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    • Versatile engine
    • Classy inside and out
    • Still flying the wagon flag
    • Lagging infotainment tech
    • Thirsty in the city
    • Tight back seat
    From $53,890 excl. on-roads

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    ‘They just don’t make them like they used to’ – you hear it all the time, but in this case some still do.

    While the winds of change blow through the automotive industry like a gale, the Mazda 6 G35 Atenza is still a petrol-powered wagon with things like buttons and gauges, and no changes have been made for this year.

    In 2024 it has very few rivals. So few, in fact, that buyers are likely to be cross-shopping it with SUVs and sedans.

    The current generation Mazda 6 has been around since 2012 and received multiple updates since then, but as it nears the end of its lifecycle Australia is one of the few remaining markets to receive the mid-size stalwart.

    Does it still hold up in 2024?

    How does the Mazda 6 compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Mazda 6 against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Mazda 6 cost?

    Our test vehicle is a G35 Atenza Wagon, valued at $53,740 before on-road costs.

    Scuff plates ($353) and floor mats ($270) were optioned on this particular example, bringing the total list price to $54,363 plus on-roads, or $56,575 drive-away for Victorian buyers.

    Model Variant$RRP
    2024 Mazda 6 G25 Sport sedan$36,140
    2024 Mazda 6 G25 Sport wagon$37,440
    2024 Mazda 6 G25 Touring sedan$40,810
    2024 Mazda 6 G25 Touring wagon$42,110
    2024 Mazda 6 G35 GT SP sedan$49,040
    2024 Mazda 6 G35 GT SP wagon$50,340
    2024 Mazda 6 G35 Atenza sedan$52,440
    2024 Mazda 6 G35 Atenza wagon$53,740
    2024 Mazda 6 G35 20th Anniversary sedan$54,235
    2024 Mazda 6 G35 20th Anniversary wagon$55,535

    Prices exclude on-road costs

    To see how the Mazda 6 compares with its rivals, line it up side-by-side with any car you want using our comparison tool.

    What is the Mazda 6 like on the inside?

    Sliding into the front seat of the Mazda 6 Atenza feels like stepping back into simpler times, which comes with both benefits and drawbacks.

    It’s a comfortable space, thanks to supple Nappa leather seats that come with three-stage heating and cooling functions up front. The former is definitely appreciated on crisp winter mornings.

    Even outboard rear passengers get heated seats, so your kids won’t have to fight over the front seat.

    Both front seats have plenty of powered adjustability, so there’s no reason to not find the perfect seating position either.

    It’s not just your bum that’s looked after – the thin-rim leather steering wheel is also heated, while the door cards and centre tunnel are padded for optimum elbow and leg comfort.

    Surrounding materials also give the Mazda 6 a premium feel, sitting somewhere in between the budget brands and high-end luxury marques.

    There are soft padded leather elbow rests incorporated into the door cards, and dark wood-effect dash inlays to make the car feel more expensive than it is.

    However, a couple of material choices failed to impress me.

    Stitched suede wraps around middle section of the dash and doors, which isn’t a problem in itself, but I found the suede used to be grainy and unappealing. Perhaps some extra wood or leather trim would be a better fit?

    Then there’s the gloss-black plastic. Thankfully there’s not much of the scratch-sensitive stuff here, but it does surround the gear lever.

    Quality of materials doesn’t drop off in the second row, a known cost-cutting ploy.

    Overhead you get a tilt-and-slide sunroof which illuminates an otherwise dark cabin. It doesn’t have the size of modern panoramic units, but it’s better than nothing.

    On the whole, the interior design is classy and the materials make it a comfortable environment.

    That brings me to the tech, which is the biggest letdown of this model.

    It’s immediately apparent that this is a car from a different time, as the driver is greeted by a set of old-school analogue gauges, rather than the digital instrument clusters that are becoming common in modern vehicles.

    There’s a small, customisable digital readout in the centre of the speedometer, but otherwise you get a rev counter, oil temperature gauge and fuel gauge, just like the old days.

    As well as being basic, it’s uninspiring, featuring plain white lettering on a black background. Yawn.

    Similar age-related complaints apply to the infotainment system.

    It’s an older 8.0-inch version of Mazda’s MZD Connect, and the screen resolution is noticeably lower than newer units, both Mazda and otherwise.

    While technically a touchscreen, touch functionality is only available when the car is stationary, so more often than not you’ll be forced to navigate the system through a rotary dial.

    That’s generally not too much of a hassle, but using it to scroll through long lists and input navigation destinations can be time consuming.

    At least the screen supports wireless smartphone mirroring, which works well.

    Phones can also be charged without a cable, thanks to a wireless charging pad below the climate controls. If you carry a burner phone or want to bring friends along for the ride, two USB-C ports are located in the armrest, as well as an SD card slot and 12V outlet.

    Physical climate controls are also a throwback, but this time it’s for the better.

    The chunky buttons and dials are tactile and easy to use while keeping your eyes on the road, which is a key criteria for all interior features from both a safety and practicality perspective.

    I can’t say the same about the buttons on the steering wheel, which look old and have a squishy feel.

    Storage space is also a mixed bag.

    The cupholders and door bins are huge, but there’s not much room in the glovebox or under the centre armrest.

    Smaller items like coins can also be stored in a small cubby on the right of the steering wheel.

    Passengers in the back get shallow door bins, seat back map pockets and a lined tray in the centre armrest, which also houses two cupholders and a pair of USB-C points.

    Speaking of the second row, there’s enough room for most people, too.

    Knee room might be tight for longer legged individuals, but there’s just enough headroom even though the dark headliner can make the space a bit stuffy.

    A pair of adjustable air vents help to remedy that, as does ceiling lighting.

    One area where you’ll never be left wanting for space is the boot. At a claimed 506L it’s both wide and deep, which makes it easy to load items (or dogs) of different shapes and sizes.

    The capacity difference between the sedan and wagon is 32L, with the latter boasting a bigger boot.

    If you need even more room, the second row folds in 60/40 fashion via handles on either side, revealing a cavernous flat space for whatever IKEA throws at you.

    With that said, the boot can only be opened manually, so there’s no shortcut if you have your hands full. A space saver spare wheel is located under the boot floor in case you run into tyre-related trouble.

    DimensionsMazda 6 Wagon
    Boot capacity506L (2nd row up)
    1648L (2nd row folded)
    Kerb weight1629kg
    Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)2079kg

    What’s under the bonnet?

    Mazda 6 G35 models use a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 173kW of power at 4250rpm and 420Nm of torque at 2000rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

    ModelMazda 6 G35 Atenza
    Engine2.5-litre 4cyl turbo
    Transmission 6-speed automatic
    Driven wheelsFront-wheel drive
    Kerb weight1629kg
    Fuel economy (claimed)7.6L/100km
    Fuel economy (as tested)12L/100km
    Fuel tank capacity62L
    Fuel requirement91 RON
    Emissions (CO2)178g/km

    To see how the Mazda 6 compares with its rivals, line it up side-by-side with any car you want using our comparison tool.

    How does the Mazda 6 drive?

    The cabin of the Mazda 6 doesn’t disguise its age, but the driving experience still stacks up against more modern competitors.

    Around town the Atenza wagon is comfortable and refined, and I was impressed with how well it eliminated outside noise during peak-hour crossings of Melbourne’s CBD.

    The auto-hold function, which stops the car rolling from a standstill, also made traffic jams less of a chore.

    Just don’t look down at the fuel gauge. Granted, most of my time with the car was spent in city traffic, but 12L/100km is thirsty for a turbocharged four – it’s also a long way off Mazda’s claim of 7.6L/100km.

    Changing lanes and turning into tight laneways can be tricky.

    The Mazda 6 wagon measures 4.8 metres from nose to tail, longer than any sub-$60,000 wagon, and it’s noticeable.

    Shopping centre carparks expose its length – there were occasions where I couldn’t squeeze inside the lines.

    Thankfully the up-spec Atenza is equipped with a surround-view camera, removing the need to complete mental arithmetic every time a parking scenario arises.

    You feel more lumps and bumps than in similarly priced SUVs, but it’s very much a matter of preference whether you’re willing to tolerate that for the wagon shape with its lower driving position and superior dynamics.

    Speaking of, this car does its best work at higher speeds. On the open road, the 420Nm of torque from the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder makes overtaking a breeze.

    It’s not short on power either, with 173kW available. The engine can be buzzy when you rev it out, but that is rarely required.

    As such, the Atenza wagon cruises effortlessly when touring cross country, eating up highways by the kilometre.

    Keen drivers can take control of gear shifts via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, and flicking a rocker switch next to the gear lever activates Sport mode.

    Like most such modes, it sharpens up throttle response and tells the transmission to hold lower gears, which keeps revs in the torque band.

    Despite sitting on 19-inch alloys it also rides well in these situations, smoothing out any imperfections that rural roads throw at you.

    Potholes and debris can be avoided altogether with the help of a well-weighted steering setup that’s superior to the sloppy racks served up in other modern cars.

    Mazda has added safety kit to the 6 over the years, and this Atenza has a comprehensive suite of safety features that work well and don’t distract or annoy the driver.

    What do you get?

    The Atenza sits at the top of the core Mazda 6 tree in Australia, though the 20th Anniversary Edition is still top dog.

    G25 Sport standard equipment:

    • 17-inch alloy wheels
    • Heated, power-adjustable mirrors
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • Automatic LED headlights
    • Automatic high-beam
    • Cloth upholstery
    • Keyless start
    • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • Satellite navigation
    • 6-speaker sound system
    • Head-up display
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment
    • Paddle shifters
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • Electric parking brake with auto hold
    • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
    • 2 x 12V power outlets
    • 3 x USB outlets

    G25 Touring adds:

    • Auto-folding exterior mirrors
    • LED daytime running lights
    • Keyless entry
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay
    • 11-speaker Bose sound system
    • Leather upholstery
    • Power driver and passenger seats

    G35 GT SP adds:

    • Adaptive Front Lighting (steering-guided headlights)
    • Black 19-inch alloy wheels
    • Heated front seats
    • Heated rear outboard seats
    • Burgundy leather upholstery

    G35 Atenza adds:

    • Adaptive LED headlights
    • Bright-finish 19-inch alloy wheels
    • Single-pane sunroof
    • Heated steering wheel
    • 7.0-inch instrument cluster screen
    • Black Nappa leather upholstery
    • Ventilated front seats

    20th Anniversary adds:

    • 20th Anniversary logos
    • Tan Nappa leather and synthetic suede upholstery
    • Embossed 20th Anniversary headrest logos

    Is the Mazda 6 safe?

    The Mazda 6 wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on 2018 testing.

    It achieved 95 per cent for adult occupant protection, 91 per cent for child occupant protection, 66 per cent for vulnerable road users and 73 per cent for safety assist.

    Standard safety equipment includes:

    • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
    • Autonomous emergency braking (forward, reverse)
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Driver attention alert
    • Intelligent Speed Assistance
    • Lane keep assist
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Rear parking sensors
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Tyre pressure monitoring

    G25 Touring and up get front parking sensors, while G35 GT SP and up get Cruising and Traffic Support and G35 Atenza and up get a surround-view camera.

    How much does the Mazda 6 cost to run?

    The Mazda 6 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Logbook servicing is now required every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. It was previously every 12 months or 10,000km.

    IntervalMazda 6 G25Mazda 6 G35

    CarExpert’s Take on the Mazda 6

    The Mazda 6 Atenza is a comfortable and composed car with wagon practicality and interior finishes that put some premium brands to shame.

    However, it’s also stuck with yesterday’s technology. If you want a wagon and don’t have an unlimited budget, what are your options? As it turns out, there aren’t many.

    For similar money to the Mazda 6 you can pick up a Subaru WRX Sportswagon or the cheaper Skoda Octavia, but that’s about it. The Volvo V60 Cross Country commands a premium of nearly $20,000 over the Mazda, while a Skoda Superb is around the same mark.

    Compared to the aforementioned similarly priced wagons, the Mazda 6 Atenza may be more comfortable and luxurious inside but it can’t match the Octavia in RS guise for tech, performance or boot space.

    The Mazda matches up better against a base WRX, but it’s still not the pick of the bunch. Adding SUV and sedan alternatives muddies the waters even further.

    Even if you’re set on a Mazda 6, you can probably get better value than the Atenza. For over $11,000 less the G25 Touring will have all the same creature comforts with a slightly less capable engine, and it’s not even worth the step up to the Atenza from the GT SP.

    It’s great that you can still buy affordable wagons, but Mazda’s offering no longer has a super-strength to set it apart from the competition. For that reason, we eagerly whatever comes next for the Mazda 6 – if there is a next

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Buy a Mazda 6
    MORE: Everything Mazda 6

    Josh Nevett

    Josh Nevett is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Josh studied journalism at The University of Melbourne and has a passion for performance cars, especially those of the 2000s. Away from the office you will either find him on the cricket field or at the MCG cheering on his beloved Melbourne Demons.

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    Overall Rating
    Cost of Ownership7
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    Fit for Purpose8
    Handling Dynamics8.5
    Interior Practicality and Space8
    Fuel Efficiency6
    Value for Money7.5
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