Launched in Australia in 2002, the Mazda6 has since become the country’s best-selling medium import. End of story. Well, not quite because a new Touring station wagon has just been added to the family.
Mazda says the newborn is the result of requests from potential customers and includes both petrol and diesel versions. The oil burner is a real eye opener with a new-found vitality over the engine it replaces.
The MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo-diesel has better response and improved driving feel over the unit it replaces. The turbocharger has shrunk, making it more fuel efficient, while reduced knock at low engine operating temperatures makes the motor quieter.
Maximum power of 132 kW is 4 kW less than the superseded unit but that comes with no loss in performance. Peak power arrives at 3500 rpm and maximum torque of 400 Nm between 1800 and 3000 revs.
Mazda claims the wagon shows fuel consumption of 5.9 litres per 100km on the combined urban/highway cycle and produces 154 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, putting it within Euro IV air pollution parameters.
The diesel engine is mated with a six-speed manual transmission only. Fear has been taken out of hill starts with Hill Launch Assist preventing the vehicle from rolling back when the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal.
The system automatically comes into play on gradients steeper than two degrees and the brake is released only when the accelerator pedal is pressed and there is enough engine torque to move off smoothly.
Active and passive safety features, including anti-skid braking with emergency brake assist and emergency brake-force distribution, dynamic stability and traction control, give the Mazda6 Touring a top-drawer five-star ANCAP rating.
Passive safety features complement a rigid body structure. Front driver and passenger, side and curtain airbags, intrusion minimising brake and clutch pedals and seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters are all standard.
Already the Mazda6 had adaptive front lights which used fixed lights separate from headlamps to shine on curves and corners ahead of the car in the direction of the vehicle’s turning. The new model uses headlamps that swivel, following the driver’s steering input, making the illumination more effective.
Wagons are made for carrying cargo and with a generous load floor length of 1926 mm the Touring is no exception. Loading is made all the more easy with Mazda’s clever rear seat folding system being carried over from the previous ‘6.
This means the 60/40 back seats can be folded flat by the mere tug of a handle in the boot side trim panel without having to open the rear doors and remove the headrests. An integrated tonneau cover that first appeared on the outgoing model automatically moves up and down with the tailgate.
Touring seats are leather clad; the driver’s seat with eight-way power movement with three-position memory function. The passenger pew has four-way power adjustment.
There’s the usual kit, including auto headlamps on/off, Bluetooth phone connectivity, dual zone climate control air-conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel, wipers with rain sensing function, MP3 compatible six-disc in-dash CD player with six speakers and steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Add to this trip computer with current and average fuel consumption, fuel range, average speed and speed alert and the manufacturer’s list price of $38,120 has the Mazda6 Touring diesel right on the money.
Launched at the dawning of the Mazda Zoom-Zoom era in 2002, who’d have thought eight years on there would be more than two million Mazda6 models – more than 90,000 in Australia – running around the roads of the world. The Touring diesel can only add to the success.
AT A GLANCE
SPECIFICATIONS (Mazda6 Touring 2.2-litre five-door wagon)
Displacement: 2.183 litres
Type: 2.2 litre turbocharged
Cylinders: Four/four valves per cylinder
Bore x stroke: 86mm x 94mm
Compression ratio: 16.3:1
Fuel system: Common-rail electronic direct injection
Maximum power: 132kW/3500rpm
Maximum torque: 400Nm/1800-3000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Overall length: 4765 mm
Overall width: 1795 mm
Overall height: 1490 mm
Wheelbase: 2725 mm
Track width, front/rear: 1550/1550 mm
Kerb weight: 1594 kg
Cargo capacity: 519 litres/1751 litres
Towing capacity: 550 kg (unbraked); 1500 kg )braked)
Fuel tank capacity: 64 litres
Turning circle (kerb to kerb): 11m
PERFORMANCE AND FUEL CONSUMPTION
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: N/A
Max speed: 210 km/h limited
Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 5.9 litres/100km; CO2 emissions, Euro IV
Front axle: Double wishbone
Rear axle: Multi-link independent suspension
Brakes: Ventilated disc brakes at front, solid at rear, ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Start Assist
Steering: Rack-and-pinion power steering
Wheels: 7.0J x 17 front and rear
Tyres: 215/50R17 91W