Mazda6 grows into role of family car

The big new Mazda6 has standout frontal styling, using Mazda’s so-called Kudo design theme with a huge grille that blends into the upper edges of the headlights in swooping curves.

In keeping with the stunning exterior, Mazda6’s interior also has a futuristic shape. Even better, it has a quality look and feel that will appeal to buyers looking for an upmarket car that’s relatively affordable.

This Mazda6 third generation is being offered only as a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. The hatchback has been discontinued, much to the annoyance of some potential buyers.

It’s hardly unique in becoming larger with every new generation, but the Mazda6 has now grown to the extent that it’s not much shorter than the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.

However, rather than tackling these big Aussie cars, the Mazda6 is likely to be shopped by buyers looking at the four-cylinder Toyota Camry, perhaps even Camry’s six-cylinder brother the Toyota Aurion.

The Mazda6 is noticeably narrower than the Ford and Holden. Despite this it still has good interior room, especially in the back seat of the sedan, which can cope with two large adults. Mum, dad and three kids who haven’t got to the teenage stage will find the Mazda6 providing stretch-out room.

Power was provided by Mazda’s SkyActiv petrol four-cylinder engines in the car we tested. It has a capacity of 2.5 litres and produces 138 kilowatts of power and 250 Newton metres of torque. Ride comfort is good on all but the roughest of Australian back roads.

Handling is competent and the steering has a good amount of feedback, but this Mazda is not exactly aimed at the sporting driver.

Looking for a high-quality, fully imported family car that can handle four adults and is something out of the ordinary in its styling? Then the all-new, larger Mazda6 has to have a place on your short list.

Prices start at $33,460, not including government or dealer delivery charges.