Mazda 6 automatic

5 Feb, 2013 12:00pm Tom Phillips

We've already been impressed by the new Mazda 6. Is it as good with an automatic gearbox?


With sharp looks, efficiency and great driving dynamics, the new 6 shows there’s life in the traditional family saloon yet. The auto isn’t quite as good to drive as the manual, but with its smooth shifts, it’s not much of a compromise – and keen drivers can use manual mode.

The new Mazda 6 sets the design benchmark for large family cars, with its slick chrome-trimmed grille and sculpted flanks. It’s among the class’s best drivers’ cars, too. But is it as good with an automatic box?

In a word: yes. The six-speed auto adds just 15kg to the 6’s kerbweight and is compatible with petrol and diesel versions of Mazda’s new SkyActiv engines.

Our car had the more powerful 173bhp diesel, which promises 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds – half a second down on the manual 6.

Yet aside from the shortfall in performance, this car is a fine all-rounder. The stop-start works more smoothly than the version in Volkswagen’s DSG box, and in town the auto shuffles gears with ease.

Manual boxes tend to be the better choice for keen drivers, but this Mazda auto is engaging. It responds instantly to a flick of the steering paddles or a prod of the gearstick, and in manual mode lets you shift up just as the wave of torque starts to subside.

The performance is boosted by accurate, well weighted steering, powerful, consistent brakes and great agility. It helps that the car is 100kg lighter than the old 6.

The £26,695 auto is £1,200 pricier than the manual model, is 3.9mpg thirstier and 8g/km dirtier, claiming 58.8mpg and 127g/km. Yet for taking the strain out of driving while retaining the fun, this 6 auto deserves praise.

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Impressive figures for an auto box. 6 makes a very competitive and interesting alternative to more mainstream choices.

Terrific car in several respects. If only it were a hatchback it would be #1 on my shortlist for next car.

They will lose a lot of sales over this - not everyone want to drive an Estate car (which looks nowhere near as special compared to its competitors as the saloon does).

Yes only problem in the inside he he

I have never had a modern auto like this one but will probably pick one next time. My present Mazda 6 is excellent. What penalty is there in economy with a torque converter like this one? for example, if the manual of this car does 50mpg in the real world, what would it do if fitted with this auto, what could i realistically expect?

Key specs

  • Price: £26,695
  • Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 173bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph/Top speed: 8.4 secs/134mph
  • Economy/CO2: 58.8mpg/127g/km
  • Equipment: Cruise control, xenon lights, parking sensors, sat-nav
  • On sale: Now