It could go down as one of the most conventional choices for Drive Car of the Year in the award’s history, but its blend of style, fuel efficiency, driving dynamics and value made it a compelling choice for the judges in 2013.
The Mazda 6’s path to overall victory wasn’t an easy one, having to edge out the Holden Commodore VF and Toyota Camry Hybrid in the Best Family Car class.
Claiming top honours in that field wasn’t easy, but the Mazda 6 triumphed, with judges praising not only its affordability and generous equipment levels, but also its comfort and fuel efficiency.
“It’s not only a great family car, but also a brilliant car to drive. It’s not pretending to be a sports car, but it is more than adequate in almost every aspect. It’s the kind of family car that suits every member to some degree,” said one judge.
“Sure, there are faster cars. There are more luxurious cars. There are more efficient cars. But the Mazda 6 has more than enough of everything to satisfy. The fact it only costs around $35,000 to park one in your driveway makes it a remarkable car.”
The Mazda 6 was praised for its cabin comfort, with space for five adults in a well-resolved and designed interior. Technologies such as a rear-view camera and inbuilt satellite navigation came as standard, while airbags covered all occupants.
But perhaps the Mazda 6’s best selling point was its new 2.5-litre SkyActiv four-cylinder petrol engine with 138kW and 250Nm.
Offering plenty of performance for the class, the new engine’s biggest party trick was its fuel efficiency, with Mazda claiming 25 per cent improvement – down from 8.9L/100km to 6.6L. It also utilised stop-start technology, one of the few cars in its class to feature the nascent tech.
It was competitively priced, too, asking for $33,460 plus on-road costs at the time for the entry-level Sport variant, and maxing out at $48,100 for the top-spec Atenza. The ‘6’ was also available as a family-friendly wagon, while those preferring diesel power were catered to with Mazda’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder oiler.
Today, the Mazda 6 remains a stylish take on the medium sedan segment. Despite its age and having undergone a midlife facelift in 2018, the original third-generation Mazda still looks fresh and contemporary on our roads.
Where it is today?
Redbook price estimate for a 2013 Mazda 6 Sport auto is between $11,200 and $13,300
Current Equivalent – 2022 Mazda 6 Sport – $35,120 plus on-road costs
Our most recent test of the current Mazda 6 (GT SP Wagon) scored 8.0/10, with highlights noting its sharp looks, quiet cabin, and supple suspension.