While it may not look like it, there is an awful lot of new in the 2018 Mazda6 Atenza Diesel.
Only Mazda6 aficionados could pick the difference visually between the new and the old car.
But under the bonnet, and structurally, the Mazda6 is a different car to the one it replaces.
That car was an accomplished performer. But such is Mazda’s ways these days, the new car offers premium levels of refinement that were previously only available in high end European marques.
It’s the noise, or lack there of, that first strikes you – then the finishes get your attention. And once you have a handful of kilometres under your belt, you realise this is Japanese engineering at its finest.
And it comes with a 5 year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
Already a handsome machine, the Mazda6 didn’t need much.
The new versions of the Mazda6 look sharper though, and in the top spec 2018 Mazda6 Atenza Diesel, the look is even more polished than before.
Understated and athletic, the new treatments of LED lighting to the front and rear taillights give it a very modern look.
The new 20-inch wheel designs are sophisticated and overall it a very cohesive machine. Wagon variants also have a great look about them.
If you need respite from the outside world, the new Mazda6 can be your zen space. Thankfully, the build quality is excellent, because even the hint of a squeak or rattle would be immediately evident.
The quietness of cabin is deafening. Even with a diesel engine sitting a metre away, there’s virtually no intrusion into the cabin.
It’s brilliant and more likely expected in an expensive luxury car, rather than a sub $50,000 mid-size sedan. The cabin layout is terrific. It’s ergonomic, sophisticated and feels expensive.
From the suede on the dash, to the leather seats, to the way the buttons feel when you press down – there’s not an element of this car that hasn’t been agonisingly considered. At least that’s what it feels like.
- 19 inch alloy wheels with 225/45 tyres
- 8-inch full colour touch screen display (MZD Connect)
- Active Driving Display
- Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH)
- Advanced keyless entry and push-button engine start
- Auto folding, heated exterior mirrors
- Auto on/off headlights and rain sensing wipers
- Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Bose 231 watt audio system with: AM/FM tuner, DAB+ digital radio and 11 speakers
- Heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats
- Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
- Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go
- Power adjustable front seats (10-way driver, 6-way passenger)
- Rear parking sensors
- Rear-view mirror with auto dimming function
- Reverse camera
- Satellite navigation
- Seat trim: Walnut brown or Pure white nappa leather
- Smart Brake Support (SBS)
- Smart City Brake Support Forward/Reverse (SCBS F/R)
- Sunroof, power sliding and tilt
- Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
The Mazda6 Atenza Diesel, has as the name suggests, a diesel engine. It is a 2.2 litre in-line 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC intercooled twin turbo that is good for 140kw and a very respectable 450Nm. It’s mated with only a 6-Speed automatic transmission.
Even if the gearbox is more 2010 than 2018 spec, it works beautifully, teaming with the smooth, refined 4-cylinder diesel and delivering swift, satisfying responses.
On the open road, it lollops along in a very relaxed fashion, around town it is quick away from the lights.
Claimed fuel consumption is 5.3 litres per 100km. During the week-long test, I saw 7.5 litres per 100km. Pretty good considering it was mostly city driving.
The ride is excellent – skirting the boundaries of both firm and plush, it brings both those qualities together for a car that is beautifully comfortable, yet has an obvious sporting side when pushed.
It’s a best of both worlds car – ready for action or ready to soothe, whatever your mood requires.
The Mazda6 has received a 5 Star Safety Rating from ANCAP. Mazda was the first major manufacturer to include standard active safety features across the entire range. This means auto emergency braking and blind spot monitoring are standard.
The crash tests produced encouraging results: side impact results were excellent, 16 out of 16, frontal offset test was 14.4 out of 16. The only area where the Mazda didn’t do particularly well was pedestrian safety, with a score of 23.76 out of 36.
- Build quality
- Strong diesel engine
- Compliant ride
- Value for money
Not So Good Bits
- Only 6-Speed auto, no 8-Speed
- Doesn’t look much different to the old car
It is a car that feels like it should be a lot more expensive.
The cabin is nothing short of beautiful, while the drive is really satisfying. It’s good looking, safe, frugal and brilliant value for money.
You absolutely must drive the new Mazda6 if you are looking for a new family car – you may even find you prefer it to an SUV.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Mazda6 Atenza Diesel
- Engine: 2.2L 4 four-cylinder diesel producing 140kW/450Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $48,982