New 2018 Mazda 6 review – facelifted family car a hidden gem - Design

Forget about SUVs. The Mazda 6, particularly in estate form, is proof that brilliant mainstream family cars still exist

Evo rating

Design

Whereas the interior has received the full attention of Mazda’s design team in this facelift, the exterior changes at first appear a little less dramatic. That is no bad thing in these eyes however, as the Mazda 6 has always been one of the best looking models in the class.

Granted, the mid-sized saloon and estate market is hardly awash with beautiful options, but the current generation Mazda 6 has always stood out due to its interesting proportions. Look at the car side on and you’ll notice that it looks almost rear-wheel drive. Of course it isn’t, but the generous distance between the front wheelarch and the front doors is far longer than usual on a front-wheel-drive car, a conscious decision made by Mazda when this generation of Mazda 6 was first introduced in 2014. The rest of the design then follows suit, its complex, yet subtle surfacing ebbs and flows within those dramatic proportions, only refined with the facelift’s new LED lighting signatures and ornate, yet subtle detailing.

The car’s general lack of superfluous design elements and general cohesiveness reek of ‘premium’, something commonly overlooked by actual premium rivals. The overall effect is very sophisticated, executed with a finer touch than the Vauxhall Insignia, and miles more interesting than the dull Volkswagen Passat.

The new Peugeot 508 is an attractive rival, and executed with a certain French joie-de-vivre that only Peugeot could pull off underneath its current design leadership. But even it, with its own ornate lighting, clever surfacing and frameless doors is still at the mercy of a set of proportions that are unresolved and nose-heavy in comparison to the Mazda 6.

Be sure of one thing, though, the days of mainstream saloons and estates looking like the 407 (talk about messed-up proportions) or the previous model Passat (so dull, you probably can’t even remember what it looks like) are well and truly over. The new Mazda 6 seems to operate on its own playing field, one not necessarily executed to a better standard than some rivals, rather, with a more concise and well-formed aesthetic ethos at its core.

Most Popular

McMurtry Spéirling fan car claims Goodwood FoS hillclimb record
McMurtry Spéirling
Electric cars

McMurtry Spéirling fan car claims Goodwood FoS hillclimb record

The McMurtry Spéirling has dethroned the Volkswagen ID R as the fastest car to complete Goodwood hillclimb
26 Jun 2022
BMW M 50th Anniversary special previewed for the first time
BMW M 50th
BMW M4 coupe

BMW M 50th Anniversary special previewed for the first time

Think BMW M’s M3 Touring, M2 and XM were enough to celebrate the big 50? Think again…
27 Jun 2022
‘It was as if Jesus himself had blessed Porsche with a new suspension system’
Jethro opinion header
Porsche

‘It was as if Jesus himself had blessed Porsche with a new suspension system’

The deifying of Porsche has left Jethro with a worrying affliction – Porsche fatigue
28 Jun 2022