Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Sporty Model a Corker; Updated Model Proves All-Round Winner

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Sporty Model a Corker; Updated Model Proves All-Round Winner

Article excerpt

WHEN you look at the Mazda6 Luxury, with its powerful sleek lines and noble stance, it is difficult to comprehend that it was manufactured by a company that had its origins in cork.

But it is a history tangled in the web of war, bombs and innovation built on the values of a culture that has stood the test of time.

The Toyo Cork Kogyo enjoyed a roaring trade in Hiroshima, long before the atom bomb laid waste to the thriving island. By the late 1920s company founder Jujiro Matsuda grew tired of cork plantations and decided to diversify in to machine tools and motor vehicles.

By 1931 he was exporting tri-cycle trucks to China, the Mazda-Go-a the humble forerunner of the two-million Mazdas that now come off the production line each year.

Matsuda's company spent the Second World War making rifles for the Japanese effort but the company soared after hostilities ceased with automobile production at the forefront of its endeavours.

Mazda's development of the Wankel rotary engine in the 1960s paved the way for export around the world and apart from a financial hiccup in the late '70s, which resulted in Ford buying a 25 per cent stake in the company, Matsuda's legacy has continued to spread.

Today it is there to see standing proudly in car showrooms the length and breadth of the country, adding zoom to ordinary lives.

Comfort

With its plush, heated leather seats and room to stretch out the Mazda6 ticks the most important comfort boxes.

The steering is rake and reach adjustable and the driver' seat has a three-position memory system. The new 6 is longer, wider, taller and has a longer wheelbase, so it's no surprise it feels more spacious, especially in the back seat.

The nature of the hatch may be a bit harder on taller back seat passengers but not especially so. The boot has a slightly high lip but is cavernous in nature and can easily accommodate both the trappings of work and play.

Internal storage is ample while the aluminium pedals reinforce that sporty edge.

A well-set out dashboard makes for a rather pleasant driving experience. How nice it is when aesthetics and practicality combine.

The speed and information dials are a striking blue, red and white and light up seductively at night.

On the road

The 6 has always impressed on the road and this edition with an updated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission continues to uphold that view. Power has increased to 125kW and torque to 226Nm with performance noticeably smoother after 3000rpm.

The Mazda6 hugs the roads, embracing corners with abandon while suspension and steering is equal to the challenge of most surfaces.

It offers a comfortable, enjoyable ride with a responsive engine making highway driving a bit safer to negotiate. …

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