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Expert Review

Mazda 6 saloon (2018 - ) review

Read our expert review of the Mazda 6 saloon – a handsome rival for cars such the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat.

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


Available new from £26,340

The Mazda 6 brings above-average levels of style and driving appeal to the big family car class. It’s also classy and very well equipped, but running costs are on the high side and it’s starting to show its age in a couple of areas.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickHandsome styling
  • tickLots of standard equipment
  • tickGood to drive

At a glance:

Mazda 6

Running costs for a Mazda Mazda6

Ownership costs for the Mazda 6 are comparable with other big family cars, with list prices on a par with rivals such as the Volkswagen Passat. Residual values for the 6 are nothing special, however, and in that respect the Passat is likely to outperform it. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissons for diesel versions are pretty good, but on the high side for petrol models. The 6’s petrol engines don’t use the same advanced technology that Mazda’s 3 and CX-30 models do, so there’s no mild hybrid technology to maximise efficiency. And, unlike rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat, there’s no full hybrid version available.
Expert rating: 3/5
Mazda 6

Reliability of a Mazda Mazda6

Mazda has a solid reliability record, and is rated fifth out of 40 manufacturers in the Warranty Direct Reliability Index. It occupies a mid-table position in the latest JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study, although its overall score was below the industry average. Like every Mazda, the 6 has a three-year/60,000 mile warranty, which is the same cover you get with just about all of its key rivals.
Expert rating: 3/5
Mazda 6

Safety for a Mazda Mazda6

Like most Mazda models, the 6 comes with a very good standard of safety kit. All versions come with a blind spot monitoring system, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic emergency braking. A head-up display that shows driving information on the windscreen reduces the need to glance away from the road. A safety pack that includes that includes adaptive LED headlights and a rear city braking system is standard on top-spec cars and optional for the trim level below it. When tested by Euro NCAP in 2018 the 6 scored a maximum five-star rating.
Expert rating: 4/5
Mazda 6

How comfortable is the Mazda Mazda6

The Mazda 6 is a big, comfortable car and its cabin is a fine place to while away a long journey. Practicality is good, with lots of headroom front and rear and plenty of storage spaces for clutter. There’s no hatchback versatility (if you want that, Mazda will happily sell you the Tourer estate version) but the boot is large, albeit smaller than that of the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb. The interior is very classy, and it's hard to fault the quality of the materials and finish. That said, the 6 isn’t as glitzy inside as some of Mazda’s newer models and doesn't use the brand's latest tech. The infotainment system in the 6, for example, works as a touch-screen up to 5mph and is then controlled using a rotary dial on the centre console. It’s refreshingly easy to use, but the graphics feels a little dated. The 6 is a car that will eat up big mileages without a fuss. Ride comfort is generally excellent, while the cabin is quiet at speed. It’s actually quite good fun, too, with much of the same lively, responsive feel that makes Mazda’s smaller, sportier products so enjoyable to drive.
Expert rating: 4/5
Mazda 6

Features of the Mazda Mazda6

Mazda’s cars aren’t cheap but you get so much standard kit that there’s little need to delve into the (admittedly quite short) options lists. The 6 is no exception and the cheapest model gets the kind of equipment that you might expect of something higher up the range, including satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Move up a trim level and you gain extras such as electric front seat adjustment, leather upholstery, a reversing camera and even a heated steering wheel. One step up the ladder gets you additional features such as LED headlights and a Bose audio system while top-spec cars get the full ‘kitchen sink’ treatment, with ventilated front seats, an upgraded driver display, adaptive headlights and additional safety kit.
Expert rating: 4/5
Mazda 6

Power for a Mazda Mazda6

Mazda offers the 6 with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, all with sufficient power to give it decent – if not exhilarating – pace. The petrol engines are quite rare in that that they’re not turbocharged, so you have to rev them pretty hard to get the best from them. There’s not a lot to separate them for outright pace. It goes without saying that the 165-horsepower version of the 2.0 feels a bit stronger than the 145-horsepower version, although not by as much as you’d expect. Likewise, the 194-horespower 2.5 doesn’t feel like a big step up in pace, but that’s partly because it comes with an automatic gearbox as standard. For more effortless pace than the petrols, look to either of the 2.2 diesels. Whether you choose the 150- or 184-horsepower version. A sweet-shifting six-speed manual gearbox is standard for all but the 2.5 petrol, while an automatic gearbox is an option for the lower-powered 2.0 petrol and both diesels.
Expert rating: 3/5

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