Mazda launches new Mazda6

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Mazda has launched its new large family saloon, at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show.

Following the CX-5 SUV, it is the second Mazda to be designed since the divorce from Ford – hence it is completely separate from the Ford Mondeo, with which the last Mazda6 shared its platform.

It is a good-looking car, although being a Mazda, it has to come with a branded design theme – this one is called, KODO – Soul of Motion. It apparently, "captures the form of a predator crouched and ready to leap forward in an explosion of movement." Of rather more relevance is the fact that it is only a saloon or estate, which is going to be a pretty big issue in the UK, where hatchbacks are the dominant bodystyle in this segment.

The 2.0 petrol engine features Mazda' SkyActiv fuel saving technology, including the option of regenerative braking, which takes energy from the brakes and stores it in a capacitor to feed the car's electrical systems. Final European figures have not been announced, but the Russian-specification 148 bhp 2.0 petrol achieves CO2 figures as low as 139 g/km, which is quite an achievement. Figures for the diesel have yet to be released, but Mazda dealers will be hoping for a figure well below the 130g/km company car tax break point which comes in to force next April.

Mazda is promising a big step forward in refinement over the previous model, the only area where it was a little off the pace. If Mazda can keep the driving dynamics, reduce noise levels and offer better economy, it will have a good product on its hands – but that bodystyle is going to be an issue.