Skip advert
Advertisement

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
  • Energetic, excitable drivetrain, good chassis, sophisticated design and impressive interior
  • Engines needs to be worked to perform

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Toyota GR Supra Fast Fleet test – 11 months in Japan's Porsche Cayman
evo Fast Fleet Toyota Supra
Long term tests

Toyota GR Supra Fast Fleet test – 11 months in Japan's Porsche Cayman

With a 335bhp straight-six and rear-wheel drive, the Supra should be very much our sort of car. But after nearly a year on our fleet, did this prove t…
17 May 2024
Aston Martin Vantage 2024 review – the best Aston in years
Aston Martin Vantage 2024 track
Reviews

Aston Martin Vantage 2024 review – the best Aston in years

The junior Aston Martin has been thoroughly reengineered. It’s not so junior any more 
12 May 2024
Mandatory speed limiters to be fitted to all new UK cars in 2024
80mph motorway speed limit
News

Mandatory speed limiters to be fitted to all new UK cars in 2024

The use of mandatory speed limiters on all new cars was approved by the European Parliament in 2019, and they're set to come into force later this yea…
8 May 2024