Mazda unveils its 6
As with the CX-5, the new Mazda6 is expected to offer CO2 levels of 109g/km or below from its 2.2-litre diesel SKYACTIV engine, which will come in two states of tune of around 150 and 175bhp, with the option of an automatic gearbox. Petrol engines will also be offered, although with such impressively low emissions from the diesel, fleet take-up of petrol will be very low.
The Mazda6 is the first model in the range to feature i-ELOOP, a brake energy regeneration system that helps power some of the car’s electrical functions and can improve fuel economy by up to 10%, especially in urban situations. Although not standard on all models. Mazda expects take-up of i-ELOOP cars to be very high. A start-stop system will also be offered.
The first Mazda6 became a fleet force in 2002 thanks to its dynamic looks, and the third generation looks set to have a similar impact. Long, low and lean, with sharp, bold creases and the new Mazda face, the 6 will be the most striking car in its segment – and that should mean user choosers come flocking from blander competitors. The new 6 will only come in saloon and estate.
Cabin and Equipment
The cabin is noticeably higher quality than even the CX-5, while there is a lot of space, especially in the rear, and in the boot. Although the cabin design doesn’t have the ambition or boldness of the exterior, it is tidily set out and comes with a clear Human Machine Interface system that groups most functions in a screen controlled by a dial. All the usual corporate bells and whistles will be offered too, although exact UK specifications are yet to be revealed.
Chassis and engineering
Mazdas have to drive well – every successful car from the brand has had that at its core. The CX-5 SUV adheres to this and the 6 is likely to as well, with precise gearchange, and SKYACTIV chassis with multilink rear suspension, weight-reducing high tensile steel in the construction of the body shell and improved sound deadening to improve cabin comfort.
The new Mazda6 is a major step forward, and will ruffle a few feathers in the fleet market, as the first one did in 2002. Chiefly, it is a great-looking car with likely very low CO2 emissions. If it has competitive specs and pricing, details of which will be announced at the end of this month, the new 6 will be a winner.