this time. Still, it has a large opening and if you've heftier loads to carry, you can push forward to rear backrest of the saloon which reveals up to a metre of load space. If the need for that kind of capacity is likely to be regular, then the Tourer estate will of course be a better bet, offering 506-litres of space with all the seats in place, or, if you operate the clever flat-deck Karakuri rear seat folding system, up to 1,648-litres on offer. The generous dimensions are easier to appreciate from a seat in the rear where as well as extra support and comfort, there's more room than can be offered by almost any rival bar the seriously supersized Skoda Superb. Even the area where many cars in this class struggle - when it comes to inserting a third rearward adult - isn't too much of an issue here, unless your journey's likely to be trans-continental. Knee room was improved in this MK3 model by slim rear seatbacks and the rear passengers could easily slip their shoes beneath the chairs in front. And there's surprisingly good headroom too, despite the arching roofline. At the front, thoughtful ergonomics position everything exactly where you'd want to find it, the gearstick perfectly placed for your palm, the seat supportive, the wheel just as you'd ideally like it. We also particularly like the especially wide field of vision that was opened up by the re-positioning of the front A-pillars 100mm further back: you really notice the difference at roundabouts and coming out of junctions. So, function over form? You could say that, but though there's nothing about this design that's aesthetically memorable, the polished aluminium touches are nice and hard plastics have been kept to a minimum. The instrument binnacle offers a pair of clear, purposeful dials lit with cool white lighting and separated by a multi-information display with key fuel, temperature and trip data. Pretty much everything else you need to know is found on the infotainment colour touchscreen, a little smaller than that provided by rivals but still large enough to dominate the centre of the dash and marshalled via a rotary command dial behind the gearstick.
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Category: Spacious Family Cars
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