Car Review: Mazda6 Atenza – Always improving

Changes in the recently updated Mazda6 are subtle and largely hidden or conspicuous. They don’t so much as fix something that was broken, but they do serve to make the popular, sleek and stylish family-car just that bit better.

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If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

While not quite following that to the letter, Mazda appears to loosely follow that philosophy with its range.

At the very least, changes in the recently updated Mazda6 are subtle and largely hidden or conspicuous. They don’t so much as fix something that was broken, but they do serve to make the popular, sleek and stylish family-car just that bit better.

Safety sells in this segment and Mazda has gone all out with the updated Mazda6 with improvements in the passive crash-barrier protection as well as plenty of new kit to help avoid a crash.

The Mazda6 scores a five star ANCAP rating with its six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, front and rear collision mitigation, brake force distribution, driver attention detection and rear cross traffic alert as standard on even the entry Sport model at a price of $32,490 for the 2.5-litre petrol auto.

Mazda has been on point with styling and updates for the past decade and the 6 does nothing to change my opinion on that front.

There’s plenty of kit to impress, on the entry level Sport and stepping up in the range.

If the sleek, low-slung looking 6 isn’t enough to grab you, the 17-inch alloys, a six-speaker stereo and dual-zone climate control might do the trick.

Or perhaps it will be the neat keyless entry and start, cruise control, reversing camera and rear parking sensors, front fog lamps, sat nav, auto headelights and wipers, folding and heated door mirrors or leather steering wheel that will grab you.

Digital radio and easy smartphone integration and connectivity are also hightlights…. especially for this less than tech-savvy soul.

It is all very impressive… particularly when it is ALL on offer in that entry level model.

Tested by Glam Adelaide was the flagship Atenza, priced at $45,390 ($48,240 for a 2.2-litre diesel) while jammed in between the top priced and the entry level is the Touring at $37,290 and the GT at $42,690.

The Atenza adds Mazda’s Street Sign Recognition system, which reads the street signs, and displays that information on a head-up display. I struck a balance between being informed and irritated by the system by switching off some of the warnings.

Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist is added to the Atenza model, along with 19 inch alloys.

And the seats are clad in soft Nappa leather and there’s heated rear seats for when winter returns to really up the luxury.

The 2.5-litre petrol engines produce 138kW and 250Nm with a claimed combined fuel consumption of 6.6L/100km while the 2.2-litre diesel plant sips 5.4L/100km and produce 129kW and 420Nm.

Mazda didn’t have to fix the 6 but they’ve done a good job of gently making it that little bit better.

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