Road Test: Mazda6 Touring Sedan

Mazda’s popular mid-sized offering, the Mazda6, these days comes with extra equipment as standard and at a sharper price.

The top-selling Classic variants, now offered in Touring grade, gain front and rear parking sensors, leather seat trim and power adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory function.

The Touring sedan (as per our test vehicle) and hatch are both priced at $300 below the equivalent Classic models.

All Touring models feature a comprehensive list of features including climate control air conditioning, bluetooth®, cruise control, trip computer, rain sensing wipers, six airbags and electronic stability control as standard.

This means that, for the first time, all Mazda6 models come with leather seat trim and parking sensors as standard. There is also full size alloy spare, tilt/reach steering, active front headrests, aero bumper, front and rear and side skirts, front fog lights and halogen headlights.

In 2012, five speeds in an auto might appear a little old hat, given that six-speeders are available in the sub-$20k market. That said, Mazda’s Activematic is smooth and well calibrated to get the best out of the 6’s 2.5-litre, inline four-cylinder engine and deliver good fuel economy.A six-speed manual is the standard transmission, with a five speed Activematic auto offered as a $2000 option.

Our performance testing returned a 0-100 km/h time of 9.5 seconds and a standing 400m time of 16.8 seconds, which would be acceptable to most buyers in this segment.

Some 500 km of varied driving used just under 45 litres of unleaded, for an impressive average of 8.5 litres/100 km.

The Mazda6 rides and handles as well, if not better, than most mid-size cars, and overall it’s an excellent drive.

Other things we like are its accommodating space, safety and comfort levels and build and finish quality.

The driver and front seat passenger, particularly, get a great deal with the former benefitting from eight-way power adjustment with three-position memory setting and lumbar support and the latter four-way power adjustment.

In summary, the new Mazda6 Touring puts up an ever stronger argument for inclusion on the short list of anyone in the market for a medium size car. And the best thing is, you can take your pick of sedan, hatch or wagon.

  • MANUFACTURER’S LIST PRICE: $33,450 (sedan auto)
  • SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags (DFSCA), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESC).
  • ENGINE: 2.5-litre, inline 4-cyl.
  • MAX. POWER:  125 kW @ 6000 rpm.
  • MAX, TORQUE:  226 Nm @ 4000 rpm.
  • 0-100 KM/H: 9.5 sec (average, as tested).
  • 80 KM/H-STOP: 24.5 m (average, as tested).
  • FUEL (ADR FIGURE):  8.7 litres/100 km (8.5, average, as tested).
  • ANCAP CRASH RATING: *****

By Barry Green