This isn’t a new car, or even a facelift, but an ‘update’. Before you nod off, however, there are still plenty of reasons to pay attention.
The current 6’s good bits remain – sharp styling, neat handling plus competitive prices – but the company has tweaked the twin-turbo diesel engines for added refinement, crammed in additional soundproofing and introduced G-Vectoring Control.
Unlike typical perform a nee-oriented torque vectoring systems, G-Vectoring Control software metes out engine power precisely, cutting torque very slightly when entering corners to transfer more weight onto the front tyres, boosting grip. Mazda claims this standard-fit system is the only one to consider steering angle, making for slicker transitions between acceleration, braking and cornering – and means that fewer steering corrections are needed.
It’s impossible to tell when G-Vectoring Control is working, though the steering in our SE-L Nav test car did feel nicely precise. Unlike many traction and stability control systems, you won’t find yourself fighting this.
Diesel rumble is minimised by counterbalancing pins in each piston and engine timing that varies to cut noise, making this one of the most hushed cabins in the class. Claimed economy of 68.9mpg and £20 annual tax are nice sweeteners, too. Meanwhile, the 148bhp engine pulls hard, feeling more muscular than its 9.1sec 0-62mph time might suggest.
The 6 remains an appealing, well-priced Octavia rival and compares well with the Germans if you prize value over having the touchy-feeliest interior. Mazda’s pretty compelling PCP deals only adds to the appeal.
Mazda 6 2.2d 150 SE-L Nav
Engine: 2191cc 16v turbodiesel, 4-cyl
Power: 148bhp @ 4500rpm
Torque: 280lb ft @ 1800-2600rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Top speed: 130mph
On sale: Autumn
Unsung hero grows still more likeable, but remains forgettable