By Seán Creedon
Having been born under the Libra star sign, six is supposed to be my lucky number. And it looks like it could be really be happening for me in 2019 as I have already driven two cars with a six in their name.
The first week of January I tested the Audi A6, while last week I drove the revamped Mazda 6.
There is definitely a big switch away from the traditional family saloon with every car company now producing impressive SUV’s. But maybe the saloons and hatchbacks could be fighting back with Audi and now Mazda giving us gorgeous cars to drive.
Mazda has given their 6 a mid-life revamp and they gave me a gorgeous Soul Red Crystal-coloured model to test.
It really looked stunning in the driveway and got plenty of compliments in the supermarket car park. The main changes are to the front where there is a new grille and there are slight changes to the lights.
On the road the first think you notice is the heads-up display on the windscreen which tells you the speed limit on the road you are travelling on and also your own speed. A perfect recipe to avoid penalty points.
A lovely shade of red on the exterior, while inside cream was the dominant colour in my Skyactiv-G platinum version. Officially the interior colour is stone and the interior is bright it would dazzle you. If I owned one I think I would have to bring a damp J-Cloth with me all the time to keep the leather seats clean!
All the controls are housed in a neat area between the driver and front seat passenger, including an automatic handbrake, which worked very well. In the back you can seat three adults at a push, two in comfort with the drinks holder folded down. The boot space is a decent size, but sadly no spare wheel, just a repair kit.
Japanese companies account for a huge amount of cars in the Irish market with Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki all vying with Mazda for new customers. And then they have to compete with all those imports from the UK. Roll on Brexit and we will see what happens.
I once owned a Mazda 323 and it was a decent car. Like a lot of 323 owners I did have problems with the CV joint, which gave a clicking sound when you turned the steering wheel when parking. But we got used to that sound and the car never let us down. No such issues in the Mazda 6, which is just luxurious and so quiet to travel in.
So you have everything you need, the only extra an SUV can provide is a view of the green fields because of the high driving position.
Google Maps are now available in the Mazda 6 and you can keep an eye on your surroundings, irrespective of what the weather is like outside.
Prices start at €31,995, but my 2.0-litre petrol version with 165 brake horse power and a plethora of extras including heated seats and heated steering wheel, brought the price to €38,959. Road tax is a bit stiff at €390, but fuel consumption is low.
I do think Mazda need to do more and let the Irish public know that such a gorgeous car is available.