Well, hello, Mazda! How long have we not seen each other? Years go by, but the “six” almost does not change. Is it because it immediately turned out to be almost perfect and there is no point in this? Or is it the other way around — because the Japanese don’t have enough energy to keep up with their competitors? That’s something, but there is enough energy and strength here: after all, the subject of the article is the most powerful version of the Mazda6 with a turbo engine.

Mazda6 design: people’s beauty

A beautiful, elegant, attractive car. The current “six” has been with us for a long time – and everything also looks light and dynamic. These soft lines and curves of the body actually seem to emphasize the dynamics of the car, even when it is standing still. It often happens that modern and fashionable design quickly becomes outdated, only the traditional calm style remains timeless. However, somehow the Japanese managed to create such a special KODO design for the Mazda6, which looks attractive, dynamic, and modern at the same time.

Before us there is a fairly large sedan: length 4.87 m; width 1.84 m; height 1.45 m; the wheelbase is 2.83 m. However, the soft lines in the signature KODO style successfully hide these dimensions – the car is perceived as “light” and dynamic.

And so it’s been for ten years. Just think – ten years! This is the age of the current Mazda6 model. However, it cannot be said that the car is stuck in time: because for the “six” operations were constantly carried out to update the design.

Once the interior was changed and the central display was installed separately, raising it above the front panel. Then they gave a new steering wheel and climate control unit. And in the end, everything ended with a significant update of the appearance: new headlights and a radiator grille, an updated front bumper, modified lights, enlarged exhaust pipes, and a different lower part of the rear bumper. And now we have an almost new model – it’s like the same Mazda6, but it seems to have been noticeably changed.

Just compare where the current Mazda6 started (first three photos) and where it ended up (last three photos). If we look at the details, then we have an almost new car: headlights and lights, design of the front part, wheels, new interior. But the side parts of the body reveal that we have the same model. And speaking of the body, then…

Equipment: known design, new engine

Any conversation about a modern Mazda car ends with the mention of the magic word SKYACTIV: it’s like a certain design philosophy. In a nutshell, the idea is to improve every element of an already known and familiar design. For example, a traditional supporting body has a lot of high-strength steel in its structure: in this way, the panels can be made lighter without losing their strength – and, therefore, the whole body turns out to be rigid, but light. A similar statement applies to the chassis (by the way, fully independent suspensions) or the design of the automatic transmission: a traditional 6-speed automatic gearbox, but with reduced frictional losses and an expanded torque converter lockup ratio.

The entire car is built according to the SKYACTIV concept: a body made of high-strength steel grades, an optimized suspension and transmission. In general, you can write a separate technical article on 4-cylinder atmospheric SKYACTIV engines with a volume of 2.0 and 2.5 liters with an extremely high compression ratio (13:1), an exhaust “spider” 4- 2-1, direct fuel injection. However, we are not currently interested in atmospheric engines, but rather in “turbo”.

After all, thanks to the turbo engine, the history of the current Mazda6 played out in fresh colors. It is worth noting the Dynamic Pressure Turbo technology, which uses a special valve to control the flow of exhaust gases. The logic of its work is similar to how you try to block a jet of water with your finger: you clamp it and the jet turns out to be small, but powerful. The same happens with the exhaust gases that spin the turbine. Also, thanks to this, the latter is almost always in working mode and significantly “blows” air into the engine: here’s a solution to the problem with turbos and excellent traction at low engine speed.

Of course, the new engine is not just a “turbine attached to a 2.5-liter engine.” At least because the compression ratio was significantly reduced (from 13:1 to 10.5:1) and a more efficient pump was added for pumping engine oil. This is logical for a forced engine: under the hood, we have 231 hp. at 5000 rpm and 420 Nm at 2000 rpm – the torque figure is almost as impressive as the power itself.

If we compare similar 2.5-liter “atmo” and “turbo” motors, then the latter added only 19% in power (from 194 hp to 231 hp), but torque increased by 63% (was 258 Nm became 420 Nm). However, how does it feel on the road?

Driving a Mazda6: “turbo” joy

As they say, the theater begins with a hanger. And the Mazda6 Turbo test drive starts with the steering wheel. You take the driver’s place by constantly repeating the words “Jinba Ittai”: they say, a combination of a rider-driver and his faithful horse – in this case, in the form of a car. Probably, such a combination implies a close connection in the literal sense of the words. After all, it will be a bit uncomfortable for tall people in front, if you do not adjust the seat – the roof is low. However, people of average height will not notice this. But you will definitely notice the exquisite decoration of the front panel: wooden panels, chrome accent lines, and soft suede. Plus, the steering wheel is the same as it is, and there are bright and contrasting instruments with a central 7-inch display.

Surprisingly, there are fewer comments about the space in the back – the well-chosen slope of the back of the sofa compensates for the collapsed roof. And there are no problems with legroom, after all, the 2.83-meter wheelbase is not for nothing. And add conveniences: an armrest and keys for heating the seats, ventilation, and a curtain on the rear window. The luggage compartment is not so carefully worked out (only a few niches for small things), but in general, it offers 429 liters of useful volume and the correct rectangular shape.

Classic and high-quality – these two words generally describe the interior of Mazda6. Although tall drivers may ask for more headroom, and fans of ultra-modern models will be surprised by the traditional arrows on the instrument panel or the lack of a circular view. Well, age shows itself. But to say that Mazda6 has lost its zest for life? God forbid!

Especially in the version with a turbo engine, which fills every acceleration with joy. Even when you need to move smoothly and slowly accelerate the car at the pace of a leisurely city – the new engine can fascinate with its thrust at low engine speed. However, as soon as you find yourself in an open space, I advise you to give free rein to your emotions and press the pedal properly. Fast acceleration to a powerful “soundtrack” instantly raises not only the tachometer needle to 5-6 thousand rpm but also the mood of a real petrolhead! The zone of medium and high revolutions reveals the full power of the engine and gives Mazda6 Turbo dynamics not only in design but also on the road.

The main thing is that this road is flat and dry, otherwise, the front wheels can skid – oh, the lack of four-wheel drive. However, note: necessarily “equal”, but not necessarily “straight”. Because a lot of turns and a winding road can also give a certain pleasure to driving a car. This is the real “Jinba Ittai”, realized in a sensitive steering wheel, the neutral balance of the chassis, and easy execution of maneuvers. Payback in the form of suspension stiffness? Well, except at the level of “boy, don’t forget about the 19-wheels on the 45-profile rubber”. I would say that I have more comments about the sound insulation of these wheels than about the stiffness of the movement.

Frankly speaking, the current Mazda6 model is not young anymore and it is felt: competitors already offer a more spacious interior, more comfort, and silence while driving, and the latest systems and equipment. Like the high-quality all-around inspection that once appeared on the Mazda6, and then also quietly disappeared. But when you drive just to enjoy it, and even at a new level of turbo power, you forgive this car for everything.

The new engine guarantees acceleration to hundreds in 6.9 seconds, which is even faster than promised according to the passport data (seven seconds exactly). The same goes for fuel consumption: spending 11-12 liters in the city (claimed 10.7 liters) is possible only in conditions of traffic jams and/or constant pressing of the accelerator pedal “to the floor”. If you drive as carefully and smoothly as possible, you can get a fuel consumption of about 9 liters per 100 km – a good result given such power. On the highway at a speed of about “100”, the car needs 5.5-6 liters of fuel for every 100 km of travel. There are no complex character settings, only the modeSPORT for automatic transmission.

Cost: how much to pay for pleasure

At the moment, it is generally difficult to say something concrete about prices, since the situation changes every day – both in Ukraine and on the car market. However, at the time of processing this material, there is a fixed price for the Mazda6 car, so we are starting from it.

So, the minimum cost of the Mazda6 in Ukraine is 871 thousand hryvnias or $25 thousand. This is a car with a 2.0-liter engine (165 hp) and an automatic transmission is a completely sufficient “Touring” configuration. For example, you can count on LED headlights, 2-zone “climate”, rearview camera, cruise control, six airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front, and rear seats, heated steering wheel, etc.

Other variants of the Mazda6 cost from 960,000 to 1,184 million hryvnias ($27,000-33,000), and already include a 2.5-liter 194-horsepower naturally aspirated engine and advanced Style+, Premium, and Top trim levels. Depending on the specific configuration, you can additionally get leather interior, front-seat ventilation, projection display, traffic control, adaptive “cruise”, driver fatigue control, 19-inch wheels, BOSE audio, etc.

It is clear that the Mazda6 Turbo version occupies the highest positions: only the maximum Premium+ and Top+ trim levels, only the best level of equipment. But also the highest prices – from 1.226 million to 1.274 million hryvnias or $34.5-36 thousand.

Test car Mazda6 was provided in the maximum “Tor+” configuration. If LED headlights, heated front and rear seats, a complex MZD Connect with an 8-inch display can be found in each Mazda6, an extended list of active security systems andACTIVSENSE, instrument panel with a 7-inch display, leather Nappa and finishing Ultrasuede, seat ventilation and 19-inch wheels appear only on the highest levels.

Mazda6 Turbo test drive result conclusion

All the results can be summed up in one phrase: thank you to the turbo engine for “breathing” new life into an already well-known model!

After all, the Mazda6 Turbo car has not lost anything: a recognizable design, a high-quality interior, interesting driving, and a choice of versions for your wallet. At the same time, with a turbo engine, the car has only gained: at a minimum, a new level of power and dynamics, and at maximum, new emotions for the driver. Well, even at the end of its career, this familiar Mazda6 beauty still finds something to surprise.

Mazda6 test drive: bright gray “turbo”

The car was provided by AVTO International.