Test Drive: Mazda6 2.2 4×4 AT Revolution Top image

The new generation of the Mazda6 is currently in its third generation, and it has been for the past two years. This is a midsized vehicle which is put together in two plants in Japan and in Vladivostok, Russia. The guy responsible for creating it is Akira Tamatani and, like all brand new Mazda cars, it has the Kodo design language which, thanks to clever marketing, is probably the only one known by most automotive journalists.

The Mazda6 is being offered with a front engine and front-wheel / all-wheel drive layout and it’s coming in two body styles, four-door sedan and five-door estate. This is probably the most beautiful car in the segment at the time but is it really that good compared to its main rivals such as the Mondeo or the Passat? Well, in short, no, but I mean, look at it, just look at it!

Engine and Transmission

Mazda is offering its midsized vehicle with a choice of various engines but our test car came with the 2.2 liter twin turbo diesel unit, which is producing a total of 175 HP (129 kW) at 4,500 rpm and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque. On paper it sounds good and it’s not like we’re going to say that it’s underpowered because this is probably the best engine someone can choose on the Mazda6, if they want to overpass another vehicle safely and not to eat a lot of fuel in the meantime. In fact, the test car was so “sprinty” that it managed to eat my driving license for the next 90 days, but that’s another story.
We may call the engine brand new and Mazda can do that as well and tell you that it’s meeting the Euro6 emission standards but I couldn’t help notice some similarities between this and what Mitsubishi is offering on its compact and midsized crossovers, the ASX and Outlander, and what I mean by that is that this feels old. We cannot say the same about the 6-speed automatic transmission as well because this is simply brilliant. Gear changing is made smooth and it reacts quite fast to different situations like overpassing another vehicle, decelerating or going up a steep hill. Don’t think of it as a double-clutch gearbox because it’s not the case, but, as I’ve said above, it is pretty good.

Fuel Consumption

Mazda is saying that the average fuel consumption of the Mazda6 4×4 in this exact version stands at 5.4 L / 100 km. That couldn’t be more far from what actually happens in the real world because here is where the car will be eating up to 10 L / 100 km, in a normal driving mode, and I have to tell you that the AC wasn’t even on. On the highway, you might make it drop to about 5 L / 100 km, but take it up to the legal speed limit and things will change, so expect the trip computer to indicate more than 7L and close to 8L / 100km. The automaker has fitted the car with the i-Stop stop/start system, which is pretty clever as it allows the driver to push the brake pedal harder to make the engine stop. This is quite good 9 out of 10 times, but that particular 1 time will make you regret it. However, this will significantly improve your fuel consumption in a crowded city.
The Ride

This is where I was surprised, and I mean in the bad way, because the new Ford Mondeo is superior in just about every chapter. It’s smoother, it’s more comfortable, it can corner better and it’s the ride to go for, in the segment, at this point, if you ask me. The chassis on the new Mazda6 is simply horrible, you can feel its front and rear twist in opposite sides in high speed cornering so don’t expect any sporty driving, except for straight lines. Keep in mind that the particular version of the Mondeo that I’m talking about is the 4×4 as well.
Interior Design

If the new Mazda6 is extremely beautiful on the outside, the same can be said on its interior too. In fact, looks is what probably sell this ca because the noise insulation isn’t that good compared to the same Mondeo mentioned above. You have less trunk space and this is something I found out the hard way as my fishing rods refused to go inside the trunk of the Mazda6 Estate but fitted just perfectly on the Mondeo Spaceback.
Other than that, we cannot really complain about something else here because the tested car came with just about everything to make our lives easier, except for the heated steering wheel, which would have felt nice a couple of times. There is a dual-zone climate control, cup holders that really work and even a place to store my 5.1-inch phone and that’s quite nice.
You also get a head-up display which is basically a piece of plastic popping out of the dashboard, a lot of safety gizmos and those useless paddle shifters behind the steering wheel which make no sense considering that this is basically a family estate powered by a diesel engine. And it’s not like you’re going to take it onto the track, with that chassis, and if you want a sequential mode, than you can always use the gearshift lever for that.

Likes / Dislikes

The new Mazda6 is extremely good looking on the outside and in the cabin too and if looks are what motivate you to buy a car in the D-segment, than go for it. But in the end, it doesn’t feel as good as the new Mondeo, which is basically superior in just about every chapter, and I couldn’t help notice those horrible xenon headlights, which cannot be raised from any button inside the cabin so taking it for a spin at night can turn into a nightmare outside the city because you won’t basically see anything. So this is another main drawback considering that the Mondeo has the adaptive headlights with auto high beams that are constantly adjusting. The engine isn’t that good, the fuel consumption basically sucks but the transmission is quite OK. In the end, we recommend taking its competitors for a spin as well, before placing a deposit, because you may end up hating it.


The Mazda6 received a 5-star safety point when it was tested by Euro NCAP, with 92 percent in Adult Occupant, 77 percent in Child Occupant, 66 percent in Pedestrian and 81 percent in Safety Assist. The model tested was the 2.2 5-door estate.

Tested Vehicle
Mazda6 Wagon 2.2 SkyActiv-D i-ELOOP 4×4 Aut Revolution Top
Engine: 2.2-liter diesel (2,191 cc)
Power: 175 HP (kW) at 4,500 rpm
Torque: 420 Nm / 310 (lb-ft) at 2,000 rpm
Transmission: automatic, 6-speed
Dimensions: length 4,805 mm, width 1,840 mm, height 1,485 mm
Weight: 1,485 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 52L
Trunk Capacity: 522L
0-100km/h: 9.1s
Top Speed: 209 km/h
Entry-level – 24,390 EUR
Tested Car – ~36,000 EUR
3.0 / 5