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Driving review: Mazda6 2.5 Individual AT

The Mazda6 is handsome, practical and gives you lots of bang for your buck

WHAT IS IT?
D-segment family sedans are, in my opinion, seriously underrated. To be honest, the boom of the entry-level to mid-level SUV market (think Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, Audi Q3, BMW X3) has possibly played a role in these sedans being overlooked. When families shop for bigger, more practical vehicles they don’t exactly think of a D-segment sedan. But here’s a good reason to do just that… this Mazda6 is handsome, practical and gives you lots of bang for your buck.

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HOW DOES IT LOOK?
The styling follows that of the rest of the Mazda family with a smiley faced grille up front, swept back headlamps and chiselled lines across the body. It reminds me a bit of the previous generation Honda Accord (the current one is very… meh). At the back, the angular taillights, chrome details and large bumper give it an upmarket look about it. The 19-inch alloys that fill the alloys are striking and really add to the appeal of the car. Inside, you find a classy interior with all the bells and whistles that you could need in a family car. The styling is neat and the chrome accents lift the ambience of the cabin.

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WHAT DOES IT OFFER?
There are standard features aplenty in this Individual model with leather seats, dual-zone aircon, Bluetooth hands free connection, headlamp auto on/off, cruise control, keyless entry, power windows, push-button keyless start, rain-sensing wipers, 11 speakers connected to the Bose sound system, a reverse camera, bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive lights, lane departure warning, front, side and curtain airbags, ABS/EBD and DSC (dynamic stability control) and more.

In terms of space and practicality, the Mazda6 measures in at 4 865 mm long, 2 113 mm wide, 1 450 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2 830 mm. There is 483 litres of luggage space, but if that is not enough for you and your family is the type to go away with a trailer full of other bits and pieces, then you will be happy to know that the 6 has a towing capability of 680 kg for an unbraked trailer.

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HOW DOES IT DRIVE?
Powering this particular iteration is Mazda’s 2,5-litre naturally aspirated unit with 138 kW and 250 N.m of torque. With the Japanese company’s SkyActive technology, Mazda claims a fuel consumption of 6,6 litres/100 km. The six-speed automatic transmission works out fine at cruising speeds, but this set-up can feel a bit cumbersome when trying to perform quick overtaking manoeuvres as the 138 kW and 250 N.m are only available high up in the rev range. It’s not, however, a deal breaker.

IN CONLUSION
The Mazda6 is a highly impressive car. This particular one especially as it has so much to offer. At R399 500, it beats out its competition by a large margin. The similarly specced Honda Accord 2,4 Executive comes in at R480 600, while the Ford Fusion Titanium is R424 900.

This is a car (and a segment) I would tell people to highly consider. The car itself is great value, while the segment has options that may just surprise you.

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