Growing up I dreamed of owning an Audi, BMW or a Mercedes. They were fast, strong, well built and carried a certain identity. Before working at Mazda, the company wasn't even on my radar but just a couple of months in I realised just how impressive the cars are and just how much they have to offer.
Working at Mazda and Honda has allowed me to get a strong knowledge of the company and its contents, especially the new models coming out. From the baby car, the Mazda 2, and all the way up to the top of the range cars like the Mazda 6 and the CX-5, my position means I've driven all of them.
As well as Mazda, my position means that I get behind the wheel of all sorts of cars like recently when I had to take a new shape BMW 5 Series to a customer's house. Although it was a fantastic drive and impressive in every way, it did get me thinking about how it compares to the Mazda 6. Ignoring the elephant in the room regarding pricing (which is massively different) the cars didn't feel marginally different apart from a few different gadgets that Mazda don't offer as of yet.
Give me a chance to explain.
Doing a little research and I've found that the top of the range Mazda 6 (the Sport Nav+) comes in at £32,115, roughly £8,000 - £10,000 cheaper than its German rivals. Granted, Mazda don't offer nearly as many gadgets and gizmos but for a normal person like me, I'd happily sacrifice that and have a large chunk of money residing in my bank account. The Sport Nav isn't exactly sparse - blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and heads up display are just a few examples of how it's more than capable of being enough of a car to deal with any day-to-day activities.
Now the Mazda's weakness - power. Although adequate enough for daily use, the 6 struggles to keep up with its competitors, boasting a modest 184PS from its 2.2 litre 4 cylinder engine. Mazda pride themselves on how efficient their cars are which nulls the performance a little but with a 0-60 time of 8 seconds, it's not exactly a slouch. The automatic gearbox is the obvious choice which is surprisingly engaging and doesn't straddle the gears for too long giving it a smooth and silky motion.
I could go on and on but I don't want to babble on and on but I've think I've made my point. With times getting harder, companies like Mazda are up and coming with more than enough fight to keep up with the more premium marques.