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Mazda roars ahead.


LIKE the motor world in general, Mazda may have spent some of the past six months dodging the fall-out from flak created by the so-called credit crunch.

However, this hasn't stopped the Japanese car giant from being able to bask in the reflected glory of having posted its second best sales year ever with some 50,402 models having left UK salerooms in 2008.

The Mazda6 led the way when the Japanese car-maker reinvented itself back in 2002 and, to date, it has given more than a good account of itself in competition with the likes of the Ford Mondeo and the Renault Laguna.

In today's motor world, a great diesel is essential to convince both business and private buyers of its credentials in the medium family car range and, while Mazda has always delivered diesel urge via very capable oil burners, a little more was required to qualify for class-leading capability.

So, enter Mazda's answer, the 2.2- litre diesel, an advanced common rail diesel engine featuring a variable geometry turbo and high-pressure fuel injection system.

This extensively aluminium engine comes available with three levels of power, a 123bhp entry level boasting a 0-62mph sprint time of less than 11 seconds and a top-level power source with a 182bhp rating capable of delivering the 0-62mph dash in 8.5 seconds, while the middle representative driven here, which offers 161bhp, does the 0- 62mph sprint in 9.2 seconds and houses a top speed of 132mph.

The Mazda6 2.2 turbo diesel also promises to be an affordable car to run as there is the promise of more than 50mpg when tackling a combination of town and country miles, further enhanced by CO emissions of 147g/km.

Paired with a smooth shifting and very precise six-speed manual gearbox, the 2.2 turbo diesel engine spins pretty quietly to deliver some outstanding motorway cruising.

There is also plenty of the fun factor to be had with precise electronic power steering. Despite the ride being a little on the firm side, it is certainly not unforgiving.

While the car comes in saloon and estate form, I drove the hatchback which is comfortably spacious with all the hallmarks of fine build quality.

Along with some decent legroom in the rear, the Mazda6 also features a boot that offers 510 litres with all seats taken out.

Overall, the Mazda6 2.2 turbo diesel is another big plus for the Japanese car maker. Sharp styling, including some eye-catching exterior chrome, oversees basic trim levels which start with air con, electric windows, ABS braking and dynamic stability systems..
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 19, 2009
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