Mazda6 review: Safety advances add appeal for company car drivers
With a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP and driver assist technologies available as affordable options, the latest generation of the Mazda6 has become a serious alternative to the Volkswagen Passat and BMW 3 Series. The only question is whether having the right safety technologies on board is more important than the car’s badge?
Many companies these days have five-star safety policies for their vehicle fleets; it’s just part of their duty of care to staff. A growing number also want their cars equipped with crash prevention technologies. They know that anything that can reduce accidents and their severity saves money. Repair bills, insurance costs and time wasted are all much lower.
The Mazda6 has a lot to offer in this respect. Launched earlier this year, Euro NCAP’s review of the vehicle’s safety has been a little while in coming, but Mazda has used the time to make some refinements to the car that helped deliver a solid five-star rating. Among the changes are ISOFIX points that are easier to access and a speed limitation system that the driver can set.
How did the Mazda6 do in the crash tests?
In all aspects of Euro NCAP’s assessment, the Mazda6 did well on adult protection. The car just lost a few points in the child protection section when the three-year old dummy’s head made light contact with the head restraint.
If you read Euro NCAP’s report, there are some comments about the driver’s door being found “not to be fully latched” after the side impact. Our understanding is that the door did not open. It sounds like an anomaly: Mazda is said to be pretty unhappy and is sending people to examine the tested car.
How good are the safety options?
The options available on the Mazda6 show how serious Mazda is about safety. Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system comes as standard on everything except the base SE model. The technology operates at speeds of up to 19mph using a laser to detect any vehicle in front of the car. If the driver fails to stop appropriately, the system automatically applies the brakes and cuts the engine output at the same time. This helps to avoid collisions and to mitigate damage. It also helps to prevent the driver from inflicting costly whiplash injuries on other motorists.
Mazda also offers a Safety Pack as a £700 option on SE-L and Sport versions with more technologies that will make a crash less likely. High Beam Control helps to improve night vision. Rear Vehicle Monitoring alerts you to cars coming up behind you in neighbouring lanes. A Lane Departure Warning helps prevent the car from unintentionally drifting across the white line.
For many, the Safety Pack could clinch the deal. The latest generation of the Mazda6 isn’t just lighter and more fuel efficient than many of its premium competitors. By offering the latest crash prevention technologies as part of an affordable option pack, it outclasses them.
- Mazda6 starts at £20, 255. The estate starts at £21,975
- There are three grades: SE, SE-L and Sport
- All grades come with tyre pressure monitoring as standard
- The Safety Pack costs just £700 and can be added to SE-L and Sport models
- A radar-based adaptive cruise control system is available on the 2.2 Sport Diesel Automatic as a £800 option – but only if you also fit the £700 Safety Pack
- Adaptive Front Lighting comes as standard on Sport grade models