Road tests

New Mazda 6 Kuro Edition 2021 review

The Mazda 6 family car gets the brand’s special-edition Kuro treatment

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Verdict

The Mazda 6 Kuro Edition is a good example of a dying breed of car. It gets plenty of standard equipment, the quality feels good enough for the price, it drives sweetly and offers enough practicality. However, combined with the naturally aspirated engine and Mazda’s reluctance to turn towards turbocharging for its petrol motors, a family saloon isn’t what buyers are after in 2021. We love that the 6 still exists, but fear that, as good as it is, many people will look past it in favour of a more-versatile SUV.

Mazda is a master of special editions; just look at its iconic MX-5 sports car and how many limited-run variants it has spawned to keep excitement high. Now the Japanese brand is trying to do the same with its Mazda 6 family saloon through this Kuro Edition trim. But is it injecting some life into a dying sector, or does the big family car still have merit in 2021 when buyers seem to be focusing on SUVs?

The Kuro Edition is available in saloon and ‘Tourer’ estate bodystyles, and it’s the former we’re testing here. Limited to just 100 cars in the UK (50 examples of each bodystyle), it features special Polymetal Grey Metallic paint to mark it out from other Mazda 6 models. The finish is included in the £29,250 starting price.

Kuro Edition cars are based on Sport spec when it comes to equipment, so they have a relatively generous tally that includes a reversing camera, an 11-speaker Bose stereo, keyless operation and a heated leather steering wheel to go with the standard-fit burgundy leather seats.

All Kuro cars use Mazda’s 162bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. With no turbo (like all of the firm’s petrol engines) it needs working, but it’s a sweeter unit than the 2.5-litre range-topper.

It’s revvier, which plays to the motor’s strengths. This is born out of a deficit of torque; with only 213Nm on tap it’s lacking when compared with turbocharged rivals, but at least the engine is willing.

The only problem is that’s not always how you want to drive a car like this, and with a sweetly controlled chassis that delivers a comfortable ride, the engine refinement is at odds with the rest of the package. Having to extend it into the upper reaches to avoid the flat spot lower down means it can get a bit noisy, but at least the six-speed manual transmission is a joy to use. There’s no automatic option on the Kuro Edition.

The ride feels sophisticated for a family saloon, though. The steering weight is lovely, there’s a good level of grip, and the suspension keeps the Mazda well composed through faster bends. Not being shackled by a higher ride height and a heavier body, like a similarly sized SUV, means the handling is refreshingly enjoyable for a family machine.

But it’s also smooth when travelling at speed and soft enough around town so as not to bump its occupants around.

They won’t have quite as much space as in Mazda’s CX-5, talking of comparisons with SUVs, but the saloon’s 480-litre boot gives it more than enough luggage space and practicality for most occasions.

The Kuro Edition also has 19-inch alloys, automatic LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay (which is a good, because the standard interface with sat-nav could be better), autonomous braking, blind-spot monitoring, all-round parking sensors and adaptive cruise control. The burgundy upholstery looks smart, while the materials are good for the price, but the infotainment system now feels outdated and clunky.

Otherwise, with claimed efficiency of 42.2mpg, the Mazda 6 Kuro Edition is a nicely rounded package, even if CO2 emissions of 152g/km mean it won’t be the most cost-effective company car choice in a sector aimed at buyers looking for just that.

Model:Mazda 6 2.0 Skyactiv-G Kuro Edition
Price:£29,250
Engine:2.0-litre 4cyl petrol
Power/torque:162bhp/213Nm
Transmission:Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive 
0-62mph:9.4 seconds
Top speed:134mph
Economy:42.2mpg
CO2:152g/km
On sale:Now

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain
Lexus NX - front action
Lexus NX SUV

New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain

The new Lexus NX 350h features a standard hybrid set-up, while the NX 450h+ gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of 40 miles of pure electric powe…
12 Jun 2021
LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'
Honda opinion
Opinion

'GM taking over Honda would be a disaster'

Mike Rutherford is worried about Honda's future, despite its recent motorsport success
6 Jun 2021
Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?
A red Ford Mustang Mach-E parked
Advertisement Feature

Mustang Mach-E: your next company car?

Thinking of getting a new company car? Here’s why you should consider putting the Mustang Mach-E on your shortlist
11 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review
Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition - front
Volkswagen T-Cross

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review

The small Volkswagen T-Cross SUV turns on the style in new Black Edition trim
11 Jun 2021