So it has almost come to the end of my time with the 2015 Mazda6 “Limited” Sedan (insert sad face here). It has been a very good car to test out as one of my first ever car reviews on NZ TechBlog, so here goes the full and final review of the Mazda6!
I’ve been driving the Mazda6 all over Auckland and Wellington and it has been turning a few heads and even being mentioned in public conversations at cafes and restaurants! Notably, I’ve been driving it around the Kumeu/Helensville area, to several West Auckland beaches including Piha and Muriwai, and around the Auckland City area. It was a good experience as it tested how well the Mazda6 handled corners and narrow, windy roads, while also testing the braking and accelerating of the Mazda6. Both of which I can say were very good!
Upon first glance of the Mazda6, it is a very long, but spacious car. There is ample room in the back seats for three big people, plus a huge 474-litres of cargo space in the boot! As mentioned in my First Impressions of the Mazda 6, you could easily fit two relatively large people in the boot! If you have long parcels that can’t fit directly in the boot, the backseats can be folded down to provide a longer space for you to put that long item in. Moreover, when the back seats fold down, they fold down to be in alignment with the floor of the boot, so unusually shaped items can be easily accommodated too!
While the car is pretty long, it has pretty small “head-room” for people to get in, especially if you’re especially tall. Leg room should be no problem however. Albeit the Mazda6 being a long car, I found it easy to drive.
The Mazda6 model I got had a 2.2L SKYACTIV-D 16 valve DOHC Intercooled Turbo Diesel (129 kW @ 4,500rpm, 420 Nm @ 2,000rpm). Acceleration was not immediate, but once that 0.5 second lag time passed, acceleration was immediate. I think that comes down to because the car is diesel-powered, not petrol-powered. Again, once that 0.5 second lag time passed, I could overtake any car on the motorway, even with 4 people in the car and a boot full of luggage. It is however not as fast if only I was in the car by myself.
A feature worth mentioning is the i-stop Fuel Saving Engine Stop/Start Function. This function will activate most of the time when you’re stopped, whether it is at a traffic light or stopped in traffic. If you push down on the brake harder than normal, it will automatically shut the engine off. Then when an ever so slight amount of pressure has been released off of the brake, the engine will start itself again. I imagined this to be pretty slow, but I was proven wrong. I was still able to get a head start to many vehicles, even with i-stop activated.
The Mazda6 was very smooth to drive in and it went through bumps in the road as if skates gliding through ice. Almost. But it was just that smooth that Mum said if it wasn’t for the Mazda6 car, she would not have went on the 9 hour road trip down to Wellington! Because why would Mum want to go through 9 hours of turbulence when she could go for 2 hours of turbulence on the plane! So clearly that’s saying something!
The Mazda6 also comes with a 7″ touchscreen display, that also has a rotary multi-function dial in the center console. It has all the bells and whistles you can think of, including bluetooth, remote calling from the car, radio, internet radio capability (Pandora must be connected via your phone), satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, USB plugs in the center console storage box etc.
The key to the car is actually an advanced proximity sensor. It can tell whether you are in the car or out of the car, to the millimeter. So keyless entry and pushing the start-stop button to turn the engine on will only work if you are in the designated areas i.e
close very close to the car.
The 7″ touchscreen is powered by Mazda’s MZD “Infotainment” system and can control entertainment, communications, navigation, settings and applications, which has the fuel economy monitor and tire pressure check monitor. I expected the touchscreen system to be not as fluent to navigate and respond however I was proven wrong. The touchscreen had no trouble responding to every single letter typed out at speed, in the nav system, and also navigating between menus as well. Likewise, clicking/scrolling through in the settings menu also was quick and smooth.
There is also a voice-activated control button on the steering wheel, but it can only respond to basic commands such as call a specific person. It can’t understand sentences to send texts. In order to send texts, you can choose from a predefined list of messages to use.
When going down to Wellington in the Mazda6, I decided to use the car’s navigation system. Halfway down to Wellington, I had a feeling it was not taking me through the fastest, most efficient routes possible. Instead of continuing on Motorway 1, it took me through a detour through Old Taupo Road, and judging by the name, it must have been an old road! Eventually it told me to turn into a street where the street was closed! At that point, I started using my phone’s HERE Maps instead. The navigation system files are stored in an SD card, in the storage box where the center console is.
Taking it out revealed that it was using Navteq 2009 maps! So that hasn’t been updated yet! [Update: The maps system can be updated by either connecting the Mazda6 to WiFi, doing it manually on your PC, or by waiting for your car to be serviced by Mazda.]
And of course, without the 11-speaker, 231-Watt powered Bose speakers, it would not have been a road trip! Those speakers are amazing! I’ve always loved Bose speakers, since I first got to try out the Bose QC20i Noise Cancelling Earbuds. Ever since then, I have been severely impressed!
Inside the settings, you can control and set a lot of the Mazda6’s safety features. From the audible warning beeps, to the height of the Head-Up Display can all be controlled from this menu.
Speaking of the Head-Up Display (Mazda call this the Active Driving Display), it is a very useful feature to have. The Head-Up Display displays a digital speedo, the lane departure warnings, the set cruise control limit, how far away you are from the front car, and directions from the nav system when needed. I have found this head-up display to be very useful as it means you only have to adjust your eyes slightly below to view the necessary information, without having to move your head down to the dashboard and take your eyes off the road.
I’ve been telling people that the Mazda6 is a car that has the best of both worlds: manual and automatic. For example, you can drive the car in auto, or drive it in tiptronic “manual” mode; you can use the touchscreen, or use the rotary dial in the center console (a good safety feature is that the touchscreen won’t operate if the vehicle is moving at speed, so you don’t get distracted trying to touch the touchscreen); the advanced proximity key also has a key built in for manual entry into the Mazda6.
The seats are on the Mazda6 are very comfy and the driver’s seat has two memory functions for how you want the seat. The front two seats also has a butt-warmer: you can have it well-done, medium rare or rare.
Another thing I liked about the Mazda6 is that the windscreen wipers and lights can be set to auto. When the car detects water on the windscreen, it will automatically wipe the windscreen, and likewise, when the car detects it is getting dark, it will turn on the lights.
There is also a sunroof that can open/tilt for when you want to see more out the top of your car.
The 2015 Mazda6 Limited Sedan has a lot of safety features incorporated into its car. By employing radar, camera and laser sensors, it really does feel like there are extra senses working for you in the car!
Mazda have named this category of safety features as their i-ACTIVSENSE Active Safety package. All of the safety features on my model of the Mazda 6 Limited include:
Adaptive LED Headlamps (ALH)
Individual control of several LEDs allows precise adjustment of the lighting pattern. The system automatically broadens visibility at low speeds, shapes the high beam to help avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, and raises beam height at highway speeds to extend vision area.
Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
This is a very useful feature to have, and I hope it becomes standard on all new cars these days. Whenever a vehicle or thing is in your blindspot (left or right side), the mirror will light up an icon which means there is a vehicle in your blind spot. If you proceed to indicate, there will be audible warning beeps notifying you that there is a vehicle in your blindspot. If you then continue to switch lanes, the steering wheel will try and intervene by slightly steering the opposite way where the vehicle is in your blindspot. I haven’t personally had this happen to me.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Another very useful feature on this car as sometimes you may be parked between two cars bigger and longer than yours. Rear Cross Traffic Alert starts beeping at you, coupled with the reversing cameras, if there are vehicles moving perpendicular to your vehicle while you are reversing.
Smart Brake Support (SBS) with Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW)
Operating at 15-145km/h the system monitors the distance to the vehicle in front and its speed. FOW senses if a collision is likely and prompts you to take evasive action via audible and visual alerts. If SBS senses a high risk of impact it applies initial pressure to the brakes, enabling faster response should you brake. If you take evasive action SBS de-activates. If no evasive action is taken, the brakes are applied automatically.
Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC)
This feature I use a lot especially on my road trip down to Wellington. A lot of highways with set speeds, the MRCC allows you to comfortably cruise down long strips of the motorway without you having to keep your foot on the accelerator. If it senses a car in front, it will adjust its speed by automatically braking and accelerating when needed to your desired set length you want to be behind the other vehicle.
The cruise control feature uses radar to monitor the car ahead, and automatically adjusts your speed to maintain a safe distance. It reduces driver effort by managing the accelerator and brake pedals. Both can still be used at any time, and the system can be switched on and off as needed.
Smart City Brake Support – Forward/Reverse (SCBS – F/R)
Helps prevent, or lessen, low-speed impacts. At forward speeds of 4-30km/h, SCBS monitors the vehicle in front to assess the possibility of a collision. If the system detects a high risk of impact it issues visual and audible warnings, while priming the brakes for faster response should the driver brake. If the driver does not brake, the brakes are applied automatically. Also works in reverse at speeds of 2-8km/h.
Lane-Keep Assist System (LAS) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Using a windscreen-mounted camera to monitor road lane markings, LDW sounds an audible warning if you’re about to stray from your lane. LAS will act if it determines the vehicle is going to leave its lane, by applying a degree of corrective steering.
Now this feature is a feature where I like to be able to turn on and off at times, and Mazda have provided a button which does just that. In some circumstances when driving, you may be coming up to a corner and there is ample space on the left, beyond the lane marking and especially on high-speed roads, you tend to drive slightly over the line on the left to make that corner a bit more smoother. However, when LAS does kick in, you won’t find that you’re trying to fight the steering wheel, but more along the lines of keeping it in line with the road markings (no pun intended).
Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
Driver Attention Alert (DAA) is also integrated. When speeds above 65km/h are sustained for longer periods, the system monitors driver inputs and provides a visual warning if it detects signs of fatigue. Also provides alert when 2 hours have elapsed.
This did alert me to take a break after 2 hours of non-stop driving, when I was driving down to Wellington.
Since the Mazda6 model I got was diesel, fuel was pretty cheap for me. Coupled with the i-Stop feature, I was able to get just under 700KM in a 62L tank of fuel.
In conclusion, I can say that I will feel a bit sad having to let this car go. The Mazda6 has been very economical, safe and fun to drive around in. The plethora of safety features make this car very safe to drive in. However, if a person becomes too reliant on the safety technology in a car, then go to a car without said safety features, that may end up dangerous and disastrous. So please don’t stop physically turning your head to check your blindspots before every turn, lane change etc.
The 2015 Mazda6 SKYACTIV-G Petrol Sedan comes at an RRP of $55,995, whereas the SKYACTIV-D Diesel Sedan/Wagon come at a slightly pricier RRP of $58,245.
For more information on the 2015 Mazda6 please visit: https://www.mazda.co.nz/model/mazda6/sedan/22l-diesel-limited