Mazda 6 MZR CD test drive by Daragh O Tuama

Mazda6 MZR-CD 2.2-litre Turbo Diesel

For years Mazda was a member of our family. It was there when I got home from school, when I grazed my leg and when I used to come home after a few beers. Our homestead saw many generations of Mazda come and go. My dad’s first Mazda was a 1987 626 Coupé, and I thought it was the bee’s knees, and in fairness it was a pretty cool car at the time. His next jammer was a 1990 626 coupé, and this was just as good, if not better. It was such a comfy car, I really liked it. Also, I think it was our first car with electric windows!

Anyway, after all the 626s our family had an MX3 (actually, it was an autozam AZ3!) and two 323s. So, when I was offered the new Mazda 6 to test drive I was excited. I like these cars and I was interested to see if the zoom zoom of the Mazda 6 would impress me.

At first glance I was really taken with the cool sleek look of this car, the model I was given was a brilliant sparkling black mica and it was stunning to look at. I’m not a big spoiler fan, but if ever one suited, it was this one.

Inside, like with the old 626’s I was accustomed to, the 6 was really comfortable and spacious. An atmosphere I could get used to.

Anyway, the 2.2 Turbo Diesel is a brand new to Mazda, being introduced for the first time during 2009. The 2.2 is available in 3 different versions – a powerful one, a really powerful one, and an even more powerful one! I had the really powerful one, or the midrange model if you will, with 163 horse power at 3500 rpm and 360Nm (Newton meters) of torque between 1800 rpm and 3000 rpm. This power means that we’re looking at about 9 seconds to get from 0-100km and a maximum speed of 212 KPH.

This car is very good on the motorway and its six speed gear box is very smooth. The 6 has been on a diet too and its’ lost weight means better steering and road handling than other models.

One of Mazda’s goals for the future is called “Sustainable Zoom Zoom”. The goal of this is to effectively reduce the fuel consumption of their cars by as much as possible. Through dieting and making the Mazda 6 about 35 kgs lighter than the previous generation Mazda 6 and by doing a lot of technical things I don’t fully understand with the diesel engine, each of the 2.2 litre Mazda 6’s use on average between 5.5 and 5.7litres per 100kms. For a saloon car, with an engine of this size, it’s pretty good going.

This Mazda 6 burns on average 147g CO2/km, placing it in the C tax band – meaning €302 per year.

Safety:

Mazda 6 has a 5 star NCAP rating. Listeners and readers alike will be glad to know that ABS, electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist, dynamic stability control (DSC) and a traction control system (TCS) come as standard on all models.

The Mazda 6 also has a 10% shell impact improval on its’ predecessor. On the inside there are new active head restraints for the front seats to protect the neck in case of rear impact, six airbags, front seat belts with pretensioners and load-limiters and collapsible brake and clutch pedals to reduce the chance of leg injury in a frontal impact – (info in italics taken from Mazda Ireland).

 

I know some of you listening are dying for us to get our teeth into a car and really tear it apart. But sadly this isn’t the car to do it to – that day will come, but not yet.

Yes it has its faults – for example I wouldn’t be too thrilled about what comes with it – in this day and age I would expect – even though they don’t – GPS to come as standard in a car, likewise I’d also expect metallic paint not to be a payable extra – I mean come on, people will be paying in a and around €29,000 for this car, is it too much to throw in a gps and metallic paint for that price?

Anyway, if I was to compare the 6 with what I would consider it to be its biggest rivals in this country, The Avensis, The Mondeo, The Passat and The Insignia – it’s definitely up there. For starters, it’s definitely more fun than the rest, and sparks up excellent competition to this league of cars.

www.mazda.ie

For more information and reviews, visit Daragh’spage on www.newstalk.ie/motormouth

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