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OUR FLEET TEST DRIVE: Mazda 6 2.2D First Report

Date: 26 November 2013   |   Author: Tristan Young

A drive of the all-new 6's rivals reveals that our new long-termer will take some beating.

Mazda is looking to make a comeback in fleet and tasked with the job is the all-new 6.

On paper it has all the attributes of a class winner thanks in no small part to the brand's Skyactive eco philosophy. Having made its debut on the CX-5, the Skyactive thinking pervades every aspect of all new Mazdas. The result is a car that's seriously efficient with CO2 from just 108g/km and an official fuel figure of 67.3mpg (or 116g/km and 64.2mpg in our Sport Nav [1] estate version). But the car isn't only efficient so that it appeals to the head, it also has user-chooser heart appeal thanks to stylish good looks [2] and an involving yet comfortable drive, something we found out on the international launch in January.

However, to make sure we hadn't overlooked any rivals, just before taking on VN62 YZA we sampled in the form of the Ford Mondeo, Toyota Avensis, Hyundai i40 and Vauxhall Insignia, all in estate guise.

Despite being near the end of its life, the Mondeo is still one of the top models in the large family car segment thanks to it offering some of the best boot space and being a superb drive due to its agility while not having to resort to stiff, uncomfortable suspension.

Of the group, the Toyota Avensis is by far the most comfortable, but it is let down by steering that not only removes almost all feedback but is also oddly variable in its power assistance.

The Hyundai i40 runs the Avensis a close second in the comfort stakes, but relies on soft suspension that doesn't reward the driver in corners. However, it does have the advantage of being surprisingly roomy for rear-seat passengers. Plus it has one of the plus points that the Mazda carries, which is a sleek, attractive design.

The Vauxhall Insignia has the least amount of rear legroom as well as the least comfortable seats, but feels well built and well equipped - even if the controls are complicated and poorly designed.

While the Ford Mondeo comes closest to the 6 in terms of being a fun yet comfortable drive with a huge boot, its age means it's just not as efficient. As a result, the Mazda has to be the pick of the bunch.

Now what we need to find out over the next 12 months is how close we can get to the official fuel figures (with early indications putting us around the mid-50s for mpg [3]) and whether the car's winning formula keep us happy in the long term.

Mazda 6 2.2D 150PS Tourer Sport Nav
Mileage 939 miles
Claimed combined consumption 64.2mpg
Our average consumption 53.4mpg
Forecast CPM 59.1p
Actual CPM 59.3p
P11D price (without options) £26,290
Price range £19,595-£27,445
Depreciation cost £17,515
Fuel cost £6215
SMR cost £2881
VED £60
National Insurance £1959
Insurance £3210
C02 (tax) 116g/km (18%)
BIK?@?20/40% per month £78/£157


  • Best all-rounder in the segment
  • Low-grade plastics