Mazda6 Touring 2013
Mazda6 Touring 2013

USED CAR: Mazda6 2012-2016, the smart all-rounder

THE Mazda6 is the Japanese brand's quiet achiever. Many don't know the medium sedan and wagon even exists - excluding the niche MX-5 roadster, it's Mazda's slowest seller.

This is due to Australia's mid-size market shrinking at an astonishing rate as SUV fever endures - but ignoring the '6 as a used buy would be a mistake.

A superb all-rounder, it's no stranger to picking up awards and owners typically heap praise on this semi-premium model. In a segment thoroughly dominated by Toyota's Camry, it's a good-looking alternative.

Reasons for buying include sharp styling, classy cabin and talented ride and handling. Some rivals have a bit more interior and luggage space, and slightly better noise insulation than the Mazda.

2015 Mazda6 update: Plenty of kit plus up-to-date styling
2015 Mazda6 update: Plenty of kit plus up-to-date styling

With the 2012-16 series, you can secure a classy family car with enticing barely aged looks for reasonable money. Reliability appears a strong suit but those favouring a diesel-powered example need to shop with greater caution.

Mazda's 2.2-litre diesel has had issues with its diesel particulate filter - a costly problem to put right. The way the DPF cleans itself can result in fuel contamination in the engine oil.

Unless you do regular long journeys, petrol power looks the safer choice. The 2.5-litre petrol version is more commonplace on the used market, as are sedans - owners presumably hang on to wagons for their greater practicality and arguably better looks.

From a family perspective, the rear seats provide good head and legroom for older kids or adults. The sedan has 438L of boot space and the wagon 451L (or a hugely practical 1593L with seats folded). These figures increased by 45L and 55L respectively from 2015 when a space-saver spare was introduced.

2013 Mazda6 wagon: Arguably the better styling
2013 Mazda6 wagon: Arguably the better styling

In December 2012, this series arrived with the two engines, six-speed auto transmission and four grades: Sport, Touring, GT and Atenza.

Entry level Sport had cloth seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, CD/MP3/aux input and Bluetooth with audio streaming, 5.8-inch screen, satnav, cruise control, reverse camera, push-button start and auto headlights.

Move up to Touring to get power leather seats, parking sensors and Bose audio. The GT added 19-inch wheels, heated seats and
bi-xenon headlights that followed the direction of the steering.

Range-topping Atenzas came with what Mazda calls i-Activsense safety tech, including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, radar cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and, from April 2014, autonomous emergency braking up to 30km/h.

At that time, all that safety tech was optional across the range, so favour used models that had this box ticked (after February 2016 it was standard range-wide).

A facelift in February 2015 added LED headlights and new alloy wheel designs. Connectivity improved with MZD Connect, with a seven-inch touchscreen, while the suspension was updated, seats were comfier and highway road noise was reduced by a claimed 25 per cent.



There's a DPF light on the dashboard - if it's flashing you'll know there's a problem.

Check that anyone selling a diesel used the car on longer trips, which would take it to the higher operating temperatures needed to burn off the particles that can clog the filter.

If the light stays on (not flashing) on your test drive, it means the burning process is under way - this is normal, so don't stop.

Mazda6: In diesels, watch for filter problems
Mazda6: In diesels, watch for filter problems

Check the oil level isn't too high; this can be a sign of fuel contamination from unburnt diesel. Insist any car you look at has an impeccable record of servicing at least every 10,000km, preferably by Mazda dealers.

A few owners have complained about the push-button start failing. Check the Bluetooth functions well - it's another grumble that's cropped up a few times.

If you prefer the styling of models with
19-inch wheels, check you can tolerate the slightly noisier and bumpier ride than examples on 17s. The model has had four recalls for minor issues (check on



4 stars

I'm a huge fan of this talented all-rounder. The Mazda6 is practical, great to drive and spacious enough for most families who don't want an SUV. All but the entry-level Sport have a true premium feel inside. A petrol wagon is my pick for practicality, cheaper servicing and removing the potential problems that can come with the diesel's filter. Only if you tow or cover long distances each year does the diesel look the better choice.



Carsguide 7005m Mazda6 wagon 2013 
Pic. Riley Chris 
Pic. Chris Riley
Carsguide 7005m Mazda6 wagon 2013 Pic. Riley Chris Pic. Chris Riley

IAN MCNAUGHT: I bought my Atenza wagon three years ago and it has done 20,000km. I've been extremely happy with the quality and price, relative to European models I've owned. I bought the wagon, not because of the extra boot space but because I thought it looked smarter. The engine noise and 11L/100km thirst around town are about the only negatives. The head-up display and rear cross traffic alert are really helpful. The navigation advises by voice of active school zones, speed cameras, red light cameras and high accident zones. The dealer servicing is probably the best I have ever experienced. It's a great car.



Mazda6 Touring 2013: Handy resale values
Mazda6 Touring 2013: Handy resale values

The third-generation Mazda6 introduced fuel-saving Skyactiv technology as well as the timeless "Kodo" styling. In the four years of the GJ series, it sold nearly 22,000 examples - more than a third of them in 2013, its first full year on sale.

Among used listings, petrol examples outnumber diesels by three to one and the mid-spec Touring is easily the most common, accounting for four out of 10 for sale.

The 2012 Sport ($33,460 new) is valued at $17,300, a better than 50 per cent residual. Similarly, the flagship Atenza diesel wagon ($50,960 new) is worth $26,250.

For 2016, the Sport ($32,490 new) is worth $23,600 and the Atenza diesel wagon ($49,540 new) is valued at $36,100.

Rivals in the medium passenger segment include the Toyota Camry, Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord, Hyundai i40 and VW Passat. Reflecting its standing in the market, the 2012 Mazda6 holds its value better than those competitors.

As the model has aged, resale has lost ground to upgraded rivals - for 2016, it trails all but the improved Mondeo and the largely unchanged i40. - Red Book


MAZDA6 2012-16

PRICE NEW $32,490-$50,960

SAFETY 5 stars

ENGINES 2.5-litre 4-cyl, 138kW/250Nm; 2.2-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 129kW/420Nm

TRANSMISSION 6-speed auto; FWD

THIRST 5.4L-6.6L/100km