Reviews

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.

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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/ford/mustang/201952/ford-mustang-mach-e-uncovered-as-all-electric-suv
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E uncovered as all-electric SUV

The Mustang has been hit with the all-electric, SUV treatment
20 Nov 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201958/porsche-911-gt3-vs-gt3-rs-vs-gt2-rs-track-battle
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

Porsche’s GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS are the most hardcore of the 911 breed, but pitched head‑to‑head which will we crown champion?
15 Nov 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
15 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019