The Mazda6 replaced the long-running 626 family car in 2002 and is now into its third generation as a model in its own right. It competes in the traditional D-segment and it’s a market sector that is being crushed by the never-ending drive towards SUVs. However, the Mazda6 Mk3 is an excellent vehicle and makes a tempting used-car purchase as a result.
Mazda, certainly with its mainstream models, has a reputation for tinkering, and nowhere is this more evident than with the Mk3 Mazda6. Since it launched in 2012, the car has been updated and/or facelifted multiple times in the interim, making for a wide variety of models. To try and simplify, the 6’s biggest facelift came in 2015, when the car also received a new interior and more technology, plus chassis revisions to make it ride better, while a milder visual update followed in 2016 (new door mirrors with repositioned indicators, electric folding tech and a more aerodynamic shape). In 2017, G-Vectoring Control and a Natural Sound Smoother were added, to make the car even more relaxing to drive, while in 2018 there was another facelift and a change to the 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine (gaining more power), with a 2.5-litre petrol engine added in some markets. In essence, though, throughout all of this, the Mk3 Mazda6 has come as either a four-door saloon or a five-door Tourer estate. All models have front-wheel drive, with a choice of three four-cylinder engines (2.2-litre turbodiesel, 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol and 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G petrol), two gearboxes (six-speed manual or automatic) and power outputs of between 150- and 194hp.
By far and away the most prevalent on the used market is the 2.2-litre turbodiesel (either 150- or 175hp models are fine), which is good news as it’s also the best engine for the Mazda6. Try and aim for a post-2016 car, so that G-Vectoring Control is part of the equipment list – it really does improve the Mazda6’s abilities as a long-distance cruiser.
Mazda6 2.2 SkyActiv-D auto saloon
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 216km/h
0-100km/h: 8.4 seconds
Fuel consumption: 4.8 litres/100km
• Elegant styling
• Involving handling
• Robust turbodiesel motor
• Petrol models are normally aspirated
• Early cabin finishing not up to par
• Infotainment showing its age
The Mazda6 is one of the best cars in the current D-segment and it is often (unfairly) overlooked by buyers. In Tourer guise, it’s a far nicer thing to live with than an equivalent SUV for the same money and, whichever model of 6 you go for, you’ll be getting a reliable, attractive and enjoyable car for not a lot of money. That, in our eyes, makes the Mazda6 a sound second-hand proposition.