Mazda 6 (2018-present)

Stylish looks and sensible running costs make the 6 a sensible, if not spectacular, saloon car choice

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Generous levels of kit
Good looking
Frugal petrol engines

Weaknesses 

Not as good to drive as some rivals
Lacks badge appeal
Entertainment system not as swift as Germans’
2018 Mazda 6 prices from £17,990   Finance from £273 per month

Trends by their very nature tend to come and go. In the Nineties families loved saloon cars and Tamagotchis, but nowadays, it’s all crossovers and apps.

And while Tamagotchis feel old-hat today, saloon cars don't. They may be out of favour in comparison to high-riding and easy to see out of crossovers, but saloons are more comfortable and more economical in comparison. And there are still plenty of them around to choose from.

The Mazda 6 has to go up against the likes of the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo, and Skoda Superb, as well as more expensive offerings like the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, and BMW 3 Series.

Stiff competition then. Luckily, the new 6 is an evolution of the mostly pretty good, previous generation car. On the outside it’s received a new facelift, and if you’re struggling to tell the difference, you’re not the only one. Luckily we’ve seen the new one next to the old one, and there are some subtle changes. The rear lights are sharper and narrower, and up front the chrome has been moved from on top of the lights, to below the lights, making the front sharper looking too.

Inside the new 6 is a big improvement on the old one. Neat new fibres and materials make it feel like an upmarket proposition, while the ‘Sen Wood’ (a copper coloured wood) underneath the entertainment system especially feels more Swedish than Japanese, and that’s no bad thing. Up front there's more than enough elbow room, while the view out is good too. In the rear there's space for three adults to sit comfortably.

Also new is the 2.5-litre engine. It’s the most powerful offering on the 6, making 191hp and offering a 0-62 mph time of just over 9 seconds. It is faster than the 2.0-litre engine, but never feels overly so. 

The 165ps 2.0-litre engine can be optioned from Sport Nav + models, and it feels almost as effortless as the bigger engine above. The less powerful 145ps version does feel a bit more strained.

Both diesels are excellent and quiet enough when up and running, although can be a little boisterous on start up.

No matter which engine is in it, the 6 is a sporting drive. The steering is sharp, and it makes it feel more nimble than its length would suggest. We’d go as far as saying it’s better to drive than a Volkswagen Passat or Ford Mondeo, although, it’s not quite as quiet as either on the move.

The Mazda’s ride is mostly excellent, even on large 19-inch wheels. If you’re really nitpicking, the smaller wheels do make a bit of a difference to the car’s ride, as these make it jiggle a bit less while smashing into potholes in comparison with the larger wheels.

The six-speed manual gearbox is slick when changing and the gear lever itself is chunky and feels nice to grasp if you naturally place your hand there even when not changing gears. The sixth gear is mostly for cruising at low RPM on the motorway, which is better for mpg and for your eardrums. The automatic is well-worth the increase in price if you do a lot of driving. It does little to numb the car’s driving characteristics, yet, seems to know when to dawdle and when to change down a few gears.

The entertainment system does let the car down somewhat. The Sat-Nav doesn’t let you enter 7 digit postcodes manually, instead, it makes you enter the first four digits manually, then you have to scroll through the sometimes tens of other options to select the final three digits. And the entertainment system itself does feel outdated and lacklustre in comparison to offerings from Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes - the 8-inch screen is relatively small and lacks big features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (they're both only available as a dealer-fit option) as standard. 

Strong engines and a good drive make it easy to recommend, but it's not quite as accomplished as a Mercedes C-Class, which isn't that much more money when buying on finance.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot Size: 
480 litres /1,632 litres
Width: 
1,840mm
Length: 
4,870mm
Height: 
1,450mm
Tax (min to max):: 
£205-£515 in the first year, £20-£140 thereafter

Best Mazda 6 for... 

Mazda 6 SKYACTIV 2.2-litre diesel
Not much of a surprise here - the lowest powered diesel engine with the manual gearbox, is the most economical. The official combined rating is 60.1mpg
Mazda 6 2.0 165ps Sport Nav +
Families who don’t travel long distances regularly won’t reap the benefits of the diesel engines, especially as Mazda’s petrol units are so economical. We’d recommend the middle ground in terms of power (165ps). Sport Nav + gets a decent amount of kit for the price too.
Mazda 6 2.5 191ps
The 6 doesn’t have an out-and-out performance car within its range, however, the quickest version is fast enough for most. With the 2.5-litre engine up front, the 6 will climb to 62mph from a standstill in 8.1 seconds.

Mazda 6 History 

2017: Mazda announces new Mazda will go on sale in 2018
20th July 2018: New Mazda 6 goes on sale in UK

Understanding Mazda 6 car names 

  • 6
  • Engine
    2.0 SKYACTIV
  • Trim
    GT Sport Nav +
  • Gearbox
    Manual
  • Engine
    There are five engines to choose from, two diesels and three petrols. SKYACTIV is a nameplate Mazda attaches to its latest engines. It means it has the latest tech that makes the car more efficient.
  • Trim
    Mazda is offering four trim levels at the moment – SE-L Nav +, SE-L Lux Nav +, Sport Nav +, and GT Sport Nav +.
  • Gearbox
    There are two gearbox options, a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

Mazda 6 Engines 

2.0-litre petrol (150ps), 2.0-litre petrol (184ps), 2.5-litre petrol (194ps), 2.2-litre diesel (150ps), 2.2-litre diesel (184ps)

There are five different engines on offer, although technically, there are actually only three. To simplify things, there’s a 2.0-litre petrol with two different power outputs, a 2.2-litre diesel with two different outputs, and a 2.5-litre petrol with only one power output.

When specified with the manual gearbox, the lowest powered 2.2-litre diesel engine is the most frugal and the cheapest to tax. It never feels altogether underpowered, and is remarkably quiet once moving. Sure, when it fires up it emits a low and muted chatter, but it disappears quickly enough.

The 184ps diesel behaves mostly the same as the 150ps one above, and is just as refined, except that it is a bit quicker, something you can really feel from low down and when accelerating while already at motorway speeds.

The petrol engines are smooth and quiet too, although the slowest (150ps) is not quick. It’s probably just enough for most, but if you want petrol, it’s definitely worth upgrading to the 184ps petrol car. This feels notably less sluggish, but is still quiet and economical.

As far as the 6 goes, the most sporting among its engine range is the 2.5-litre petrol. It makes 191hp and offers a 0-62 mph time of just over 9 seconds. By no means blistering, but not a slouch either. But, (and it’s a big but) it doesn’t actually feel that much faster than the most powerful 2.0-litre engine.

The 2.5-litre engine can only be bought with an automatic gearbox too, which may blunt the fun for keen drivers. New 2.5-litre engined cars are relatively expensive (£30,795) because this engine can only be ordered in top spec GT Sport Nav+ spec. The 165ps 2.0-litre engine can be optioned on Sport Nav + models - these start from £25,995 from new. If you’re less bothered by gadgets this could be the one to go for as this engine is still strong enough for most tasks, although the less powerful 145ps version does feel a bit more strained.

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre petrol engine (150ps)

petrol

45.6mpg

148hp

9.9s

129mph

SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre petrol engine (165ps)

petrol

44.1mpg

163hp

9.4s

134mph

SKYACTIV-G 2.5-litre petrol engine

petrol

42.2mpg

191hp

8.1.s

138mph

SKYACTIV-D 2.2-litre diesel

(150ps)

diesel

64.2mpg

148hp

10s

131mph

SKYACTIV-D 2.2-litre diesel

(184ps)

diesel

60.mpg

181hp

9.0s

141mph

Mazda 6 Trims 

SE-L Nav +, SE-L Lux Nav +, Sport Nav +, and GT Sport Nav +

Mazda offers four levels of trim on its 6 model. New for the 6 is the addition of a + next to the trim levels, this indicates that these cars have been modified to conform to new, stricter, WLTP emission testing.

Base model SE-L models are reasonably well equipped, and get daytime running lights, traffic sign recognition, head up display, sat-nav, and bluetooth.

Stepping up to SE-L LUX Nav+ gets you a reversing camera and a heated steering wheel, while Sport Nav + gets adaptive front lighting, LED daytime running lights, a front windscreen wiper that acts as a de-icer, and a paddle shift for the automatic gearbox.

The range-topper is called the GT Sport Nav+ interior package. This comes with ‘Sen Wood’ underneath the entertainment system, which really brings an air of quality missing on the previous generation car. ‘Light stone’ (white) Nappa leather is a £200 option that looks the part.

There’s also a Safety Pack, which is an £800 option on Sport Nav+ and standard on GT Sport Nav+. This adds a 360 degree camera, Adaptive LED headlights, Rear Smart City Brake Support and Driver Attention Alert.

Mazda 6 Reliability and warranty 

This new Mazda 6 is too new to have been considered for the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power survey.

However, the old 6 did rank 35th out of 75 for the 2018 survey. While newer Mazdas did do a bit better - the MX-5 for instance ranked 13th.

The three-year/60,000 miles warranty is standard Mazda affair, and is the same as Ford’s, but looks a bit stingy in comparison to Kia (seven years warranty) and Hyundai (five years warranty).

And while the 6 makes a lot of sense for business users, BMW and Mercedes offers an unlimited mileage warranty with their new cars.

Used Mazda 6 

The new 6 has been on sale since July, so the first few are beginning to appear on the used market.

There are currently 16 Mazda 6s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £17,990 to £23,500 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £273 per month.

Mazda 6: latest used car prices

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance
Mazda 6 2.5 191ps

N/A

N/A

N/A

Best for families
Mazda 6 2.0 165ps Sport Nav +

£18,995

N/A

N/A

Best for economy
Mazda 6  SKYACTIV 2.2-litre diesel

£16,500

N/A

N/A

Other Editions