The Mazda6 has the looks and the power, but the Volkswagen Passat beats it hands down when it comes to efficiency.
That’s my conclusion after having spent an equal amount of time (three months) in each of these family car fleet contenders.
So it comes down to which you value most as a fleet decision-maker and/or a company car user-chooser.
First some facts. The Mazda6 averaged 49mpg in normal everyday driving (where normal means treading the line between eco and enjoyment) while the Passat achieved 55mpg.
What does that 6mpg equate to? Over 12,000 business miles, the Mazda6 would cost £1,528 in fuel; the Passat is less expensive to the tune of £166. That equates to £500 over three years or £50,000 for a fleet of 100 such cars.
The Passat is a clear winner when it comes to fuel efficiency, despite having an official figure substantially lower than the Mazda6’s 67mpg. However, the ratio of efficiency to performance is weighted in the Mazd6’s favour.
It offers 150bhp versus the Passat’s 140bhp and torque of 280lb-ft against 236lb-ft.
The difference is noticeable: the Mazda is much keener to accelerate away from a standing start than the Passat and is a much more confident companion when it comes to overtaking.
That said, the Passat is no slouch itself although it does convey more of a sense of cocooned quality than fervent sportiness.
It doesn’t demand to be driven hard.