• Ride, acceleration and handling
    • Cabin design and refinement
    • Bose sound system
    • Touch screen only functions when the vehicle is stationary
    • Fuel economy
    • Wired CarPlay
    5 Star

    About the Mazda 6

    Brenton Barnes purchased this Mazda 6 used for $42,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2022. Brenton Barnes would buy this car again because: “Easy to drive around town, comfortable on long drives and fun around the bends, the car is an incredibly well-rounded proposition for anyone in the market for a family car that isn’t an SUV.

    It has all the technology my family requires to be safe and comfortable, and looks quite stylish in metallic grey on ten spoke 19 inch alloy wheels. “

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    The car has been a dream to own so far with only one niggle which comes and goes. On three occasions, immediately after washing the car, I have encountered a warning prompt that the keyless entry system is malfunctioning.

    The malfunction doesn’t prevent access to the car, it just stops me from using the button on the door handle to unlock it. The problem goes away after about an hour.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    I love it. The 2.5L turbo engine provides smooth and effortless acceleration. It’s quiet when cruising, but has a nice enough note to it and plenty of pickup when accelerating in Sport mode.

    The car handles all types of roads very well, especially in comparison to an SUV. The lower centre of gravity means you don’t get thrown around in corners or ‘bob-around’ on bumpy roads.

    The seating position is nice and low, like a proper driver’s car. The driver’s seat is comfortable on long drives and the buttons and dashboard layout highly ergonomic.

    It’s a car you can get in, adjust the mirrors and just drive. No navigating menus on a touch screen to adjust the climate control or dealing with constant chimes and prompts from overly-sensitive safety technology.

    The vehicle is our family car. My wife and I have two kids under five and it’s been brilliant, with plenty of space in the boot for a two-seat pram and all the kit you take with you every time you leave the house for an extended period with kids.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    It’s a used car bargain. We paid just over $40K and enjoy many of the same features friends have in more modern, new European cars.

    I particularly value the heads up display with speed limit recognition. I don’t think I could own a car that doesn’t have this feature now. I also love the Bose sound system. The system has a large speaker in the dash which makes you feel like you’re in the recording studio with whoever you’re listening to.

    Car reviewers often call out that the car doesn’t have an automatic tailgate but it doesn’t bother me. Is it really that hard to open and close a boot? Our previous car had that feature and I found it was more trouble than it was worth.

    From time to time, I’d return to my car and find the boot open because I’d leaned on the keys in my pocket! I don’t have to worry about that with the 6.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    It’s thirsty. We get around 600km from a tank of fuel with mostly urban driving. It equates to around 9.5L/100km.

    The silver lining is it takes 91 octane fuel which has recently been much cheaper than diesel, and certainly cheaper than the 95 octane European cars often require.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    I’m satisfied with the tech. Radar cruise and lane-keep assist work brilliantly and I can adjust the lane keep assist to suit my style and type of trip I’m doing.

    The head-up display with road sign recognition is really handy, and can be configured to alert you with sound when you’re speeding.

    I find it useful when I’m driving in inner-suburban areas where the speed limit can change four times in 200 metres.

    When I’m driving in familiar areas I simply turn it off. The parking sensors and reverse camera do the job well, and the front parking sensors are handy for pulling up in our tight garage.

    As a 2019 model, it misses out on some features which could be really useful. The car has heated seats front and rear (but they aren’t ventilated) and Apple Car Play and Android Auto (but not wireless). I’d also love a sunroof!

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    I can’t fault the car’s ride and handling. It’s the whole reason I bought it over an SUV. The chassis has been refined beautifully for local conditions over the 10 years it’s been on the market.

    The steering is perfectly weighted. Around town you will have no problem pulling into tight parking spaces but it isn’t twitchy on the freeway. It is comfortable on long drives, and handles well around the bends. The 2.5L turbo engine is quiet when you’re cruising, but accelerates smoothly and effortlessly when you need to put the foot down. Lastly, I should mention the gearbox which is a 6 speed auto.

    It does a good job of selecting the right gear for the situation, and facilitates smooth gear shifts.

    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling9.5
    Price & Features9.5
    Performance & Economy7.5
    Ownership Experience10