The 2019 Mazda6 2.5L Skyactiv-G GVC drives as good as it looks without putting practicality on the back burner.
The Mazda6 2.5 GVC is Mazda’s D-Segment saloon designed with human centricity in mind. Mazda emphasises on Jinba Ittai, the symbiotic relationship of person and horse being as one which in this context, person and machine as one. The Mazda6 2.5L GVC reviewed certainly has many of the brand’s DNA, but does it work well in Malaysian roads?
What Is it?
Even as it were, the original Mazda6 provided refinement and driving enjoyment straight out of the box. Also, it’s hard to ignore its handsome looks. The refreshed model takes this to the next level with a cleaner look outside and inside.
Mazda is inching itself into the premium market, and while the Mazda6 isn’t priced as much there are efforts were made to make it feel that way. Take the LED headlights as an example, the neatly assembled headlamps have small bubbles suspended within the DRL elements. And, as with all modern cars, the rear combination lamps are LEDs as well. The front grille hides the front camera and proximity sensors ever so neatly they hide nicely between the elements keeping things neat.
Similarly, the attention to detail inside is a big thing in the Mazda6. The redesign had done away with the clutter to provide more space. The knobs, dials and switches are within reach without having to reach out, and the Control Commander infotainment interface is one of the easiest to use without having to look away from the road when you remember it. Also, there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces. The revised climate control panel benefited mostly from the cleaner redesign.
The Mazda6’s instrument clusters only display their respective functions as they are and are not customisable. Customisable meaning that you’ll won’t be able to see what’s playing on the radio. This is Mazda’s way of reducing distractions while driving and relegating many of the entertainment features on the centre screen. Likewise, the HUD shows only speed, directions and blind-spot monitoring.
Is the Mazda6 practical?
The look and feel of a car’s interior can be a deal-breaker. Visually, there’s a lot to absorb from in the Mazda6, like the stitching on the upholstery, to how the door handle seamlessly blends being part of the door insert garnish. But look below, there’s room to big enough to fit drinks bottles at the front and rear doors. There are pockets behind the front seats with additional cup holders when you fold the rear centre armrest down. You can find two USB ports here too!
Being a D-segment saloon, there’s plenty of room for four adults. The rear seats are spacious with plenty of head and legroom. Likewise, the front occupants will not find any problems stretching their legs even having people at the back.
The Mazda6 2.5L comes fitted with a power sunroof with sliding and tilt glass as standard and comes with dual-zone climate control at the front. The rear passengers get air vents too.
But, there’s a small drawback. The front centre armrest is placed a little too far behind. And while the centre console is heavily padded, there’s nothing much to rest your elbow on. Lifting this up reveals a deep cubby with two USB ports, SD card slot, AUX cable input, and 12V socket.
Carrying capacity at the rear, 480-litres which isn’t bad for a car in this class, and 1,632 with the rear seats folded down.
Is the Mazda6 infotainment good?
There’s an 8-inch full-colour touchscreen that doesn’t get in the way in the driver’s line of sight regardless of how low or high they sit. The screen’s surface doesn’t reflect sunlight and remains visible even when the day is bright.
The Mazda Connect software interface is easy to use with neatly compartmentalised features and functions. Here you can browse through detailed vehicle information, entertainment, communication, navigation and settings. It’s is easy to use especially when pairing your smartphone via Bluetooth. Once paired, your phone’s phone book is uploaded into the system, and you can stream music as well.
Sound reproduction comes from 11 Bose loudspeakers located around the car’s cabin. When it comes to sound quality, it’s pretty good, however, it could be much better if the infotainment system reads FLAC lossless audio files.
What’s changed in the Mazda6?
Comfort and driving refinement has been upgraded in this version Mazda6. The underpinning of the D-Segment is shared global architecture with the Mazda3, CX-5 and CX-9. With this upgrade, the focus was to reduce NVH.
There are added underbody coating and isolation dampers in the suspension struts. Another change made is that Mazda decided to hard mount the steering rack at the lower subframe for better steering response. And to counteract with that, the lower control arm mounts are now fluid-filled. There are also changes with the rear suspension mounts and thicker sheet metal for the floor pan.
Certainly, the changes mentioned above did improve the refreshed Mazda6’s refinement, a lot. It feels more isolated from the bumps and ruts on the road. Drivers who are keen not to hear creaks or rattles would find this a welcome improvement.
How does the Mazda6 drives?
Driving ergonomics is second to none in the Mazda6. With the 10-way power-adjustable driver seat and the rake and reach adjustable steering column, drivers of any widths and stature can find themselves comfortably in control as to their own liking. Moreover, the viewing angle is wide thanks to the door-mounted wing mirrors. Although it may seem small, it does provide a huge confidence boost when driving around tight corners.
The steering is nice to hold in your palms and the mounted gear shifters behind are within fingers reach. Shifting through the ratios can be done via the gear shifter as well, pulling it back to go up a gear, and forwards to go down. To access this is done simply by tucking sideways towards the driver.
The range-topping petrol Mazda6’s 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine is torquey at the lower end of the rev-range, which makes it drivable around towns and cities. Not only that, it doesn’t consume a lot of fuel as well. On the highway, it only consumes 5.5 L/100 Km, while in towns and cities it consumes 8.3 L/100 Km.
When driven spiritedly around corners, the G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system does help keep it planted and level by limiting the amount of power the engine makes as according to the travelling speed and cornering forces. It does take the edge away especially preventing the rear end from tailing out of line. GVC may not be the be-all and end-all remedy but it helps a by shaving the rough edges and assists the driver to go around more smoothly, nearly as to how experienced drivers would.
Should I buy?
The Mazda6 ticks all of the right boxes for the daily commute and likewise for travelling in long distances thanks to its optimised ergonomics, frugal yet torquey engine and the GVC which adds driver confidence, especially on Malaysian roads. One of the many reasons I like Mercedes-Benz and BMW is that their interiors have this feeling of craftsmanship. And since Mazda is doing this, I think more people should have a closer look at this.
The perceived quality of the Mazda6’s interior is top-notch. Everything is well put together and there’s a lot of small details to absorb in. While it may cost higher than its rivals, it’s justified by the way it drives, the ride quality and refinement experienced.
Mazda6 2.5L Skyactiv-G GVC (CBU) Specification
On sale Now
Engine 4-cyl, 2488cc, naturally aspirated, petrol
Power 192hp at 6000rpm
Torque 258Nm at 4000rpm
Gearbox 6-spd automatic
Kerb weight 1590kg
Top speed 220km/h