Mazda Mazda6 GSX 2013 Review

Mazda Mazda6 GSX 2013 Review

When you want one of the best-looking station wagons out there to have a little more pep than the base model GLX, but not the largesse of the top-of-the-range LTD, then you go for the GSX.

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This review outlines the differences between the base model GLX and this mid-range GSX. Check out the GLX article for a more comprehensive overview of the Mazda6 model itself (clicking opens it in a new window so you won’t lose your place here).

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With 500cc more than the GLX Mazda6, the engine is now a shade under 2.5 litres. You’ve got 24 more

kilowatts at your disposal, for a total of 138kW, and 40 more Nm. This additional power (and the increase in price) might affect any car insurance quote, so factor that into your calculations, so it pays to choose a reputable insurer.

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While the dimensions stay the same, the weight creeps up slightly because of the extra equipment – only by 38kg, though – for a total of 250Nm. Acceleration is definitely perkier, and the engine has a nicer tone. It is still mated to the Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed automatic gearbox (and it’s smooth, though not as good as a DSG box found in Volkswagens). Fuel economy takes a small hit – now you’ll be sipping 6.6l/100km rather than 6l/100km. It’s a relatively small price to pay for the extra power.

On the exterior the GSX gets front fog lamps, automatic lights and rain-sensing wipers. There’s nothing else to distinguish your purchase because the wheel size stays the same.

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Getting in the car can be achieved with advanced keyless entry and start. Driver comfort is improved with dual climate control, and the centre armrest now slides rather than being static.

While the seats remain the same trim (cloth), the GSX gets leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake handle and gear shift knob. Admiring yourself in the vanity mirror becomes easier with convenient lights.

The multimedia system gets satellite navigation on the touchscreen and the number of speakers is boosted from four to six.

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The GSX didn’t feel discernibly different to drive than the GLX. All the safety features are the same – it’s not until you get to the LTD (which we’ll have in a couple of weeks) that you get some nice premium safety features like smart brake support, blind spot monitoring, forward obstruction warning, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert (we’ll explain those in the LTD review).

A new issue has arrived with the GSX and that is the interface design. There’s now an i-Drive-style jog wheel/navigation device called a ‘commander dial’ in the centre console and it duplicates almost all the functions that are already enabled by buttons around the touchscreen. These buttons already duplicate the majority of the functions that can be directly accessed on the touchscreen itself. So, you now have three different ways to select some of the items, and that’s not the way that interface design should be approached. However, this is a very minor point because it all works seamlessly.

This station wagon feels almost sporty. The steering is very direct (so direct in fact, that when I got out of the Mazda6 into a Toyota Aurion, I thought there was something wrong with the Aurion’s steering).

The faults from the GLX (blind spot and lack of load space compared to the competition) are still there, but the Mazda6 is the best looking wagon out there at the moment, and it’s a capable, comfortable ride that won’t leave you disappointed. You have to ask yourself whether you really need these extra features, though. You could happily live with the GLX, buy a third-party navigation unit and save yourself a few thousand. But, some of the additions like the parking sensors, automatic lights and automatic wipers might sway you to plump for this better-endowed model.

Price: from $49,795

Pros

  • Looks
  • Handling

Cons

  • Blind spot
  • Load space is not class-leading

Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

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