Mazda is not just about the MX-5. The little roadster, the most beloved and sold in the world, has marked an era, it has basically founded and consecrated a school of thought, keeping the Japanese maker among the big names, but Mazda doesn’t want to sit and wait or to be only associated with the two-seater that has become almost more famous of the brand itself. In recent years, the Japanese Company has embarked on an ambitious and concrete journey, capitalizing every bit of its efforts, offering today a wide range of models from the small Mazda 2 to the big Mazda 6 (available in sedan or wagon variants), without forgetting the CX-3 and CX-5 SUVs/Crossovers.
Putting our hands on the 6 Wagon seemed to me the best move to see if this was the case to add an additional notch to the Japanese scorer, in this case referring to a slice of customers who expects comfort and convenience, without having to sell a kidney. The car tested arrives at the Auto Class offices ready for anything, strong in a spec that is not really missing anything and equipped with a 2.2 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 175 horses. What really arouses great interest is the 420Nm maximum torque, available at about 2,000rpm and displaced on both axles – all of this turns into great responsiveness and usability worthy of even a superior segment. The 6 Wagon lines (even more than on the four doors model) are modern, well-packed and in line with current standards and the overall style of the brand: a sober yet enjoyable design that is able to satisfy the youngest and less younger people, without necessarily going to represent a type of user at the expense of another.
On board, however, I realize how good Mazda has been doing in recent years: as soon as I close the door I am wrapped in an environment rich in leather and soft plastic. The seats allow me to find the ideal driving position and setting myself very low compared to the steering wheel I feel perfectly in tune with the convenient but sporty engine at the front. The gearbox is a 6-speed automatic and I find all the gadgets that need to be there, each one in their place and easy to set up, like the satellite navigator, extremely intuitive and precise.
Always in the middle of the dashboard, there are climate controls, while next to the gear lever there is the rotor to control the infotainment, if you prefer that to the touch screen – way more comfortable, especially with the car rolling. Space for different storage compartments and a luxurious feeling from the very moment you start the engine (keyless) and start moving in traffic. The Mazda 6 Wagon is agile, in spite of the large dimensions perfectly suited to accommodating three people behind and numerous luggage, the all-wheel drive increases safety and stability, especially when I call into question the great torque reserve, always ready and at hand, showing a side that I would never have imagined to find at the wheel of a Mazda, so different and far from the beloved MX-5 – a Mazda for the families, but who does not know compromise.
I squeeze the thick crown of the steering wheel and breathe that scent of brand new leather that keeps luring me, noting that despite a couple of days of heavy throttling, fuel consumption never becomes a problem with a 5.4 1/100km which is really amazing. Day after day, the 6 confirms how good the Japanese engineers are doing and with a price that starts at around € 32,000, it also sits in an interesting market position – obviously, going to check some extra options, the price becomes more important and then the whole thing becomes wider.
Regardless of the price tag and its rivals from the old continent, the one thing that surprised me most was the ability to satisfy every single expectation of mine: from its fresh look to the overall precision, from performance to everyday usability, from the extraordinary driving feeling to the comfort and the abundant gadgets. The thing has become serious and never as in this case, the experience gained over the years has been applied to perfection, in a segment so full of proposals that it is not easy to shine. The 6 Wagon succeeds, the 6 Wagon is another great Mazda.