Premium Driving Pleasure
Receiving a second refresh over its lifetime, the Mazda 6 sedan inches ever closer to becoming a true luxury sedan thanks to various updates made to the exterior and especially the interior. For 2020, Mazda Philippines has decided to drop the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-4 Skyactiv-G petrol engine for the sedan body style in favor of an all turbocharged line-up. This essentially makes the naturally-aspirated Mazda 6 Sports Wagon the entry point to the Mazda 6 line-up. With Mazdas, it’s more about the journey rather than the destination, so if you’re looking the ultimate driving pleasure in the executive sedan class whilst having great fuel economy, the Mazda 6 diesel is basically your only choice.
As far as facelifts go, the 2020 Mazda 6 is a stellar effort. The car bears such a strong resemblance to the stunningly-designed Vision Coupe Concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, wherein its new front fascia and other design elements blend so well with what is essentially a design that first came out in 2014. Mazda says that the adaptive LED headlights are already so good, negating the need for foglights to give the Mazda 6’s fascia a cleaner look. The sleek side profile remains unchanged, while the rear gets a new pair of full LED taillights and a revised rear bumper. Overall, the changes are quite numerous and it’s a very well executed one.
Mazda’s pursuit of offering a premium experience couldn’t be any closer to the truth the moment you sit inside. Just like in the all-new Mazda 3, the refreshed Mazda 6 adopts a beauty through subtraction approach. The result is a tastefully-designed interior with minimalism in mind. Numerous surfaces are either wrapped in Nappa Leather or trimmed with real Japanese Sen Wood. The buttons and switches provide a satisfying click that can give premium cars twice the Mazda 6’s price a run for their money. Equally elegant are the new digital gauges that resemble a classy smartwatch face.
Mazdas are all about the driver, therefore most of the space and amenities are focused towards the front occupants. All 2020 Mazda 6 variants get power-adjustable front seats with ventilation, a large head-up display, dual-zone climate control, 11-speaker Bose sound system, among other features. As with all Mazdas, the driving position is oh-so-perfect. You can travel for miles and miles and you still won’t get any backaches.
Infotainment duties are provided by the Mazda Connect infotainment system, which is now an 8-inch screen in this facelifted model. For 2020, Mazda has made Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Sound, meanwhile, is blasted through a sharp and crisp 11-speaker Bose sound system.
Meanwhile, rear-seat space is good enough though rivals like the Toyota Camry offer more space and amenities. Trunk space is also of a reasonable 480 liters, which is average for the segment.
Under the hood of this Mazda 6 sedan is a revamped version of Mazda’s 2.2-liter inline-4 Skyactiv-D turbo diesel engine, producing 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque, which is an increase of 15 hp and 30 Nm over its previous iteration. Power is sent through the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
For those who want the benefits of both performance and fuel economy, I really do recommend this engine. The expected turbo lag when accelerating from a standstill is there, but it’s minimal and few and far in between. Once boost kicks in, occupants are easily pushed back to their seats. The 6-speed automatic transmission smoothly adjusts accordingly, letting the vehicle accelerate relentlessly in a linear fashion. This engine also loves to rev, which is unusual for a diesel engine. The best part about this engine is its refinement. It’s so quiet with barely any diesel clatter, many gasoline attendants were scratching their heads whenever I ask for diesel fuel. Oh, as for fuel economy, the Mazda 6 is easily able to achieve more than 13 km/l.
This powerful yet frugal diesel engine is well matched to a rigid body that handles corners beautifully. It’s a willing dance partner thanks to an improved electric power steering that provides better feel and response, but it attacks corners with smoothness and composure rather than all-out agility. It’s all deliberate, though, because after all, the Mazda 6 is a midsize sedan that caters to a crowd that seeks for long-distance comfort. Contributing to its long-distance comfort is its suspension, now featuring softer springs yet still manages to counteract body roll as the car goes through corners.
Keeping you from doing anything reckless is a plethora of active safety features. On top of the usual airbags and electronic stability control are a set of well-calibrated and intuitive advanced driver-assist features such as lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot warning. Oddly enough, rear cross-traffic alert is not available for this 2020 diesel model, while the 360-degree camera’s resolution could be better.
Even though this Mazda 6 represents the finer things in motoring life, people will still most likely shell out money for a taller ride height than a car that offers an unparalleled blend of luxury, comfort and sportiness. Priced at P2,250,000 for the turbocharged sedan line-up, the 2020 Mazda 6 stands out with its sheer style, luxury and world-class driving dynamics. Even if this generation was first released in 2014, this executive sedan still offers a greater level of luxury and driving dynamics than its competitors several years after its initial release. For those looking for more practicality, the naturally-aspirated 2020 Mazda 6 Sports Wagon is available at a more affordable P1,995,000 asking price.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★★
Interior Design: ★★★★★
Space and Practicality: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
*Pricing is correct and accurate as of this article’s time of writing.