Mazda finds the G


Mazda6 Tourer, G-Vectoring Control, 2017, front
Mazda6 Tourer, G-Vectoring Control, 2017, front, action
Mazda6 Tourer, G-Vectoring Control, 2017, side, action
Mazda6, 2017, head up display
Mazda6, 2017, interior
Mazda6 Tourer with G-Vectoring Control, 2017, rear, action
Mazda6 Tourer and saloon, G-Vectoring Control, 2017
Mazda6, 2017, G-Vectoring Control graphic

SOME have it, many don't but when it comes to suspension set ups and all-round handling Mazda has the knack.

Now the Japanese car maker is turning to smart technology to enhance its chassis dynamics even further.

Mazda calls it G-Vectoring Control and it is making its debut on the latest version of the Mazda6.

The impact is significant and makes Mazda's large saloon and estate cars quite exceptional and a delight to drive.

Torque vectoring to improve grip and agility, especially when cornering, is nothing new but Mazda has taken the principle a stage further.

Instead of using the brakes to slow down a wheel when it's about loose traction, G-Vectoring uses electronics to reduce the power going through the drive.

The effect is more precise and smoother steering and the new Mazda6 feels absolutely balanced when put through its paces.

It works by monitoring the g-forces on each wheel and making constant adjustments every fraction of a second.

Other benefits are fewer steering corrections for the driver, less sway for passengers during manoeuvres and the car clings to the intended line in confident fashion.

G-Vectoring is one of a number of changes Mazda is making on its latest 6 models which will be on the road in October.

Other improvements include a redesigned steering wheel which is more comfortable to the touch (and heated on higher grade models) and has easier-to-use controls mounted on the spokes while the whole interior has been made quieter by reducing engine noise and vibration.

On diesel models changes have been made to the turbo boost so there is no fall off in power at lower revs and acceleration is more linear when moving away.

And with the vectoring control being little more than some added software there is no additional weight to the car which at around 1.4-tonnes remains one of the lightest estates or saloon around.

Mazda says the new set up is an extension of its SKYACTIV programme to optimise efficiency in every aspect of its models.

It started with a new generation of fuel efficient engines, powertrains and sleek aerodynamic styling five years ago and is now making its mark on the underpinnings of the range.

The Mazda6 had a mid-life makeover last year and even with the latest raft of upgrades prices are unchanged with the range starting from £19,795 for the saloon and £23,195 for the estate.

In this price bracket and with its added ‘driveability' the car becomes the most refined and perfectly set up family-sized model you can get.

The line up is powered by four versions of the SKYACTIV engine - two 2.0-litre petrol at 145 and 165ps and a pair of 2.2-litre diesels developing either 150 or 175ps.

We tried out the high powered petrol with a six-speed manual transmission and the 150ps diesel automatic estates fitted with G-Vectoring and the other new equipment and both performed in text book fashion.

Average fuel economy for the diesel came back at 46mpg and 38mpg for the petrol version both driven over twisty routes in northern Spain which got the best out of the vectoring control system.

Official fuel figures are 47.9 for the petrol Mazda6 (136g/km) and 57.6 for the diesel auto which equates to 129g/km.

In top grade Sport Nav trim the petrol estate is priced from £25,495 - high value given the level of equipment which includes sat nav, full colour head up display, 19-inch alloys and leather trim - while the 150ps diesel automatic is available only in mid-range SE-L Nav specification and costs from £25,995.

All round, the new Mazda6 is a very refined car, impressively styled and fantastically competent to drive.

As with all aspects of the SKYACTIV programme, Mazda will be rolling out the G-Vectoring system on all of its future models and that kicks off with the new Mazda3 which is due for release in the next few months.


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