Mazda 6 - Land of the Rising Sun

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Mazda has muscled into the premium mid-size segment, declaring its challenger as ready to take on the worlds best. But does it have what it takes to see them eye to eye?

 

Stuttgart. Munich. Ingolstadt. These cities could hold the world record for the greatest population of people with short fingernails: there is a lot of nail-biting happening at BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.


Theres a good reason German cars sell extremely well: they’re stylish, refined, and well-built. Would-be competitors have come and gone over the years. However, a Japanese company has just thrown down the gauntlet. A new mid-sized car is putting the Germans on notice.


Mazda has always had a good product in the Mazda6, but the third generation has lifted its game considerably. Enter its cabin, and you’d swear you’d stepped into something European. With soft-touch dash plastics, a classy centre stack, and clear instrumentation, the Mazda6s interior is not just up there with the best in segment, but with cars costing twice as much.


The seats are covered in beautifully soft leather, and have enough padding to accommodate all shapes and sizes, while the rear seats benefit from heaps of legroom. Add a massive boot and it has practicality sorted.


Theres an ultra-smooth, 2.5-litre four-cylinder, which gets the Mazda6 to 100kph in just over eight seconds, which is not bad considering its not turbocharged. Fuel use is around 20% better than the previous model, too.


The steering is direct and well-weighted, and the suspension offers a great blend of handling and comfort. Dynamically, its very good.


Since its inception, the Mazda6 has come a long way. The new model puts Mazda on the map properly. Its handsome, drives well, and is efficient. The fact that its cheaper than the German mid-sizers proves that those who overlook it are swayed by a badge. And thatll be their loss.



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