2019 Mazda6 GT Sedan Overview
Mazda 6 follows on from the 626, which in turn succeeded the 616/Capella/RX2 range in 1970.
There are 4 levels, 2 body shapes, 2 engines, and 1 transmission. Trim levels, Sport, Touring, GT, and Atenza see gradual increases in the cool technology and safety features. You can select either a sedan or wagon, and chose either a turbo petrol or turbo diesel engine. Mazda’s big sedan had fallen behind as the opposition released or updated their offerings, so the men in white coats scrambled. They raided the parts bin to find more goodies to glue in to make Mazda 6 competitive in a segment that is dying a slow death.
Buyers have abandoned the mid and large sedans for the SUV siblings is ever increasing numbers.
Our car had the 170kw/420Nm turbo petrol option.
The current model began life in 2012. Since then it has had many minor modifications to drivetrain and on-board technology.
It now benefits from SkyActive and Skyactive-Drive, Mazda’s efficiency suite. That’s a marketing term for the engine, transmission, and construction attributes, that add fuel efficiency and safety.
Is it any good?
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2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Exterior
Mazda’s slinky “Kodo” lines flow in gentle curves over and around wheel arches as if poured, rather than sculptured.
There are four family-friendly doors, which are wide enough for the graceful ingress and egress of even the biggest punters.
Kodo has few straight lines except for the one at the waistline. This line forms a wedge, and slopes gently upwards towards a pert rump decorated with bright LED tail lights.
The roof slopes down to meet it, giving the profile a coupe-ish look. it looks great but makes the rear doors quite low. Taller peeps might need to mind their heads as they jump in back. Perhaps the ingress might not be as graceful as I may have hoped and not attempted after cocktails.
Active auto LED headlights bend as you steer around a corner. It feels quite spooky the first time you encounter it. It’s as if someone lit the corner before you actually got there.
There are 8 colours to choose from. Our car was a rather stunning Soul Red Crystal Metallic. It costs an extra $300 and is an obvious choice because red goes faster. The other colours leave me cold. White looks boring, and the others are simply too ubiquitous. Have a look around a car park sometime. Marvel at the unrelieved awfulness of the sea of beige, grey, and black. It makes you lose the will to live.
GT models come with a tasty set of 19” wheels, and a steel space-saver spare, if you please. Hoorah! Puncture repairs kits are the work of the devil an should be thrown in the bin, along with Mondays, and anyone called Crispin.
Mazda 6 still looks the business even though it has been with us for ages.
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Interior
If you’re seeing the tasteful cabin for the first time, you’ll be instantly bathed in a sea of serenity.
It is coherent, and calm, and very, very, classy.
Supple cream Nappa leather covers comfortable heated/cooled front seats, and heated rear seats. I’m not a fan of cooling, but the heating keeps your bum toasty on cold days and is just the ticket if the car has been sitting for a while at -3c. You can warm everything up before you get in too.
What you see and touch feels high-end. There is more cream leather, or leather-look material, on the dash and doors.
Front seats have 10 power adjustment for the driver, and 8 way for the passenger. There is no easy access where they slide out of the way for the driver to get out. Tsk,tsk.
Instruments are well placed with controls on the steering wheel and centre console. Between them they fettle the menus in a system that feels a little old fashioned. It isn’t as easy to use as some of the opposition. Although the LCD screen sitting tablet-style at the top of the centre stack is a touch screen, you will want to keep adjustments to those that can be made from the steering wheel, especially while at 110kph.
You get rather a nice view from the driver’s chair. It feels regal, and spacious. The Rear isn’t quite as capacious, but 3 medium sized adults should fit if they know each other very well.
If there is one fault, it is the bottle holders in the doors. It won’t fit much more than a couple of party poppers.
There are USB sockets front and back, and the rear seats fold down 60/40. You have to do the from inside the boot. The cables have a pull lever attached to the end, which in turn are attached under the rear parcel shelf. It looks like a tacky afterthought and came away in my hand. It’s bound to get caught loading awkward cargo. In a car that is otherwise well thought out, it seems a bit wrong
The cabin design has aged well because is was done properly to begin with. Like a classic coat, it never goes out of fashion.
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Features/Technology
Standard DAB is a must-have, but Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is a no-show and costs $500 extra.
You can still stream your music via Bluetooth or USB to superb Bose speakers. The sound, with controls set at neutral, is rich. Tones are deep and creamy, and verge on the concert hall quality you expect from your posh system at home.
Dual zone climate control keeps things tidy, but I prefer using it in manual with very low fan and icy cold air. Face level vents can be set just so. You don’t have to have a draft on you if you don’t want to. I like the full-on arctic experience though, so I leave them trained on my face. You really appreciate it as the climate change slowly roasts us in our own juices.
From the driver’s seat, information is presented fighter-jet-style on the windscreen.
You never have to take your eyes off the road. Navigation, audio, road signs (including stop signs) and distance information is all right there at the end of the bonnet. You also get a blind spot warning there, and in the centre LCD in the driver’s instruments, and on the mirrors. In fact, Mazda 6 can get quite naggy.
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Engine and Drivetrain
The 2.5L turbo engine is one of the most notable upgrades Mazda 6 received during its midlife nip and tuck. Power is now 170 kW @5,000rpm/ 420 Nm @2,000rpm. 7.6L/100k (combined) from 91ron or E10 sounds like roadtrip material to me. The 1607kg Mazda should just about manage a single tank driving to Brisbane or Melbourne from Sydney. There is a touch of torque steer from the front wheels drive under harsh acceleration.
Mazda says its 6-speed auto has special inbuilt technology that makes it more efficient, and although it is extremely smooth, it is way behind the 8, 9 and 10 speed automatics in the opposition.
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Driving Experience
Since Mazda 6 was not developed at the Nürburgring, it is comfortable on the road, very comfortable indeed. This big 5 seater sedan handles well without feeling “on-it”. It doesn’t shake your fillings loose, and your organs aren’t rearranged the moment you encounter a painted line. There is nothing more dreary than the hundredth time your teeth bang together during your morning commute.
Mazda 6 is brilliant over bumps. It hoovers up wayward potholes with the agility of an MP in a room full of used-oncer-filled brown paper bags.
Sharp-ish steering points the frisky sedan where you want it to go. But, it is very light. You just have to have the confidence it will go where you point it. Cornering is competent, but even in sport mode, is no sports car. And, that’s the point really. Why would you want it to be? Mazda has other cars that do that. Suspension is fixed, with drive modes only giving throttle and transmission added oomph.
Instead, Mazda 6 gently wafts along, sorting out the loosest of gravel goat tracks with the finesse of an fine artist.
Our mini-roadtrip took a route through hideous Sydney snarls before opening up on to the freedom of the M1 heading north.
The cabin is quiet for such low-profile tyres on such big rims. Sound deadening was another midlife tweak.
At the Calga exit, we exited left, descending in to sandstone canyons and on to the twisting ribbon of tarmac alongside the river. The road surface can be best described as unkempt. Bitumen has been churned up by multi-trailered trucks. It combines with gentle sweeping bends and tight fast corners to give one of the most rewarding day drives you can have, and still manage to get home in time for dinner.
Instead of talking the Wisemans Ferry back to town, I continued on to historic St Albans, and a tasty light lunch. We covered over 20km of rutted dirt and gravel, with an 80kph limit. Needless to say I did not reach 80.
It snakes through some of the most achingly beautiful countryside New South Wales can offer.
I slipped the Mazda 6 in to sport mode. It made the 2.5L slightly haughty. The 6 speed SkyDrive automatic then ignored the top 2 cogs to keep the smooth 4 cylinder singing, and ready to rocket out of corners. The gears change as smoothly as before, and the torque converter locks to give the engine a direct connection to the front wheels.
It feels solid, with control and grip that is predictable without trying to peel your face off. This is an altogether more genteel experience.
After a few hours in the saddle, I rolled into St Albans feeling slightly smug. It was 40c outside, and as I stepped out of the cabin, I wilted like a bunch of week-old service station roses. The climate control kept the interior to a civilised 20c, so 40c hit like a hammer.
As I sat eating my ploughman’s at the Settlers Inn, I contemplated my surroundings. The trip had been so peaceful, and the pub, built in 1836, sheltered me from the intense heat outside. Then it hit me: this is exactly what a car should be able to do. A Sunday afternoon spent driving through the bucolic bliss of the lower central coast was perfection.
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2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Safety
Mazda 6 gets a 5 star ANCAP rating and was tested in 2018. It got 95% for adult protection, 91% for child safety, 73% for safety assistance and 66% for vulnerable road user (ie: pedestrian and cyclist protection). Emergency autonomous braking works whether you’re forging onward, or going backwards.
Active cruise control, and active lane control, will steer, warn, or brake to make sure you don’t go where you shouldn’t. Clever LED headlamps turn with the steering wheel. Blind spot monitor includes rear cross traffic alert and is as handy in a Bunnings car park as it is on the highway.
- AEB forward and reverse
- Traffic sign recognition
- Radar cruise control
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Blind Spot Monitor
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Fit for Purpose
Mazda 6 was designed for up to 5 people to be transported smoothly, quietly, and comfortably. It does exactly what is says on the box. It overdelivers on looks inside and out and has all the mod cons. It isn’t blingy, but then who wants to have bling anyway.
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Summary
Mazda 6 is value for money.
With a few little changes here and there, it would be best in class. I’d like to see CarPlay standard, and the infotainment interface needs updating. A GT car should be able to travel a thousand kilometres leaving the occupants fresh and happy. While I didn’t do that, I certainly wanted to.
Also Look At:-
- Stylish inside and out
- Safety Technology
The Not so Good:
- Apple CarPlay not standard
- Aging infotainment interface
- Rear seat release in boot came loose
2019 Mazda 6 GT Sedan Details
My Rating: 8/10
- Model Price from $44,990 MLP*
- Engine 2.5L 4 cylinder turbo Petrol
- Drivetrain 6 Sp SkyActive-Drive automatic, front wheel drive
- Power 170 kW @5,000rpm
- Torque 420 Nm @2,000rpm
- Safety 5 stars (ANCAP tested 2018)
- CO2 197 g/km
- Economy ADR 7.6L/100k combined
- Warranty 5 Yrs. / Unlimited km Roadside Assist
- Servicing 12 months/10,000km, 5 yrs Capped price $1,596
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.