The new generation upgraded Mazda6 comes with engine and driving improvements to give a smoother and more comfortable ride

Mazda’s range topping Mazda6 model has received some mid-life updates to make the car more driver friendly, while not significantly impacting on its already modern styling appearance.

You won’t notice much change in terms of how the car looks, while there is perceptible changes with it comes to the driving performance.

I’ve had the upgraded Mazda6 on the road in recent weeks and I came away with the feeling that this car deserves to be considered a slight bit higher in terms of the company in the luxury pecking order.

The Mazda6 continues to look very well, it has a high performing 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that allows it to deliver pace that’s comparable with its good looks.

My test drive was shorter than that of other cars, but that did not take away from the good impression that became obvious. The car is powerful in terms of styling and its engine ensures that you can capitalise on that feeling.

The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that powers the Mazda6 was rated at 175bhp, which is a high level of power for a car in this class. More modest versions with the same engine deliver 150bhp and it’s against that type of performance you have to compare the Mazda6 with the obvious competition of the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo and Toyota Avensis.

This upgraded Mazda6 comes with what Mazda claims are two key improvements designed to increase responsiveness and reduce engine noise, Transient Control and Mazda’s Natural Sound Smoother Technology (NSS).

By reducing turbo lag and boosting torque, Transient Control reduces turbo lag while boosting torque to an impressive 380Nm and it claims to provide a more positive throttle response. Mazda claims that this means that the engine reacts better to the driver’s intentions.

Mazda’s Natural Sound Smoother (NSS) technology aims to reduce diesel knock noise during starting and low-speed acceleration. Mazda claims that this NSS system is complimented by an improvement in sound insulation.

This has been achieved by the use of upgraded door seals, tighter tolerances between panels and sound deadening materials added to the underbody, rear console, headliner and doors. Mazda also claims that using laminated front side windows helps to further suppress wind noise.

The result of using these twin technologies is that the Mazda6 is a very smooth and comfortable car to drive. The acceleration pace is very impressive at 8.4 seconds and the six speed automatic gearbox meant smooth power flow.

The only downside was the marginal impact on fuel economy from the bigger engine.

Mazda claims a figure of 20.8km/litre (4.8/100km or 59mpg), which is very respectable. I found that the engine performance is so good that temptation led me to another less thrifty place.

That’s probably because the Mazda6 is fitted with the new G-Vectoring Control (GVC) a system that integrates the control of the engine, transmission and chassis. Mazda claims that it enhances the connection between car and driver, varies engine torque to optimise the load on each wheel.

The overall specification of the Mazda6 is impressive. I liked the multimedia commander unit that operated the large central information screen. The system has navigation, communication, entertainment, applications and settings features that are easy to use. Setting the mobile phone Bluetooth connection was easy and the reception clear.

The entry price for the Mazda6 is €29,995, which is keener than the equivalent Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat or Toyota Avensis pricing. The Mazda6 styling is distinctive and strong, the paintwork is flawless and the overall package deserves to put the car up a notch on the ladder to premium league status.

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