The 2015 Mazda6.
The 2015 Mazda6.

2015 Mazda6 road test review | Refreshed for new year

UNLIKE Christmas morning, there are few surprises when opening the latest gift from Mazda.

In the case of the Mazda6 - that's a good thing.

With the all-new model first gracing our shores in December 2012, this mid-life update has come with only a few internal and external tweaks.

Why's that good? Well, it was a damn good car from the start.

Prices have been reduced virtually across the range, barring some slight increases to a couple of diesel variants, courtesy of the free trade agreement with Japan.

The base-model Mazda6 now starts from $32,540 and climbs to $50,920 for the fully kitted out wagon at $50,920.


Following the tyre prints of the CX-5 SUV and Mazda3 small car, this mid-sizer bows to the corporate blueprint of internal styling.

Incoming is an electric park brake and the infotainment system which uses a centrally- positioned dial to control the various functions found via the dash-mounted 17.7cm colour screen.

While the embedded apps are great technology, which provide access to a range of music and internet radio, some of the basic operations can be clumsy.

Once mastered you get find your way around the system without issue, it just takes some time to become accustomed to various functions and the MZD system is not as straightforward as some other brands.

With no changes to the cabin dimensions, Mazda has improved the ambience while also delivering better seats.

Sampling both the base model Sport and Touring specifications, the seats provided greater support around the body.

It's also now a quieter ride too, most noticeable at highway speeds and Mazda estimates it about 25% better than the previous model.

On the road

With no drivetrain changes, the petrol and diesel engines have been carried over with a six-speed automatic the only transmission option.

Tweaks to the suspension set-up make for incremental improvements to a driving experience which remains confident and surefooted.

Neither engine choice is outstandingly quick, both achieving 0-100kmh sprints in the eight-second realm, but both offer responsive and capable performance. The diesel has greater prowess to fling you out of a bend courtesy of its higher torque figures and is the pick for those who like a spirited feeling underfoot.

A new addition is "sport" mode which is accessed via a switch on the console. It essentially holds gears in the peak torque band for more instantaneous throttle response.

What do you get?

New features on all models other than Sport vehicles are adaptive LED headlights which automatically dim for oncoming cars and also improve all-round vision at night.

Safety packs including blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and an automatic braking function to help avoid or lessen a collision are also available on all models other than the Atenza (which gets everything standard).

Every Mazda6 still comes with an impressive array of gear, including sat nav, 17-inch alloys, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, dual zone air con, 17.7cm colour screen and steering wheel mounted paddles for shifting gears manually.

Running costs

With a strong dealership spread, Mazda is well respected within the motoring fraternity for its capability. Parts availability is good, resale is strong and the capped price servicing is mid-scale.

Despite the diesel having stronger performance and consumption figures at 5.4 litres/100km the petrol models still account for about 80% of sales. The petrol remains thrifty enough, and on our travels we managed 7.5L/100km.

Petrol models run best on premium oil which costs an extra $16 each service. Opting for the cheaper stuff will cost you at the bowser with slightly higher consumption.


Excellent space is offered in the sedan boot, although families will love the wagon. With the 60-40 folding rear seats it's a handy transport option.

Storage is well sorted, with cup holders front and back, along with door pockets marginally larger than the previous model, a centre console and a flat spot perfect for phones is in front of the shifter.

Funky factor

Changes to the lights are the key alteration to the updated Mazda6, along with a different look to the horizontal lines on the grille, although it will only be the trainspotters who will know the difference.

Exterior colour options include red, two shades of blue, black, grey, white, silver and titanium. White seat trim, rather than "off-white", is now an option in combination with some colours in the up spec models which have leather trim. Chocolate-coloured leather is on the dash with the black trim.

The lowdown

When first launched a couple of years back, we lauded the '6 as the best car Mazda had produced. There is no reason to waiver from that perspective.

Going against the Mazda6 is a nation obsessed with SUVs. The segment has declined in popularity since its launch year and that's a shame - there are some excellent cars in this genre.

The Mazda6 is certainly one of the best options for those wanting something in this size, offering quality up there with Europeans in both ride and finish.

Vital statistics

Model: Mazda6.

Details: Four-door sedan or five-door wagon.

Engine: 2.5-litre in-line four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 138kW @ 5700rpm and peak torque of 250Nm @ 3250rpm; 2.2-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo diesel 129kW @ 4500rpm and 420Nm @ 2000rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed automatic.

Consumption: 6.6 litres/100km; 5.4L/100km (combined average).

Bottom line plus on-roads: Sedan petrol - Sport $32,540, Touring $37,280, GT $42,720, Atenza $46,420. Sedan diesel - Touring $40,480, GT $45,920, Atenza $49,620. Wagon petrol - Sport $33,840, Touring $38,580, GT $44,020, Atenza $47,720. Wagon diesel - Touring $41,780, GT $47,220, Atenza $50,920.

What matters most

What we liked: Still an outstanding package, improvements to the seats, ability to carve up the bends.

What we'd like to see: Option for black leather on dash rather than chocolate with up-spec models, more intuitive computer system.

Warranty and servicing: Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty, capped price servicing is available with maintenance every 10,000km or annually. Average price for petrol is $312, diesel is $344.

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