Mazda6 has been lauded for its good looks and its wagon models (Classic and Touring) show that Mazda6 style isn’t the sole preserve of sedan and hatchback models.
In fact while many traditional wagon buyers (mostly families) are looking to compact SUVs, the Mazda6 wagon reminds us that the traditional station wagon has a lot to offer and needn’t be the ugly relative in the family photo.
2010 Mazda6 Overview
Car Showroom has just spent a week in the range-topping Mazda6 Touring wagon – an interesting time as our garage simultaneously housed the Mazda6 and some of the latest compact SUVs.
Priced at $38,120, the Mazda6 Touring delivers plenty of standard kit and luxury (like nice leather seats) for the dollars. In fact, the Mazda6 Touring stands alongside the Ford Mondeo wagon and Renault’s Laguna wagon as being great buys for families who need more space than sedans and hatchbacks.
So while the latest compact SUVs are increasingly targeted at family buyers rather than boulder-hopping adventurers, you should consider the merits of vehicles like the Mazda6 wagon.
2010 Mazda6 Engine
Mazda offers the Mazda6 wagon with its 2.2-litre diesel engine in the Mazda6 Classic model grade for $36,250 however both the entry-level Mazda6 Classic wagon – priced at $35,050 - and the Mazda6 Touring version (as tested) are powered by the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.
Mazda6 delivers maximum power of 125kW at 6,000rpm while the latest 2010 model gains 10 per cent more torque – 226Nm at 4,000rpm. Ford’s Mondeo wagon delivers 118kW/208Nm from its 2.3-litre engine while Renault’s Laguna is good for 125kW/270Nm from its 2.0-litre powerplant.
Mazda concentrated on refinement with its latest rework of the MZR 2.5-litre engine for the Mazda6, reducing NVH via lighter connecting rods and pistons and a flexible joint between the crankshaft and flywheel.
Mazda6 drives the front wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual mode.
Mazda6 wagon returns fuel consumption (combined cycle) of 8.9l/100kms and C02 emissions are measured at 211g/km.
2010 Mazda6 Interior
Mazda has ramped-up the luxury in the latest Mazda6 and its interior is definitely one of the best in the wagon field. The Mazda6 Touring model as tested gains nice leather seats which combine with the chrome and piano black interior trim to offer a sumptuous feel that is beyond its $38,120 sticker.
As part of the 2010 improvements, Mazda also improved the instruments and simplified the steering wheel switches in the Mazda6.
Mazda6 Touring provides power adjustment for the front seats (eight-way for the driver, four-way for the passenger). The seats are nicely sculptured and supportive, combining with rake/reach adjustment for the leather-wrapped steering wheel to provide an optimal driving position.
Mazda6 Touring scores Mazda’s six-speaker, six-in-dash CD audio system with MP3 and Bluetooth connections and remote controls on the steering wheel. Dual-zone climate control air-conditioning is standard.
Second row passengers in the Mazda6 Touring also score nicely shaped seats and the legroom is excellent. A latch in the luggage area conveniently releases the 60/40-split rear seat for easy folding (no need to open the rear doors or remove the head restraints).
Cargo volume is handy – 1,702 litres with the rear seat folded or 510 litres with the seat in place. Mazda6 provides a load area floor length of 1,926mm and the loading lip is low for easy access. Mazda6 wagon features Mazda’s ‘Karakuri’ tonneau cover which keeps cargo covered and automatically opens with the tailgate.
2010 Mazda6 Exterior & Styling
By any comparison, Mazda6 is one of the best-looking mid-sizers going around and the wagon model shouldn’t be overlooked. Mazda’s designers have got the Mazda6 proportions just right and successfully blended the contemporary curves of the sedan/hatchback into a stylish wagon.
The latest upgrades, which incorporate Mazda’s ‘family face’ in the design of the grille, have given the Mazda6 a stronger look while maintaining the form provided by its curved front three quarter and bold wheel arch flares. Mazda also incorporated round front fog lights in new design housings for the Mazda6.
At the rear, the lights have red lenses (clear ones for the sedan and hatch) – Mazda felt these better suited the long flowing lines of the Mazda6 wagon.
Our Mazda6 Touring test car ran 17-inch alloy wheels.
Clearly the Mazda6 – like the Ford Mondeo and Renault Laguna – show wagons are no longer the dowdy members of the family.
2010 Mazda6 On The Road
We submitted the Mazda6 Touring to our usual test regime of city and country driving and by any measure this is a superb family wagon. Mazda6 runs double wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension and the combination provides the typically Mazda sporty driving dynamics – so dads will enjoy family road trips just that bit more.
Like Subaru, Mazda calibrates its suspension set-ups a little firmer than other Japanese brands and this was appreciated when we tackled our high-speed mountain roads loop in the Mazda6 Touring. Refinement levels were high although tyre noise did intrude somewhat over secondary ‘coarse chip’ roads.
We were reminded again about the nice responsiveness of Mazda’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder which delivers handy performance in an unfussed and quiet way. In fact most aspects of the Mazda6 Touring were hard to fault.
Mazda 6 wagon shares the same 2,725mm wheelbase as the sedan and hatchback models and its overall length of 4,765mm is only 30mm longer (a clever design touch) which meant parking the Mazda6 Touring in our tight CBD car park was a breeze.
2010 Mazda6 Challenges
Some of our drivers commented about the firm ride of the Mazda6 Touring – particularly when driven back-to-back with the compact SUVs we were testing at the same time.
2010 Mazda6 Verdict
Most of us at Car Showroom have young families - we like our wagons so we scored the Mazda6 Touring highly. It’s competent, well appointed, nicely packaged and handily priced – a wagon for the current generation.
2010 Mazda6 Competition
Ford’s excellent German-sourced Mondeo wagon shapes as the most direct rival for the Mazda6. The Ford starts at $31,790 for the LX model while the Zetec is stickered at $36,990.
Renault’s Laguna wagon delivers French style and is priced at $41,990.
2010 Mazda6 Lilkes:
Great looks; extensive standard features; handy price
2010 Mazda6 Dislikes:
Firm ride; tyre noise on secondary roads