THE new third generation Mazda6 got off to a flying start at the UK launch when motoring journalists were introduced to the latest model aboard one of the retired Concorde supersonic passenger jets at a Scottish air museum writes Bryan Longworth.
For Mazda chose this rather bizarre setting near Edinburgh for the UK Press launch with the firm’s PR staff dresssed up as air crew for the presentation with journalists viewing it on seat back screens which provided a novel launch for the mid sized car.
The new Mazda6 Saloon and Tourer estate with their impressive frontal styling should provide the Japanese company with a big boost in the UK following a drop in their sales in Britain last year.
For the new Mazda which has a really stylish body has some formidable petrol and diesel engines linked with exciting dynamics and technology plus a quality interior that provides an immediate impression that you are driving something really special.
Prices start at £19,595 rising to £28,045 and as well as incorporating Mazda’s SkyActiv technology the latest Mazda6 is the first massed produced Mazda to be equipped with a brake energy regeneration system which is fitted as standard to the majority of models.
This can help to boost economy by up to ten per cent and with fuel economy as high as 67.3mpg the new Mazda6 is said to be the benchmark for fuel economy and CO2 emissions in this sector of the market and some models also have radar based rear vehicle monitoring.
I drove both diesel and petrol models and the diesel was so smooth and quiet that my driving partner and myself had to check with the specifification sheet to confirm that it was the diesel engine that was powering our test car.
On snow covered Scottish roads in the Borders the new Mazda’s road holding qualities proved to be really impressive and the very effective ABS brakes safely controlled the car when it threatened to loose adhesion on the slippery surface on a sharp bend.
The new Mazda has a very comfortable interior and the instruments and switchgear are very easy to view and use with the speedometer in particular being in a central position and easy to see at all times.
Mazda has managed to provide a really quality car in this very competitive sector where it will provide formidable competition to its rivals that include the Ford Mondeo and it is a big improvement on the previous model.
My first test car some 40 years ago was a Mazda with a rotary engine which I found to be a very exciting car from this innovative manufacturer who have dared to be different over the years with some very trendy cars especially those with rotary power.
The latest Mazda6 is a car that deserves to succeed for it is a quality and stylish model providing a very enjoyable driving experience which manages to be different from the competition and has a lot of showroom appeal.
My Verdict: A high tech and stylish flagship.
Model: New Mazda6 Saloon and Tourer.
Engines: 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines.
Transmissions: Six speed manual and automatic.
Prices: £19,595 to £28045.