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Last 7 Days

by Daniel DeGasperi

Larger, tech-packed and ultra-fuel efficient, the all-new third-generation Mazda6 is also more expensive, topping $50,000 for the first time since the 6 MPS departed.

In its latest incarnation, the Mazda6 presents with two very different variants – the long-wheelbase sedan, designed to chase Camry and Accord buyers, and the short-wheelbase wagon, a more compact Euro-midsized contender.

Gone is the hatchback derivative and manual transmission availability, the sole gearbox now being a six-speed auto. Two engines hook-up to the same auto, an all-new 2.5-litre SKYACTIV-G direct injected four-cylinder producing 138kW and 250Nm, and the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D turbo-diesel as seen in the CX-5, developing 129kW and 420Nm.

Four spec grades are available in Australia, all of which are available as a sedan, or for a $1300 premium, the wagon. The petrol-only Sport costs $33,460 and scores 17inch alloy wheels, fog lights, push-button start, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, auto on/off headlights, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sat-nav, and a reverse camera.

The mid-range Touring adds $4040 to that price, starting at $37,500 sedan/$38,800 wagon, but it also adds leather trim, 8-way driver/4-way passenger electric-adjust front seats, 231-watt 11-speaker Bose audio and front/rear parking sensors. The Touring is the first grade in which the diesel engine is available, at a $2850 premium over either sedan or wagon.

Third-tier GT pushes pricing up by a further $5720, at $43,220 sedan petrol/$44,520 wagon petrol, and $46,070 sedan diesel/$47,370 wagon diesel . The equipment list extends to 19-inch alloys, sunroof, LED daytime lights, bi-xenon headlights, auto-dim rear view mirror and heated seats.

The flagship Atenza is essentially a GT with Mazda’s latest active safety hardware, adding another $3590 to the list price, at $46,810 sedan/$48,110 wagon, and $49,660 sedan diesel/$50,960 wagon diesel. With radar cruise control, blind-spot monitor, forward obstruction warning, auto high beam, lane departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert, and auto brake assist, it showcases as the most technologically advanced Mazda ever. But it also makes it the first Mazda6 to push beyond $50K.

Class-benchmark claimed economy of 6.6L/100km for the petrol, and 5.4L/100km for the diesel, are thanks partly to Mazda’s SKYACTIV fuel-saving technology including stop-start and brake energy regeneration that uses a capacitor to store energy and power the electrics.

The sedan now measures at 4865mm, a full 65mm longer than the wagon, while the sedan’s 2830mm wheelbase stretches a full 80mm further than the wagon, which gets shorter doors and less legroom. However the big-backed variant counters with its 1480mm height, towering 30mm abover the sedan.

Considering the size increases, weight gains are minimal. The entry Mazda6 Sport sedan weighs 1462kg, or 29kg more than the outgoing base model. However the top spec diesel wagon, at 1593kg, weighs 4kg less than the old diesel hatchback flagship.

With two drivetrains, in two different variants each with their own suspension tune, and the availability of 17- and 19-inch wheels, making sense of the new Mazda6 range isn’t straightforward.

But we’ve been exploring each of the all-new variants on roads around Adelaide today, so stay tuned for the full review…

  • Daniel

    I’m not trying to pedantic, I’m no Mazda basher, but I feel like it’s sort of dated looking already. It reminds me of the sleeker sedans Mazda was making in the late nineties. And by the time you get a decent spec you could probably also be considering a base A4 or a Lexus IS. I think they need to come down to earth with their pricing, they’re just a Japanese family brand. 

    • GVg

      It will crack into the top 3 of the segment easily 

    • F1orce

      Styling is subjective..

      Most things looking dated ‘quickly’ are the norm. Timeless designs are the exception, only a select few of things stand the test of time.

      Most segments of the mainstream brands are dominated by the base models of each respective brand. 

    • Popper

      Eh? In fact, they “just” make quality cars. They needn’t be ashamed at all. My 6 drives and handles and steers as well as and even better than some audis and bmws.

      • Mazdaman

        and doesn’t break down and doesn’t have rip off service prices. I LOVE mine

        • Homer

          6 month/10,000km service cycle is a rip off Mazdaman. When competitors are running 15,000 – 25,000 km and 12 months you can see that Mazda is the same if not a lot more to service than others.

      • Zaccy16

        exactly popper mine does too and still going well with 213,000 k’s on the clock with not a single problem

    • Sydlocal

       Then when you option up the Audi A4 or a 3 Series BMW with the same kit as this you will have to pick yourself up off the floor after passing out! Got to love the size/cost of the European “prestige” car options list!

  • Sydlocal

    Oh no, they have finally caved in and fitted it with a space saver spare….

    • Amlohac

      Its a temp tyre, its still capable of highway speeds apparently. Its just on a steel rim.

      • Sydlocal

         Well that sounds a little better. So it is like the spare in the CX5 then?

        • Amlohac

          Same principle yep. Its like the medium ground between a retarted skinny space saver and a full size alloy/steel wheel.

          Mind you, after looking in the boot of this new thing it does seem smaller, in depth anyway. Its super long and wide however. The depth thing wont be an issue with the wagon i’d imagine as you have the removable parcel shelf, yet to sight a sedan boot though, will be interesting.

          • Sydlocal

             Unfortunately they have gotten rid of the scissor hinges and fitted it with goose necks. At least they retract into a faird area so you can still shut the boot ok when full, however it does eat into boot space still.

  • The Real Wile E

    Based upon the numbers the engines are not very special nor is the styling/design.
    The prices are creeping up.
    Not really a compelling case .
    Many will look for a close equivalent but better value.

    • Sydlocal

       That is the thing, peak numbers on paper are only a guide and not really a true indication of how a car performs in the real world. The just superceeded Mazda6 is proof of that. Way down on power compared to something like an Accord Euro, but lighter weight and peak torque at lower rpm mean that in the real world it performs just as well if not better. After all, real world driving is not full of 0-100km/h sprints. The 6 was definitely more responsive on and off the throttle in the mid range when I test drove both of them back to back a couple of weeks ago with my brother-in-law. You didn’t have to spank the Mazda anywhere near as hard as the Euro to get the “hurry up” through traffic etc. Paper says the Euro should slaughter the old Mazda6, in practice in the real world that is not the case…

      Having said that the Euro was a much nicer car on the inside and was quieter and a lot more comfortable, however it just lacked the low/mid-range urge/response of the less powerful Mazda.

      • Mazdaman

        EXACTLY! I drove them back to back on the same roads and bought the Mazda.
        The Euro was very comfortable but no fun. I found the lack of low down torque on the euro almost made it feel gutless

    • Popper

      What then do you suggest as an alternative?

    • Zaccy16

      its seems good value to me, the base model has push button start, sat nav, auto head lamps and wipers, bluetooth and ipod integration 

      • The Hound

        Push button start is a gimmick when the proximity entry isn’t included in the lower models. I have always thought this wierd. When your hands are full approaching your car mazda expect you to fumble around for your keys to open the door but when you are in the car then WOW you can put the key back in your pocket and hit a button!

  • Altezza

    Accord Euro still represent better value for money than the new Mazda 6.
    Atenza is JDM name for Mazda 6.

    • Sydlocal

       Yes it does, however the Euro is now quite a bit smaller on the inside than this new 6. I still like the Euro though and is still the one to buy for sheer quality.

      • Able

        Oh you’ve sat in the new 6?

        • Sydlocal

           It is just pure logic Able. The “old” Mazda6 has more room inside, especially in the back seat, than the Accord Euro and the new Mazda6 is considerably larger and in sedan form is almost as big as a Commodore. I think I can safely say that statement would still stand…

  • Clem

    Not cheap. Recession is just around the corner. I think you know what to do. Forget about Christmas.

  • $29896495

    Maybe in the US it will do great, but it’s size could well hurt it everywhere else. As has happened with the other large cars in our market. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see but, it looks like the old hatch but stretched, and with out the versatility. If the Euro’s is shorter why aren’t we getting that? What’s up with the over hang for that boot? It looks longer than a Falcon or Commodore.

    • MisterZed

      Euro version is not shorter – it’s exactly the same version around the world now.

      • $29896495

        Then how come the Euro wagon is so much shorter? 

        • MisterZed

          Um, because it’s aimed at Europe. The sedan is aimed at different markets like Russia, China, USA etc. but is also sold in Europe.

    • Golfmother

      I see this pushing into passat territory , looks upmarket , eco engines .

      Ideal for those jumping out of large 6 cyl , still wanting reasonable room and economy .

      Certainly got the looks , and mazda have a great reputation in this country , i think it will surprise with strong sales , pity there is no hatch .

      • MacMok

        This looks like it will easily be in Passat/Insignia/Accord Euro territory – I see this potentially pushing into lower-A4 territory.

      • Zaccy16

        exactly golfmother, looks like i have the perfect replacement for my 2005 mazda 6 wagon

  • Galaxy

    Fuel figures are VERY misleading nowadays.  In this case, they can advertise 6.6;/100 etc because of Start/Stop but in reality most people will switch this off after a while. Additionally, the combined fuel cycle is urban and country driving calculation.  With 6 speed autos they can get excellent country economy but not much change in the city, so if you’re not in the country very often you won’t see anything near those figures. My i30 economy is officially 6.9l/100, with a 6sp auto. Country drives are amazing fuel economy. In the city though, I’ve never got below 9.0l/100 (although still only 5000kms) and I have a very light foot pottering to and from the office everyday.

    • Sydlocal

       Don’t forget though Galaxy that unlike most other autos the torque converter in this is locked for 95% of the time in every gear, not just 6th. That means “around town” the fuel economy penalty will be less than with a conventional auto. So 95% of the time it is not a lot different to a manual/DSG.

      I agree about the stop-start thing. That would drive me crazy in no time!

    • Golfschwein

      Many people complain they don’t achieve their car’s official COMBINED figure in their day to day running. You won’t. But, remembering it’s a combined figure, it should be within your grasp over an extended period of driving that will, of course, include some country running.

      My old Golf diesel had a factory combined figure of 5.5l/100 km and my current Falcon has a factory combined figure of 11.5l/100 km. I achieved 5.2l/100km in the Golf and 11.2l/100km in the Falcon. Leave your trip computer to carry on without a reset and you will see what I mean. And yes, trip computers aren’t the most accurate things around (some less than others), but even with 5% or more optimism built in, you can see I more or less achieve the official figures for my cars.

      • Dave W

        You’re correct there.

        Have a look at the fuel consumption sticker on a new car, they usually show the COMBINED, Urban and Extra Urban (AKA Freeway). If you drive more on city road with stop/start traffic lights, expect your fuel consumption to be closer to Urban, which is worse than the Combined figure.

        If you do mostly freeway driving, then you can expect your fuel consumption to be better than the Combined figure.

        • Birty_B

          Keep in mind though roughly 2/3 of the ADR test is Urban driving and the other 1/3 Extra Urban which isn’t exactly highway driving. The average speed of the extra urban test is just over 60km/h but peaks at 120km/h if memory serves.

    • Birty_B

      Stop start does make a big difference to the testing that is done. During Urban Test the car spends around 30% of the time at idle so stop start can change the figures a fair bit. Keep in mind though it is only a comparison figure to compare models doing the same driving more than anything. 

  • Jax

    GT ?
    Haha….great misnomer there Mazda, that’ll fool a few people.

    • Dave W

      It’s Car Advice that calls it “essentially a GT”.

      GT also means “Grand Tourer” which is a designation for cars designed for long distance driving. They’re usually equipped with lots of features to make the long drive comfortable and safe.

      Granted it’s not a powerful car, but then again, it’ll probably cost you double or more for a similarly equipped albeit more powerful Benz, BMW or Audi.

      • Golfmother

        Well said .

      • Jax

        Yeah I guess you’re right Dave…even though most GT cars throw in a healthy dose of power for good measure.
        My apologies to Mazda…hope I didn’t hurt their feelings.

        • Zaccy16

          7.8 seconds to 100 isn’t slow but not supercar fast either but fast enough for the real world

        • Dave W

          Wow, check that out. He still managed to be snide even when he’s wrong. lol

          • Jax

            Hey ?

          • Jax

            I said “I guess you’re right Dave”- I was being polite because I didn’t wanna argue about nothing.
            So why push your luck by insulting me ?
            According to Wiki & other sources I’m not wrong at all.
            Historically the term GT denotes a luxurious and POWERFUL car that can effortlessly travel long distance.
            This current Mazda 6 GT doesn’t fit that description.
            I repeat, it’s a misnomer.

  • goodtry

    I do not mind the design but the new Mazda face is the weak link.

  • Vins

    If they stay true to their concept, it would be much more exciting

  • Bc

    I would rather a skoda Octavia rs wagon.

    • Efgerger

      bet your guide would prefer the Mazda

      • Bc

        My guide?

        • John

          I suspect it was a lame attempt to suggest you’re blind.
          Efgerger, everything is subjective, personally I think some of those new Skodas are very good looking.

          • Brayden Cresswell

            Oh is that what he meant I don’t bother with trolls on this site I think the Mazda is very bland looking and If i were to get one it would be the wagon and It just dose not look right to me but as always it may look better in the flesh.

    • Able

      I agree because you can get a manual Octavia (however rare they may be). A lack of a manual new 6 is a huge issue for me. They finally got in the top-spec wagon variants (something I’ve wished for since the original 6 came out) and yet no manual. Bit of a fail there Mazda – I know the target audience drive autos but if I could special order a GT diesel wagon with a manual I definitely would.

      • Brayden Cresswell

        I just think the Octavia RS would be a better day to day car then this boring mazda and that’s what counts to me everyday driving it has to bring a smile to my face or no deal.

        • Sydlocal

           So when did you get to drive one to make the decision that they are boring?

          • Bc

            I haven’t and I didn’t say I have drove one yet I just said the car is boring a big Mazda wagon wont be a exciting car to drive in my books I will take one for a test drive and I hope it proves me wrong but I can’t see it being as fun to drive as the RS.

          • Sydlocal

             Well how do you know the Octavia is a better day to day car just by looking at them? You would hope an RS would be more fun to drive considering its specification!

          • Able

            To be honest I can’t either. I owned an Octavia RS for 3 years before my Yeti and I absolutely loved it. It was a very fun day to day car. The new 6 is softer to appeal to the US so I can’t see it being as fun either. 

          • Bc


            Because I have driven both the auto and manual version of the rs and it’s s great drive I can’t see this mazda being that enjoyable but thats my personal opinion.

      • DanielD

        You have to wonder why Mazda don’t at least make the manual a special order option. Mazda Japan are making manuals, so it cant be that difficult!

        • Sid

          Totally agree. Worth a crack. Dealer will be reluctant to chase up by why dont they offer the manual and a ordered basis. You might have to wait 2 months but if you love and manual you want a manual.

      • Sid

        I totally agree, Manual, Manual, Manual. Mazda have a good gear box for the manual and it would knock off a couple of thousand of the retail price.

  • Mohammed Smith

    I’ll take an Evo X over this !!!
    Turbo, AWD, power, presence & passion …. can’t say any of these things for the mazda 6.
    ‘Real drivers’ will cross-shop the Evo at $50K+ prices ….. hair-dressers will go wow: ‘sky-activ’ …ppft

    • Dave W

      Call me crazy but I think that’s because the Mazda 6 wasn’t designed for “power, presence & passion”. It’s a family sedan for Pete’s sake. It’s designed for space and comfort.

      You want power? Wait for the new RX-7, though if Mazda’s targeting Porsche again like they did with the FD, the price tag will probably be closer to $100k.

    • Steve

      You can hardly compare a rough, rally-bred sportscar to a family sedan with nice trim, features and decent fuel economy. Some people on this site really make me wonder…

      • Pole

        Agreed, they’re both great cars in their own respects, but neither one is aimed at the other.

    • JamesB

      Are you on drugs? Evos are pushing 60K for the base model, and you only get a cheap interior and the steering wheel can’t even get closer to you.

    • Amlohac

      Different market. Different buyers. Coment useless.

    • Bob222

      Sure. And why not cross shop a Yamaha R1 with a Corolla? They’re about as similar. I mean they cost about the same… right?

  • Zaccy16

    Looks great, will have to test drive one, pls mazda bring out a mps version!

    • Lolwut

      You cant afford a 60-65K MPS version Zaccy.
      Might have to wait 3-4 years for second hand one for 40K.

  • Chest Rockjaw

    Makes the i40 look like good value. The sedan is boring to me, the wagon is nicer… A real shame the hatch is gone. Still, this car will sell well.

    • Sydlocal

       ….and the i40 is considerably smaller. However I could see the two wagons shopped against each other.

    • Able

      I’m sorry but no it doesn’t. The 6 comes with a lot more equipment, looks pretty good and trounces the i40 where it falls down most – driving. The engines are a lot more responsive, yet use equal or less fuel. Funny huh?

  • Robb08766

    i much to pay for a jap mazda, i own an 08 model, would not hand over 45k for a mid spec, mazda 6.

    • Popper

      I will happily buy the Sport model. That’s my suggestion. It’s got everything I want.

      • Matt

        Agreed, it has a more than decent amount of equipment for a base model.

    • Sydlocal

       A mid spec that has more kit (other than HIDs and sunroof) than the old mid $45k top of the line Luxury.

  • klowik

    I think the facelifted version after 3 years will look better.

  • Noely

    Ok Ok…then I just keep on waiting for the new 3! I think we loved Mazda way too much and they’re trying to ask for more and more, just because people here loved them more than any other countries in the world?

  • JamesB

    The base model has really great value but the top-tier one has like a Yaris worth of options. I am now worried that the MPS, if ever it goes ahead, would have a very high price.

    • Amlohac

      You never know. The MPS might do away with all the saftey aids the Atenza has, which would possibly make it cheaper or around the same money.

      IF it ever happens. Which i’m not holding my breath for.

      • JamesB

        I know that it would be disappointing not to see a go-fast version of this great-looking car. They just have to make it.

  • Antmindel

    Looked at the base model yesterday,and its a beautiful car,but for almost the same price as an Accord Euro luxury on special,I think the Euro offers better value for money

    • Sydlocal

       I agree, but it is difficult to compare prices with an all new car and one that is pretty much in ‘run-out’. It will be interesting to see how Honda prices the new one, if they do bring out another Euro that is.

  • Shak

    I’ve seen a few on the rod in the last week, and they just dont look right in the metal. I’ll admit in pictures the wagon looks much nicer, but the sedan seems to have a very odd presence on the road.

  • Amlohac

    Lucky enough to drive a GT. Its amazingly comfortable. It certainly is an improvement on the previous model. The 2.5 petrol was a surprise, very smooth, fairly decent get up and go.

    I’d have to say the most impressive thing was the interior. Felt very well built and finished. Hopefully the size doesnt put a people off. Given the fuel figures I think mazda will sell more than a few.

    • Sydlocal

       I have heard from more than one source that the petrol is a bit of surprise packet and makes the decision between the petrol and the diesel less clear cut, as opposed to the CX5! Especially considering the fuel economy is not hugely different and when you take into consideration the difference in cost between the fuels the “economy savings” are even less.

      • Sydlocal

         Plus you wouldn’t have to worry about oil dilution problems due to the DPF if you are a “city only” driver!!!! 😉

      • Amlohac

        Soon to be in the CX5 that 2.5L engine. Thank GOD.

        • Sydlocal

           They should have had that engine choice in the first place and kept the 2L for the FWD base model.

  • homer

    Ugly, overdesigned, too many creases, curves. For the price they charge the customers, boycott their products (this one and MX-5 prove they rip us off) & make their sales suffer

    • Sydlocal

       Fair call, but they aren’t ripping us off anywhere near as much as BMW/Audi/M-B etc and whilst expensive they do have quite a bit of kit included as standard. If only the Touring had the Bi-Xenon headlights of the GT!

    • Homer

      As you have hijacked my name I’ll use another in future so I won’t be mistaken for making stupid comments like you. “Boycott their products” “make their sales suffer” yeah mate you do that, I’m sure Mazda are terrified and will change their strategic plan in the next couple of hours.

  • Tonyn

    fords new mondeo is a far better looking car than this…… come on ford and fast track it out here!!!

    • Dave W

      If you’re talking about the Ford Fusion in America then yeah, it’s a good looking car and if Ford can price it competitively, it’ll be a tough competitor for the 6.

  • Turbodewd1

    Does it have a digital speedo?

    • Amlohac


    • An Wood

      All models have TomTom satnav, it gives you a digital speed readout.

  • Jack

    Saw the brand new silver wagon at Tom Kerr in Ryde this morning. It looks great in the flesh and looks much more up-market than any of the other mid size cars on the market. This will be another winner for Mazda!  

    • TG

      Highly doubt this will be another winner for Mazda. Its sales will be lackluster as the outgoing model…

      • Jack

        Granted the old 6 was not a sales winner, but given that Mazda was number one in three segments in October – light cars, small cars and medium SUV’s – they are doing something right. Stopped to have a look at the 6 at Tom Kerr and it I was very impressed. Have a look for yourself when you have a chance, brilliant car.

        • $29896495

          Brilliant as it may be, it is now a genuine full size car. You know the sort of cars people are shying away from. Just because the Focus3 is doing well, doesn’t mean it’s going to continue with a big expensive car.  If that were the case, Falcon and Commodore and US Accord would be flying out the door. Jack, you are obviously selling for Tom K, good luck with it.

      • Sydlocal

        Lackluster sales of the outgoing model? Sure it doesn’t set the sales charts on fire, but it is often the 2nd or 3rd best seller in the medium car class and has been 2nd numerous months this year and not just last month when it was in run-out. There is no way it would be able to beat the fleet darling/pensioner favorite Camry, no medium sized car has a chance.

    • Able

      DAMNIT! I drove past this afternoon and it must have been going for a drive as there wasn’t a new 6 there.

  • O123

    Saw my first on saturday. Looks great though I prefer the wagon though

  • Christine Capner

    Drove the diesel tourer, wagon the other day… can’t say I loved it. Quick, but steering felt too light. Ford Mondeo diesel felt a better drive, and about 10k cheaper in hatchback for Zetec version. Dash better than Ford, but still not feeling the love :(

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Looks nice. Mazda seem to be the only Japanese brand at the moment who are designing cars people desire. Having good looks while using less fuel and remaining sporty all at a reasonable price is no easy feat.

    • Zaccy16

      exactly luke, mazda are the only brand who haven’t gone down the useless CVT path which shows they want the car to be good to drive

  • MisterZed

    No panoramic moonroof like the i45 and Optima have?? Disappointed…

  • Rick

    50k for that, you’ve got to be joking

    • Popper

      Yeah. I wouldn’t pay 50k for an Audi or BMW either, with their really poor engineering (Audi can’t get steering right, what a joke, and BMW are rubbish at getting the ride/handling balance right, with them it’s hit or miss, usually miss, what a joke) …

      Yeah, right. What a joke.

      It’s a funny thing, but anyone who knows anything about cars knows better.

      Sport wagon for me.

  • Jonfvanleuven

    Well, what ever styling theme you call it its ugly. It’s styling in too complex, over the top, typical Japanese and why can’t I have a manual if I want. I enjoy driving and will never accept manufactures and government inflicting driver aid on me.

    • Fred

      Funny how every other journalist and person who has seen the new Mazda 6 calls it beautiful, exquisite…another DUMB reply from a ‘comment poster’.

  • Fred

    Just love all the know all comments here about the new Mazda 6, none of you have driven or even sat in one, but are judging against other brands…LAME and Stupid.

    • F1orce

      Yeah most people who comment here still riding around in their little bicycles..

      • Fxcvbc

         Or a really old Camry.

        • Phil

          Thanks for telling us what you drive, Fxcvbc.

  • cmulley

    No hatch + no manual = no deal. Factorise out the “no” and you get hatch + manual = deal.

  • Xdrive

    If this looks close to the concept car, then they can command such high price.