Mazda6 was launched in Australia in August 2002, it began as a midsize car but, as is
often the way, it increased in size with new models. It has a refined look to appeal to the
relatively conservative buyers in this class.
Road testers at the time complimented it for its smoothness and quietness saying, “it could
have come from a price group of larger more expensive cars.”
In this used car checkout we will begin with the second generation which arrived here in
February 2008. It came with a choice of three body types: five-door hatchback, four-door
sedan and five-door station wagon.
A virtually all-new Mazda6 arrived in December 2012, it’s a little larger than the model it
replaced. It has Mazda’s Kudo design theme that featured a huge grille. The interior also
has futuristic style. The 2012 Mazda6 was only sold as a four-door sedan and a five-door
station wagon as the five-door hatch hadn’t been all that popular.
The extra size meant added interior room, especially in the back seat of the sedan, which
can cope with two large adults, though not three big fellas. Three kids and their parents
will find the Mazda6 provides stretch out legroom.
A negative feature of the gen-three Mazda6 was its full-sized spare wheel instead of
space-saver for which the sedan’s boot floor has obviously been designed to take. It uses
up a lot of space, so be sure to check the boot as part before to decide to buy a car of this
The station wagon has less rear seat legroom as it has a shorter wheelbase and the
passenger / luggage compromise favours luggage.
Major changes to the in May 2018 saw a facelift and tail tuck. The front seats were
restyled to give more support for the occupants. Reduced NVH (Noise Vibration
Harshness) levels in the cabin gave it an even more upmarket feel.
Power is produced by Mazda’s SkyActiv 2.5-litre petrol or a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel. Both are
four-cylinder units. The low-compression diesel can rev all the way to 5500 rpm instead of
starting to fade at about 4200 revs as is the way in conventional diesels.
Until 2012 the diesels came only with a six-speed manual gearbox, which resulted in
rather limited sales in Australia. On the other hand, it makes a good country car due to
A six-speed manual or five-speed automatic were used from the new model of 2008. From
the gen-three of December 2012 all have six-speed autos.
Mazda has dealers in most areas of Australia. Obviously, they aren’t common in the
outback, though the ever-increasing sales success of the Mazda BT-50 pickup truck is
giving Mazda a stronger presence in the bush.
The Mazda6 is a complex machine so it’s best to leave servicing and repairs to the
professionals. A good amateur mechanic will be able to do some work and underbonnet
access isn’t too bad. Having a workshop manual at your side makes a lot of sense.
Insurance costs are about average for a fully imported Japanese car.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Make sure servicing has been done on time, this is particularly important in diesels. Check
that the correct oil has been used.
Listen for a knocking noise from the universal joints inside the front wheels. Turn the
steering wheel to full lock at very slow speeds to the right and the left and listen for the
Check that the engine starts promptly and settles into a steady idle within a few seconds of
An automatic transmission that’s slow to go into gear, or that hunts up and down through
the ratios could be due for a service, or a full overhaul.
A manual gearbox that’s hard to get into gear may have a problem. Fast changes from
third to second are often the first to play up.
Check for crash repairs that haven’t been done correctly. These can lead to body rust and
a weakening of the complete structure.
Budget on paying from $6000 to $10,000 for a 2010 Mazda6 Classic; $9000 to $14,000 for
a 2011 Luxury Sports; $11,000 to $17,000 for a 2012 Sport Diesel; $14,000 to $19,000 for
a 2013 Atenza or a 2014 GT; $16,000 to $22,000 for a 2015 Atenza; $19,000 to $27,000
for a 2016 GT Safety; $21,000 to $29,000 for a 2018 Touring; $23,000 to $31,000 for
2018 GT; $26,000 to $35,000 for a 2019 GT; and $31,000 to $41,000 for a 2020 Atenza.
CAR BUYING TIP
Make a complete walk around the vehicle you’re thinking of buying as you may spot
something that’s obviously wrong – and therefore you can stop wasting time looking at
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: