2008 Mazda6 Classic Wagon Review & Road Test
It's so good looking that adult supervision is needed at all times
- 2008 Mazda Mazda6 Classic Wagon five-speed automatic - $35,490(RRP)
- None fitted.
Gorgeous styling; pricing; safety features; interior room Lack of power at times; no rear parking sensors
CarAdvice Rating: (4.25)
- by Paul Maric
When the first pictures of the new Mazda6 hit the web, motoring journalists were collectively stunned at what can only be described as a damn sexy car.
The sculpted front end, along with flowing lines really drew attention to this family trooper. With that said, the car has been a massive sales success in Australia, the previous generation sold well and the new generation is selling even better.
I adopted a Copper Red Mazda6 Classic Wagon for the week to see what all the fuss was about. Every single angle is flattering, including the rear, which is not generally the norm with stationwagons.
Mazda only sells the Mazda6 Wagon in one grade – Classic – due to the wagon only making up around 10 percent of monthly sales. This means that you can’t option up any of the fancy features inside or outside the car. It is well equipped as standard, but it would be nice to fit it out with leather and the like.
Interior build quality is very impressive. All the plastics feel rigid and well placed. The dashboard has a good feel to it and the seat trimmings are nice to look at, as well as sit on.
Rear leg room is quite good for a mid-sized wagon, so fitting kids is an easy experience. Entry into the rear is also easy, another important factor when hauling kids.
Visibility is great through the windscreen, but not so good when looking back. Parking is tricky – mainly due to the lack of rear parking sensors, a massive oversight in a family wagon. You can never be too safe when it comes to kids, parking sensors and reverse cameras are features which can’t be ignored in this sector, especially when you consider they’re not even an option on the Wagon.
The tailgate has a clever cargo blind arrangement which lifts with the tailgate, meaning that your goodies can’t be seen by would-be thieves.
What’s it like to drive then? Well it’s a mixed bag really. There are times when the engine needs to be revved out to move up hills with a full load on board, but, once things are moving it’s generally a pleasant experience.
At higher speeds, the car tends to bounce around a bit, mainly due to the comfort biased suspension setup. With that said, the steering feels good at all speeds. It is lightly weight at slow speeds, but firms up as the car picks up speed.
The five-speed automatic transmission seems to know which gear is appropriate and never needs to be pushed hard to drop down gears for hill climbs.
Under the bonnet, the Mazda6 uses a 2.5-litre, 125kW, 226Nm, four-cylidner engine. Fuel consumption, according to the ADR regulations, is a miserly 8.9-litres/100km, which I was able to match during the test. Beware of minimum 95RON petrol requirements.
When it comes to handling, this wagon will leave you pretty impressed. Turn-in is sharp and precise, it carries through a bend with confidence but will understeer if you are too heavy handed when entering the corner. Brake pedal feel is uniform and instils confidence when stretching the ‘6’s legs.
The Mazda6 range comes in Hatch, Sedan and Wagon. Pricing begins at $27,990 for the Limited Sedan and maxes out at $42,990 for the Luxury Sports Hatch. The Classic Wagon being tested retails for $35,490.
A long list of standard safety features had me impressed. These include: Electronic Stability Control; driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger side airbags; front and rear passenger curtain airbags; traction control and front active head restraints.
The stability control is a bit intrusive when taking off in the wet. Uphill stretches of road leave the front wheels scampering for traction, so it becomes a bit awkward when trying to clear out of traffic in a hurry. This is of course a disadvantage most front-wheel-drive vehicles encounter.
Although it hasn’t been officially tested by the EuroNCAP body or our local ANCAP body, the Mazda6 has achieved five-stars in American crash tests.
The new Mazda6 really amazed me. Although the engine lacked in some instances, the rest of the package well and truly made up for it. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the car and it would make the perfect addition to a busy family.
A diesel engine (which is on the way) would make this the perfect family car. The extra torque and mid-range pickup will really help the Mazda6 in a big way. It will also see even better fuel consumption figures – which can only be a good thing.
The pricing, along with horde of safety features demolish the competition in a big way. A test drive will have you sold – guaranteed.
CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go:
- Engine: 2488cc inline four-cylinder
- Power: 125kW @ 6000rpm
- Torque: 226Nm @ 4000rpm
- Induction: Naturally aspirated
- Transmission: Five-speed automatic
- Differential/Driven Wheels: Front-wheel-drive
- Brakes: ABS brakes with EBD and BA
- Top Speed: N/A
- 0-100km/h: N/A
- 0-400m: N/A
- CO2 Emissions: N/A
- Fuel Consumption: 8.9-litres/100km
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 64-litres
- Fuel Type: 95RON premium unleaded
- ANCAP Rating: N/A
- Airbags: Eight
- Safety: Dynamic stability control with traction control
- Spare Wheel: Full-size alloy
- Tow Capacity: 1500kg (braked), 550kg (unbraked)
- Turning Circle: 11.0m
- Warranty: 3-years/unlimited km
- Weight: 1507kg
- Wheels-Tyres: 17-inch alloy -215/50 R17 91W