Sunday, December 5, 2021
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2021 Mazda6 GT SP wagon (car review)

THEY were a part of the family in the 80s and 90s. Wherever you went, there was a wagon carting kids to destinations. But with the arrival of SUVs, the estate looked headed for the scrap heap. Thankfully, Mazda is keeping the dream alive with the 2021 Mazda6 GT SP.

It’s the wagon nostalgia you’ve grown up loving, with added sophistication and spirited performance. Its slick design resembles a bullet, softly contoured from tip to tail. From the chrome enshrined grille to the black 19-inch alloys, it’s all sporty GT.

The roof sports stylish rails, keeping the wagon practical. The only callout would have to be overt push to unlock buttons on the doors. The rear of the Mazda6 GT SP wagon finishes as strong as the front starts, with a subtle spoiler, and chrome finish across the boot line.

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The reversing camera is visible, which is a shame. We prefer the hidden variety. That aside, cargo capacity is a generous 474-litres with the seats up, or 1,648-litres when the second row is dropped down.

We put this to the test by gracing a local hardware store and loading up with a full-sized balcony storage bench (flatpack), along with three packs of garden mix, and several pot plants, all in one trip. It was impressive to say the least.

Practicality is one thing, but the cabin of the Mazda6 is a beautiful space as well, resplendent in burgundy leather seating, with contrasting black highlights on the dash and steering wheel. It pairs up beautifully.

The seats are nice and comfy, with a 10-way power adjustment for the driver, and 6-way for the passenger. Both are heated, as are the rear seats, meaning everyone can stay toasty on those cold winter mornings.

Two cup holders can also be closed when not in use to keep the cabin tidy as well. About the only thing missing is a sunroof. There’s an 8.0-inch infotainment system located in the centre of the dashboard.

We were a little underwhelmed with this offering, as the operating system seemed clunky and dated, and the screen itself could have been larger and sleeker. Luckily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and we wasted no time in getting our phone connected.

The phone tucked away in a compartment just behind the cup holders, but it was a tight fit for our iPhone 12 Pro. The hideaway space also contains two USB ports, a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, an SD card reader, and 12-volt power outlet.

You’ll also find two more of those in the cargo area. What saves the Mazda6’s bacon though is the premium Bose 231-watt sound system with 11-speakers and an amplifier. It’s simply outstanding.

The range of driver assist systems is also noteworthy, and includes intelligent speed assist, lane keep and lane departure warning, emergency brake assist, and forward obstruction warning. There’s plenty airbags in the 2021 Mazda6 SP GT SP wagon too.

Child restraint facilities includes two ISOFIX and three top tether anchor points, and it comes with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. The Mazda6 GT SP wagon packs a punch under the bonnet too.

The 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine pumps out up to 170kW of power, and 420Nm of torque. All this power is put through Mazda’s Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission.

It’s most certainly quick, and for a moment, you won’t believe you’re in a wagon. Handling is sedan-like, with MacPherson strut suspension in the front, and multilink suspension in the rear. There’s a little body roll when cornering or manoeuvring quickly as well.

On long open roads, it’s super fuel efficient, with Mazda claiming 7.6-litres/100km. During testing we managed 10.1-litres/100km in what was mostly city driving, with some motorway travel.

The Mazda6 is a good choice for a modern-day family wagon, or for someone who could use the extra space. It’s punchy on the pedal, yet comfortable and classy in cabin. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 5-years roadside assist.

The 2021 Mazda6 GT SP comes in a range of colours, such as Machine Grey Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Sonic Silver Metallic, Polymetal Grey Metallic, Blue Reflex Mica, Jet Black Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Deep Crystal Blue Mica.

It has a recommended retail price of $52,592 plus on-roads, which is a little high. You can build and price your own 2021 Mazda6 GT SP on the Mazda website, but we reckon it’s worth shopping around dealers for a better price.

Alternatively, you can take a look at a platform like PriceMyCar to get the best deal.

Our test vehicle was supplied by Mazda Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Mazda6 GT SP wagon, contact your local Mazda dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8
Exterior styling
8
Interior look and feel
8.5
Technology and connectivity
7
Family friendliness
8.5
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros - luxurious interior; powerful engine; safety focused.
Cons - dated infotainment system; slightly pricey; no sunroof.
Sabih Dean
Driving is one of my favourite pastimes. How much I enjoy it depends on the power, comfort, luxury, and panache of the car I’m in. It makes all the difference.

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