A mid life facelift comes to every car, and this time it's the Mazda6's turn. The most obvious change is around the nose of the car, which has adopted the second generation corporate face first seen on the new Mazda3. It certainly looks much sharper and more dynamic than the previous model, and the new wheels on this Sport Hatch version have even been designed to improve aerodynamics and keep brake dust off the alloy surfaces.
Inside the Mazda6
The interior of the car has had several changes as well, with piano black covering much of the dashboard and extra chrome has been added to the switchgear. You also get rain sensing wipers, which don't work very well as they share the same habit of most systems of ignoring misty rain on the windscreen.
The engines and gearboxes remain unchanged, which in this Sport Hatch means a 2.5 litre four cylinder engine with 125kW and 226Nm of torque on hand, while the gearbox is a five-speed automatic.
Traction Problems in Mazda6
Perhaps the Mazda6 Sport Hatch needs a different set of tyres, as even medium power from the engine has the front wheel spinning when moving off from rest. This is extremely exacerbated in wet weather, to the point where the traction control is constantly stepping in. The torque from the engine certainly shouldn't cause any problems for a decent set of tyres, so it seems that Mint Alloys in the quest to select tyres with a low rolling resistance Mazda has chosen tyres with more than enough lateral grip but not too much traction.
Suspension Changes to Mazda6
One of the most important changes to the Mazda6 revolves around the suspension, which has been retuned for response and improved ride comfort, and this is where Mazda has let itself go too far. The previous car was a very sharp handling car and a real joy to drive. The new one though, has too much body roll and generally feels uncomfortable in corners. It's not as bad as a Toyota Camry, but it's disappointing that Mazda chose to smooth out the ride at the expense of responsive driving abilities. The car still has decent dynamic abilities, but the razor sharp driving experience of the previous model has gone.
Mazda6 Still Popular
That's probably not going to stop the popularity of the car, which has been a best seller in its class virtually since the day it was launched. The Mazda6 looks good, has plenty of interior room, is comfortable to sit in, and that's pretty much what most buyers want these days.
About the only thing that will put customers off is the way the front wheels will lose traction if anything more than average pressure is applied to the accelerator. Nothing a new, grippier set of tyres would solve, but surely Mazda could have done that already.