Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda 6 - Final report
06 April 2009
Author: Tony Rock
The Mazda 6 drew many admiring glances in its year-long stint on the BusinessCar fleet.
It was two elements in particular, though, that contributed to the car's stunning appearance: the dazzling optional Aurora Blue paint job and the Sport trim, which included a spoiler  and 18-inch alloys.
While those outside the car's confines were being impressed by its looks, drivers were being wooed by several other factors, proving the 6 wasn't just for posing.
For example, the upper medium hatchback was an extremely smooth motorway cruiser, a quality put to the test on France's autoroutes last summer when the 6 was used to transport a family of four for a week-long vacation across the channel.
That trip also highlighted the car's exceptional load-carrying capability, as it gobbled up two adults, two kids, pushchair and baggage with ease .
France, however, also brought a problem to our attention. While the car's spoiler and cavernous nature are quite rightly considered plusses, they also contribute towards reducing rear visibility, making it difficult to judge reversing distances. And a consequence of that was a collision with a very high kerb - not visible from the driver's seat - at a service station, causing several scratches.
Reverse parking sensors would have avoided any further potential mishaps, but when we checked with Mazda they weren't available as an option on our model.
Other negatives included fiddly steering wheel/stereo controls and Bluetooth set-up (although that was a delight once operational), an interior that was already looking dated compared to newly launched rivals, and an engine that lacked refinement. The last point, though, has been resolved, because Mazda is replacing the 140PS 2.0-litre diesel with a trio of new diesels, with power outputs of 125, 163 and 186PS. We've tried the middle one, and as well as providing more power than the outgoing engine, refinement has been improved enormously.
Fuel economy over 12 months averaged 37.3mpg, with the Mazda adding between 5-10 miles per gallon on motorways compared to urban roads. France, once again, best demonstrated what the 6 could achieve, with one tank on that country's motorways returning 48.4mpg.
We'll miss the attractive exterior and competent mile-munching, as well as thoughtful extras such as the easy-fold rear seat mechanism , but just as important we'll miss the Mazda 6's steady reliability - self-inflicted damage aside, the car remained totally glitch-free for a year.
|Mazda 6 2.0D Sport 5dr|
|Mileage ||11,338 |
|Claimed combined |
|Our average |
|P11D price ||£19,824|
|Model price range ||£14,891-£22,211|
|CO2 (tax) ||147g/km (20%)|
|BIK @ 20/40% |
|Why we were |
| Mazda replaced its |
model. But is it better?
|Positive||Looks, boot space, |
|Negative||Engine noise, |