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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Home News Cars Fleet Review: Mazda6 - An a-mazing drive but ageing rental choice

Fleet Review: Mazda6 – An a-mazing drive but ageing rental choice

T&FME finds there is life yet in the old man of Mazda’s sedan range with the 2.5l version available in UAE rental fleets

PROS

  • Outstanding performance
  • Luxurious interior
  • Price competitive

CONS

  • Stripped of newest tech
  • Features feel bare-bones in segment

Available as a leasing option in the UAE, the 2023 Mazda6 2.5l is a powerful and pokey option – but stops far short of the Anniversary edition available in other markets. The top engine variants of Mazda6 have always had their fanatics for much of the range’s 20 year lifespan, even if the car has never fully escaped its reputation for looking like the vehicle equivalent of an album of easy listening Dire Straits covers.

And that was before sedans fell hard out of fashion. The 20th Anniversary edition that was brought out earlier this year is a combination of performance, style, and innovation in a way that only Mazda can deliver. Unfortunately, the version in the UAE leasing market is not that one.

But there is some good stuff. Really good stuff. Under the hood, the 2.5l engine is a powerhouse that effortlessly merges power and fuel efficiency. The acceleration is smooth, and the responsive handling gives a sense of confidence on the road.

Whether cruising on the highway or navigating through tight city streets, the Mazda6 performs admirably, providing an engaging driving experience that’s hard to match in its class or budget, especially in the grippy steering of Sports mode. Considering that renters will need to double their budget to get a BMW or Audi that matches its performance, the Mazda6 also comes some way to match their interiors. Slipping into the cabin of the Mazda6 feels like entering a luxury vehicle.

The attention to detail is evident in every element, from the premium materials to the intuitively laid-out controls. The comfortable seats provide excellent support during long journeys, and the spacious interior ensures that both driver and passengers have ample room to stretch out.

BUT. And it is a big but. You are not getting the infotainment set-up of the full fat version. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are accessible via bluetooth. You also get a cd player – do you remember those? – and a usb socket.

This would be cutting edge 10 years ago. It’s not now and the car does not have the touchscreen that even a Geely Emgrand – a full 1,000 AED a month cheaper – has on all rental models. Still, fans of sitting in calm quiet and enjoying a lack of screen time may see this as escapist fun as tbey contemplate the view from a windscreen which does not have the HUD which has been standard in other Mazda6s for a half a decade.

Nor does it have the comprehensive suite of advanced safety features that Mazda is now capable of. From adaptive cruise control to lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking, these are all missing. It does have a rear parking alarm and parking camera (low res and lowly lit on the rear view mirror).

While this is a car for FWD sedan purists and considering its impressive performance, the Mazda6’s fuel efficiency is truly noteworthy. SkyActiv ensures that you’re getting the most out of each gallon of fuel, making it an excellent choice for both daily commuting and longer road trips.

VERDICT
The stripped-down Mazda6 2.5L stands out as a true gem in terms of its interior and performance, but is it a price competitive mid-size sedan or an underspecced luxury option? 

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Stephen Whitehttps://truckandfleetme.com/
Stephen White was formerly editor of Big Project ME.
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