|The coveted new Mazda6 recently garnered two very important Internationally-recognized industry awards: the AutoBild Design and red dot awards. In essence, the new Mazda6’s impeccable design and exemplary SKYACTIV Technology take precedence as the major credentials for its international recognition.|
Motorsportchannel.com recently had the privilege to test drive the new Mazda6 Grand Tourer or Wagon, courtesy of Bermaz Motor. The flagship variant in its Wagon guise promises the same ‘Zoom-Zoom’ effect and agility of its direct Sedan sibling.
The Mazda6 with SKYACTIV Technology is one of the best variants of Mazda’s current line-ups. So how does the Mazda6 Grand Tourer (GT) stack up to the interests of the potential D-segment car buyers or could Mazda have done more to better the variant? Wouldn’t the Mazda6 Grand Tourer available in a 2.5-liter powerplant, along with two intuitive technologies: the i-ACTIVSENSE and i-ELOOP, be enough…
From fuel efficiency standpoint, our Mazda Grand Tourer test unit averaged 11km/liter for the entire weekend. Despite the test unit’s approximately 5000km total mileage, it still returned very impressive fuel readings, according to the writer. When the SKYACTIV Technology and i-ELOOP features are factored in, the Mazda6 Grand Tourer imminently cultivates greater fuel efficiency though the car is slightly heavier at 1,500 kilograms than the Sedan version.
The Mazda6 Wagon’s engine specification denotes a SKYACTIV-G 2.5l powerplant, mated to the SKYACTIV-Drive transmission. The SKYACTIV-Drive has an efficient lock-up system, which further assists in the fuel consumption factor. Lock-up is a form of power lock between engine and transmission to ensure that energy is transferred directly to the front wheel (in this case) to power the car forward. This almost eliminates the loss of power (increased fuel consumption) due to a torque converter. In essence this gearbox tries its best to be like a manual box, which Mazda claims to improve fuel economy by a further 4 to 7 percent. Then, there’s the i-ELOOP system that works to regenerate electricity and store it in a capacitor to power up equipments in the Mazda6 Wagon. Further, the Start-Stop is included to save you the additional few cents for a cup of coffee.
Performance of the Mazda6 Wagon didn’t impress as much, probably due to the lack of a Sports mode, the extra weight at the boot and a rather basic automatic transmission. The writer felt that the Mazda6 Wagon was a tad bit heavy and he had, in most instances, to floor the car in order to achieve some pure satisfaction.
Although somewhat down on the power ratings, the Mazda6 Wagon made it up in other departments such as, having the agility of a compact or C-segment car, as well as offering handling that’s way better than some premium Continental makes. The writer’s evaluations put the Mazda6 Wagon low-end, idle to 60 km/h acceleration as exceptionally good. Once the car had reached mid-range speeds from 90 – 110km/h, the Wagon began to lose its grunt and eventually topped out at 210 km/h; though 0 – 100 km/h was sub 10 seconds, plus or minus.
The writer opined that Mazda should consider putting the BT50’s Diesel or SKYACTIV Diesel powerplant in the Mazda6 Wagon. He figured it would have been unbelievable and could possibly be the perfect cruiser, with decent fuel efficiency. But Mazda decided that this country might not be the best market for a diesel-powered Mazda6. Instead we have the 2.5l SKYACTIV-G which generates a maximum of 250Nm of torque, with 185 hp (138kW) of power.
The Mazda6 Wagon test unit had enough pull up the high gradient roads at close to 100 km/h. The writer believes that a turbo diesel with the upper-end torque of above 4,000 rpm would have been more abundant and effective when accelerating up the slopes.
For a wagon, the Mazda6 Grand Tourer handled brilliantly thanks to its 225/45 R19 tyres, coupled with front’s double wish bone suspension and rear’s E-type multi-link. The writer claimed that the Wagon soaked up most corners and pushed to reasonable speeds with the greatest ease. Body roll was apparent but minimal, and uphill, the Mazda6 Grand Tourer excelled at almost every section of the twisty course.
As with most electric steering, feedback was minimal but precise. The Mazda6 Grand Tourer, the writer testified, handles better than most compact cars considering its weight and size, but will not necessarily be the best for D-segment cars, as D segments are usually the flagship range for car manufacturers. The writer did experience a bit of over-steer on the overdrive, but the readers should know that the writer always drives a car in a performance-oriented way. Conclusively, the writer gave the Mazda6 Grand Tourer two thumbs up for its handling aspects. And, he did find the i-ACTIVSENSE a bit annoying as the system constantly warned him of dangers all around.
The Mazda6 Grand Tourer hits the target in the following departments: Comfortability, Reliability and Safety. The writer definitely liked the comfort level within its spacious cabin, yet inside the car there were no issues with external, road noise. And if there were it was probably drowned out by the Bose 11-speaker audio system. Red-stitched leather seats and sunroof are included to portray a more dynamic Wagon.
In addition, in-car conveniences like; reverse camera on a big 7-inch color TFT touchscreen, push start, rain-sensing wiper, cruise control and auto climate control; all do the trick for the driver and passengers alike.
The Mazda6 Wagon, being fully-imported, stands world’s apart in terms of reliability, and thanks to the 3-year + 3 warranty and complimentary maintenance provided by domestic distributors Bermaz Motor; you are assured of the Mazda6 Wagon’s built quality and dependable reliability.
In the safety department, the Mazda6 Grand Tourer incorporates the standard Anti-Lock Braking system ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), 6-airbags, Super-lock system, burglar alarm and immobilizer. Parking the Wagon would take some getting use to, but once accustomed to the car’s characteristics parking should be a breeze.
The writer did not appreciate the i-ACTIVSENSE and Lane Departure Warning system (LDW) indicators that much. He thought the alarm blinkings and beacons really distracted his performance-oriented drive. The i-ACTIVSENSE system also include the Smart City Brake Support which automatically triggers the brakes when there is a possibility of collision at speeds between 4 – 30 km/h. Be advised the SCBS only assists to prevent or soften a low-speed impact!
At an OTR price of RM 193,832.40, the Mazda6 Grand Tourer offers a lot in terms of comfort, handling, safety and even reliability, but it does have a small disadvantage in the power and top-end speed department. There is sufficient grunt in the engine, but one can’t help if maybe something with a bit more torque or pull like a diesel or maybe a turbo would have made driving the Mazda6 Wagon an unbelievable experience.
Mazda6 Grand Tourer/Wagon