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The Mazda6 bets on fast but frugal with Skyactiv



£23,595 (£24,825 as tested)
2.2 litre turbodiesel; 148bhp
0-62mph 9.2sec, top speed 130mph
6sp man
64.2mpg, 116g/km CO2
RV 3yr/30k
Start mileage
Current mileage
Key rivals
Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, Škoda Octavia, Volkswagen Passat



Skyactiv is Mazda’s branding for its efficiency-focused technologies in its new car range, which started in 2012 with the CX-5 and Mazda6.

It has confirmed the second unit in its Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine range. The 103bhp 1.5-litre unit will launch in the next generation Mazda2 supermini.

The Skyactiv-D 1.5 was developed in the pursuit of ideal combustion despite a very low compression ratio. As a result, the engine claims outstanding dynamic performance from standstill to its unusually high redline.

However, the core attributes of Skyactiv technology are low CO2 emissions delivering cash-saving benefit-in-kind tax opportunities to company car drivers, low VED bills and competitive fuel economy.

A year spent in a CX-5 and eight months in our current Mazda6 has shown us that frugality does not have to come at the expense of performance.

The engine in our Mazda6 Tourer test car is a Euro6-compliant 2.2-litre 150bhp unit which, coupled to a six-speed manual transmission, ensures the car has efficient cruising capabilities plus strong acceleration and overtaking performance when needed, which cannot be said of some of its rival efficiency-focused saloons and estates.

Vauxhall’s 119bhp Insignia EcoFlex, for example, takes a full 3.2 seconds longer to reach 62mph from a standstill.

Innovations for the new small-displacement Skyactiv-D include less mechanical resistance and new insulation technology to counter the increased cooling loss associated with a smaller engine. It will comply with Euro 6 without needing pricey exhaust aftertreatment.

Its benefits include improved aerodynamics, vehicle weight reduction, chassis developments and new manual and automatic transmissions, fuel-saving i-stop idle-stop and i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration systems.

Mazda expects its new clean diesel-powered supermini to achieve the best fuel economy of any combustion-engine powered vehicle available in Japan, and predicts the Skyactiv-D 1.5 should be popular in Europe, too.

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Mazda3 gets a fleet sales boost from low emissions and impressive fuel efficiency

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