Mazda’s largest car aside from their range of SUVs, the 6, has been given a going over by the Japanese automaker to give its drive more poise and its ride more refinement. This follows the development of some of the marque’s new technologies which will also be present in the facelifted Mazda3, but like most countries the 6 will be its vanguard.
You’ll be hard pressed to spot any significant exterior differentiators with this new 2017 Mazda6 - on sale now. The car had gone through a mid-life update in early 2015 and those fresh cues have remained. Not that we had much to complain about as it’s still one of the best looking cars in its segment. You do get a pair of redesigned side mirrors and a new exterior colour option: Machine Grey Metallic.
The real story behind the new 6 is the collection of refinements that Mazda have furnished it with. Thankfully, prices will remain level with the outgoing evolution of this 3rd generation, starting at $32,490 for the base Sport sedan with a 2.5-litre petrol engine and stretching to the 2.2-litre diesel Atenza wagon.
The older 6 already had Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE safety suite, but this updated version gains pedestrian recognition and is able to use its autonomous emergency city braking system to stop the car should it sense an impending accident at low speeds.
Debuting here is the new G-Vectoring Control system which can adjust engine output on-the-fly to reduce the lateral forces acting upon occupants. Coupled with the improved NVH levels that Mazda has strived for, the result is a much more composed and sure-footed ride.
Diesel models have always been a strong suit for Mazda with their SkyActiv-D range of engines. However, that urgent but effortless performance was marred somewhat by a noisy soundtrack. Mazda says that the issue has been dealt with through a new Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control technologies that decrease diesel knocking noise.
Conversely, its new High-Precision DE Boost Control helps the car deliver smoother acceleration and quicker throttle response.
Inside, the updated Mazda6 features a new steering wheel, a full colour multi-information display, a more sophisticated head-up display screen, and a new premium interior package for the range-topping Atenza which includes Nappa leather upholstery and LED cabin down-lighting.
“The Mazda6 is one of the best medium-sized passenger cars available in the market,” said Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak. “As it has continued to evolve, Mazda6 can rightly be considered as an alternative to luxury brand models, such are the standard features, safety inclusions and its on-road presence.”