Mazda's 6 Gets A Little More Frugal

What am I looking at?

The current and rather handsome generation Mazda 6 - saloon and estate versions.

So what's different?

On the face of it, a minor engine update - the SkyActiv-D 2.2 engine powering the Mazda 6 has had a tweak, so although it still produces 150hp, it's now a smidgen more frugal.

While it doesn't seem all that much on paper for the saloon - the already sterling 69.6mpg (108g/km CO2) has been stretched out to 72.4mpg - the Tourer gets to skip down a tax band with the economy moving up to near the saloon's old mark at 67.3mpg. Both are now just 20 a year to tax - with the first year free.

Anything else?

Mazda says the improvements are done with the goal of putting clear air between themselves and the nearest class competitor for C-segment diesels in the efficiency stakes - a metric they already had the lead in anyway. That competitor is the 160hp BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics, with 109g/km (68.9mpg) in saloon form and 114g/km (65.7mpg) for the estate.

How much will it cost me?

The changes are simply a like-for-like replacement in the range, so the 6 is available from 21,995 for the base trim saloon with a manual gearbox up to 25,995 for the top spec tourer - an automatic option is available on the mid-range SE-L, but remember it severely hurts the fuel economy in the Mazda 6.

Any alternatives?

Pretty much every other mainstream manufacturer makes a car in this class with a 150hp 2.0 diesel, so the alternatives are as varied as your imagination. Mazda itself cites the pretty frugal BMW 320d, but it's a pretty pricey car to be classed as a direct competitor.

The Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat are in the circle of cars you should be cross-shopping with, while the Skoda Octavia makes good sense - even challenging the Mazda for fuel economy.

In a line?

Minor tweak to a car that already made major sense.

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