Good: stylish, very comfortable, improved infotainment
Not so good: only Platinum model gets new grille
It just so happens that I drove the facelifted Mazda6 you see pictured here in the same week I tested the updated CX-5 SUV and the all-new Mazda2 hatch. They share a surprising number of interior bits and pieces, mainly those that make up the new MZD Connect infotainment system, including the intuitive display screen that can be accessed via voice, touch or using a rotary controller. It all works seamlessly and what's more the switchgear is tactile and of high quality. That's astounding in the new Mazda2, but also helps improve the cabin of the updated Mazda6.
And that's almost the end of the review... Ok, not quite, but changes elsewhere are minimal. The Sonic Silver (see, the Mazda6 does look good in colours other than Soul Red) paintwork offsets the restyled grille up front and the tasty 19-inch alloys. Sadly, all this is on the top-of-the range Platinum model only, which costs from €35,695. It also includes LED headlights and a restyled bumper.
Mazda6 ownership is priced from €29,295, but that's for a petrol model nobody is interested in so the realistic starting price is €29,995. The entry-level Executive version comes with Bluetooth, air conditioning, cruise control, DAB digital radio, one-touch electric windows all-round, a seven-inch colour touchscreen system, two USB ports and an aux-in connection, front fog lights, a leather steering wheel with audio controls and loads of standard passive and active safety equipment. Upgrade to Executive SE and it comes with climate control, a better sound system, front and rear parking sensors, auto lights, electrically adjusted and heated door mirrors, auto wipers, tinted rear and side windows and a few other niceties. That's €31,295 with the 2.2-litre diesel engine.
The Platinum model adds Bose surround sound, keyless entry and start, a reversing camera, the LED lights mentioned above, head-up display and upgraded seating with electrical adjustment and heating for the front two.
A less obvious update has been made to the chassis of the Mazda6. We've always considered it to be one of the best-to-drive D-segment saloons but Mazda reckoned it needed more comfort dialled in. And the update is effective, softening out the damping and turning the Mazda6 into an even more impressive long distance cruiser than it was. It's quiet too. Sure, the body control has been dulled a tad but it's a compromise most buyers will be happy with. It's now the most comfortable car in the Mazda line-up and in Platinum specification it's one of the most alluring cars in the segment.