New car review: Mazda6 Sport 2.5 wagon

The Mazda6 wagon is an ideal alternative to the ubiquitous SUV.

The redesigned and re-engineered Mazda6 was released around the middle of 2018 and one year on, Mazda have given it a few subtle tweaks in the pursuit of evolutionary improvement. Not that there was really very much wrong with it to start with. The 6  was one of our favourite mid-size cars and something of a class benchmark.

The updated range has been simplified with turbo-diesel models in both sedan and wagon body styles deleted from the range. That leaves buyers with the choice of either a naturally-aspirated petrol or turbo-petrol engine, both of 2.5-litre capacity and featuring Skyactiv technology.

The latest updates have meant a mild price rise - an additional $1000 on Sport, Touring and GT grades, and $1200 extra for the top shelf Atenza versions. Along with changes mentioned below, a heated steering wheel has also been added to Atenza.

The convenience of tyre pressure monitoring and a feature important to many smartphone users, mirroring technology via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, are now standard across the range. Mazda have also enhanced the audio system fitting a second antenna for extended reception and clearer FM sound eliminating ‘noise’ from interference.

The G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system has been updated to the latest GVC Plus that Mazda claims provides better stability and composure when cornering. The old model was already a fine handling vehicle, so we would need to drive it and the update back-to-back to pick any difference. Suffice to say, the Mazda6 doesn’t disappoint and remains a car that delivers highly capable steering and dynamics, blended with comfortable and controlled ride qualities.

Mazda 6 interior

The 2.5-litre petrol engine, partnered by a six-speed auto, feels responsive and provides decent urge. Buyers after quicker progress should head for the effortless turbo version with its extra 30kW of power and 68Nm of torque.

The good size cargo area (506 litres) with flat floor, a low load lip, four tie-points, a 12v power outlet, and the ability to expand load space to 1648 litres via the flat-fold split rear seat will appeal to buyers chasing practicality.

Mazda haven’t forgotten safety, with all models, including the entry-level Sport, well equipped with standard safety features and driver assist technology. This includes traffic-sign recognition, a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

For many buyers the Mazda6 wagon could be an ideal alternative to the ubiquitous SUV.

KEY STATS

  • MLP: $35,790 (not inclusive of on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 2.5-litre, petrol 4-cyl
  • ANCAP SAFETY RATING: 5 stars
  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 164

FOR:

Wagon practicality blended with fine road manners, well finished, safety features.

AGAINST:

Small price increase, no proximity entry on Sport, spacesaver spare.