New 2018 Mazda 6 review – facelifted family car a hidden gem - Interior and tech

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

Interior and tech

One of the points of not being a premium manufacturer is that it’s kind of OK to have an underwhelming, but functional interior. One look at current state of affairs in the class, though, and you’ll see that functional is no longer enough. The new 6 has approached the issue with a revised take on the interior architecture that has been a key part of Mazda interiors since the introduction of the Kodo design language alongside the original CX-5 SUV. In this new Mazda 6, the basic layout of a high-mounted screen, sat atop horizontally situated air vents and a three-dial layout have all remained, but in a more sophisticated and sleek set-up.

Dominating the main of the dash is not so much the screen, but a large swathe of leather or fake suede that sweeps across the dash. Slim, easy to use air con controls reside underneath, but the overall effect is very attractive, especially against the dull copy and paste layouts seen in most of its rivals. Mazda’s rotary-controlled infotainment system is now contained within a new, larger 8-inch display, and although it is nothing exceptional in the class, it works, is clear and easy enough to use. The fancier touchscreen in the 508 may have more glamour to it, and the VW-group units be easier to navigate, but both are trickier to operate on the move. New TFT dials are fitted to high-spec models, as is a new head-up display, and again, both work effectively without breaking any real boundaries in the class.

The takeaway from the interior of the new Mazda 6 is one of sound design, understatement and sophistication, without the bells and whistles that are often draws in a showroom, but quickly descend into irritation on a daily basis.

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