Mazda 6 review - Interior, design and technology
Customers will appreciate the quality feel of the Mazda 6, while equipment levels are excellent
One of the weak points of the Mazda 6 at launch was its interior – namely, the rather poor integration of the infotainment system into the dash. For 2015, Mazda went back to the drawing board and the result is a much-improved layout that’s far more modern and contemporary, while the 2018 update improved matters even further.
Instead of the ugly built-in centre display, the car now gets a freestanding-style seven-inch set-up in a silver surround. Functions can now be controlled via the touchscreen or a BMW iDrive-style rotary wheel between the front seats – for ultimate convenience, you can combine the two systems part of the way through an input. The new set-up, called MZD-Connect, blends in with the rest of the interior far better and has given the car an upgraded feel.
Other technology offered within the Mazda 6 includes an 11-speaker Bose sound system and a head-up display: both are standard on the Sport trim, which also gets LED headlights, adaptive front lighting, keyless entry, electrically-adjustable leather-trimmed seats and a heated steering wheel.
The tech on offer completes an extremely well rounded interior that’s really solidly put together and made from high-grade materials. The Mazda 6 has a top-quality air, with plush plastics and stylish trims. Its sporty steering wheel and cowled dials have traces of the MX-5 roadster, and the moody dark colour schemes add to the racy feel – if you don’t like dark interiors, you can opt for a softer brown or burgundy leather at extra cost.
SE-L models offer great value for money, with kit like climate control, auto headlights and wipers and front and rear parking sensors and power-fold door mirrors all included. GT Sport models see a big jump in price, but the standard equipment reflects this.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Mazda’s impressive latest-generation sat-nav is an effective, easy-to-use system that currently includes three years’ free map updates, and it's standard on all models in the range.
The regular stereo is decent enough, and is ready for Internet radio or Bluetooth streaming via a compatible mobile device (it easily connects with your Bluetooth smartphone, too). Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range, while the set-up has a DAB radio and USB sockets.
With Sport trim and above you get an 11-speaker Bose sound system, complete with Digital Sound Processing and eight channels of custom sound equalisation.
The MZD-Connect set-up is very easy to use, thanks to its clear design and dual rotary controller/touchscreen logic. The display on the home screen is logical and it’s straightforward to get your head around.
In this review
- 1VerdictMazda's large saloon is a strong alternative to the VW Passat or Ford Mondeo thanks to its great handling and generous kit
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt's petrol power only for the Mazda 6, while top-notch handling boosts its credentials as a great driver's car
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsStrong fuel economy and low emissions combine with Mazda reliability and value for money to ensure low running costs
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingCustomers will appreciate the quality feel of the Mazda 6, while equipment levels are excellent
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLarge, practical Mazda 6 is a comfortable long-distance car, although the saloon boot isn’t as flexible as a hatchback
- 6Reliability and SafetyWith top marks for safety and good customer feedback in our Driver Power survey, the Mazda 6 makes a compelling case for itself