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Mazda 6

7/10
Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Mazda 6

£20,740£33,210

Driving

What is it like on the road?

Whisper it, but cars in this class – cars that will trek between business parks on motorways and bookend each day with a school run – don’t need to be especially tasty to drive. Don’t let on to Mazda though, because the 6 is really quite good for such a large barge, with clear, linear steering and an agility that gives you a hint this company also makes a two-seater sports car, even if it’s nothing more than a hint.

The combination of that large nat-asp engine and the automatic gearbox in the top spec car we tried isn’t great. The gearbox just can’t keep up, so it always feels like it’s in the wrong gear, struggling to kick down ready for overtakes. The engine sounds raspy and strained, and doesn’t match up to the promise of its healthy power output.

We’d probably recommend going for the manual 2.2-litre diesel, especially in the load-lugging Tourer. Going diesel doesn’t affect performance much – its 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds is only 0.4 seconds slower than the big petrol.

Sport Nav+ and GT Sport Nav+ trims get 19in alloys as standard. These look good, sure, but do make a noticeable difference to road noise, which is intrusive in the cabin. Overall ride comfort is smooth, though – it absorbs bumps well and cruises along motorways with ease, especially if you make the most of the Mazda Radar Cruise Control, which works particularly well.

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

8/10

Mazda CX-5

£25,335£36,625
Lots of people ignore saloons for SUVs now. If you wish to do that, Mazda makes the brilliant CX-5
Continue: On the inside
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